As SHS continues to grow, we realize more unity as we work with other organizations supporting our “Small Town Proud.” As people begin to realize that SHS is here to stay, more artifacts and papers are being donated into our collections.
We secured a location for a small museum in the spring of 2010. Teri Frey is our museum coordinator. A handful of volunteers do a nice job of keeping theme based exhibits in our cases. We continue to pursue a permanent location within the borough limits.
SHS proudly worked with the Vietnam Veterans of Mechanicsburg and raised over $6,000.00 in donations to place a veteran’s memorial in town. It is in honor of all who have served and all who gave the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country free and safe. It’s located in the borough park beside the Lebo-Owens Tribute. We are also continuing to raise money to place markers on several historic structures in our town. We have placed six historic markers in town with more to follow. Our goal is to offer a self-guided tour of our historic buildings.
Teri Frey has started to collect oral histories and artifacts of Shiremanstown residents and their families. Presently we have over 50 stories, most of them have donated artifacts and photos with their stories. Please contact Teri Frey if you have any pictures or stories at 691-8475. If you have questions, wish to get involved, make a donation of an artifact or financial support, please contact us at 717-737-1601.
Monthly Meetings Information
Monthly SHS meetings are held on the first Tuesday of every month unless otherwise announced. All SHS members and friends are welcome to attend. Meetings begin at 6:30 pm. and are usually held in the conference room at River Rock Academy, corner of Green and Locust, Shiremanstown (at the Borough Hall, 1 Park Place, Shiremanstown, PA 17011 during the summer months). Contact any Board member with questions.
About the Shireman Family By: Mike Weaver
Where They Came From and Where They Went Kidnapped from his German home and placed on a sailing vessel, a young boy (born circa 1740) found himself as a stowaway bound for America. When discovered by the captain and questioned, the scared little boy would only reply, “I’m a Shireman.” This in provincial German means “Stable Boy.” Shireman was the name put on his documents as his family name.
Why he was kidnapped from his home and placed on a ship is to this day a mystery to many generations of descendants in this country. What the true family name is another unsolved mystery. What is for sure is that when the ship landed in Philadelphia, the Captain received his fare for passage from a family that lived near Philadelphia and were in need of an indentured helper in their family butcher shop.
Shireman took the first name of Daniel. He became a butcher from a very early age and all of his needs were met by his host family. He was very shrewd and saved money. By young adulthood he was in a sound financial position for a young man. He set off to make his way in the world. He married Dorthea Creutzer in 1775, and between 1777 and 1785 they had four girls and a boy, Daniel, born on 11/4/1785.
Part of the 7,751 acres of land set aside by William Penn for Indian reservations was Louther Manor. Between 1739 and 1764, Germans were settling in the Manor with the graces of the Indians. Around 1755, Peter Dicks set up the first iron ore mine in the area of Spring Grove west of the Susquehanna. Around 1770 he built a forge near the spring, becoming Pennsylvania’s historic Spring Forge. It continued to grow and in 1775 Daniel Shireman bought out the iron forge.
Much of the iron forged by Shireman’s Spring Forge was sent east toward Philadelphia to make cannons and ammunition for the American Army to fight the British just before the occupation of Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War. With money he earned during that time, Shireman bought much of the land in this area. The immigrant Daniel Shireman died in the general area of Shiremanstown on August 6, 1797 and his wife took control of his wealth until her death. Eventually their son, Daniel would take over his father’s fortune and establish the town on the land his father owned.
Historically, this whole geographic area was an Indian Reservation set aside by William Penn and known as Louther Manor. The first settlers into the area were German immigrants; two brothers, John and William Orr, settled by the Conodoguinet Creek in the area known today as Orr’s Bridge Road circa 1740.
In 1764, the reservation was divided into parcels of land and sold to settlers. In 1772, John Jonas Rupp came to the area from Annville and built a log cabin for his family. As he settled his land he piled up the limestone rock he found and soon built a large home for his family. The building has withstood the elements over the past 225 years or so while being transformed from a home to several restaurants. Recently, for several years the home was a luxurious law practice on Trindle Road bearing its owner’s name, John Fenstermacher. Most recently in the early spring of 2012 it has become the offices of Black Consultants. Itstands at 5222 Trindle Road.
The first church for the Lutheran Congregation was erected high on a hilltop overlooking the Conodoguinet Creek in 1787 near the present day Holy Spirit Hospital. The only thing that remains of it today is its cemetery. The German Reformed Congregation met in a cabin near present day Shiremanstown in the early 1790’s. In 1798 the two Congregations jointly built Peace Church which stands today at the intersection of Trindle Road and St. John’s Church Road. Meanwhile around 1800 the Mohler Family built the Dunkard Church near present day Gettysburg Pike. That church is also still standing today, wedged between Old Gettysburg Pike and 11 & 15 southbound about 1 ½ miles south west of Shiremanstown.
By 1827, Jacob Rupp laid out the original town, an expanded area of which is now known as the borough of Shiremanstown. Its original borders were current day Main Street on the south, the railroad tracks/Front Street to the north and from St. Johns Church Road (an Indian Trail at the time) on the east to Rail Road Avenue on the west. Main Street was a major through way for loggers from Carlisle and beyond to get their product to the Susquehanna River. Eventually it was also used to herd livestock to barges on the river on their way to slaughter houses. The town continued to grow and by 1841 John and George Rupp laid out additional lots. In 1845 Jacob Markel laid out Second Street, present day Green Street.
There were several notable early settler families.
The home of George Schnebely’s widow or that of Inn keeper, John Davis, was the first property built on the grounds owned by Shireman around 1814.
John Sheely came to the area in 1815 to farm land just west of Shiremanstown close to present day Messiah Village. Others to quickly follow were
Ferdinand Roth built between Simpson Ferry and Gettysburg Road.
Christian Eberly’s farm was West Street and beyond.
H.S. Rupp was the first nurseryman in the county. His property was near the south east corner of Locust Street and Old Gettysburg Pike and his sons continued the business further north on Locust Street.
J.R. Miller was a feed/grain merchant where present day Mechanicsburg Water is.
Henry Zearing settled in the Shiremanstown area in 1825, and owned several grain mills.
Levi Merkel grew cattle fruit trees close to Rupp’s nursery before moving to present day 8 W. Green Street, Shiremanstown in 1856.
Information obtained from:
• Article in a LaPorte Texas newspaper with a personal interview of Isaac Wayne Shireman about family history prior to his death in 1937
• Genealogy documents of Mr. Wayne Shireman, from Ames Iowa, 2008
• The History of Shiremanstown by Mrs. Hugh Henderson, on Feb 3, 1944
Located at: River Rock Academy Auditorium Stage 41 S. Locust Street Shiremanstown, PA 17011
Museum is open during SHS events or by appointment.
When trains started passing through the quiet little community of Shiremanstown in 1837, the local farmers needed a train stop. A milk shed stood at the North West corner of town. As the town grew westward beyond the area of the milk shed the railroad crossing became the center of the community. The need to enlarge the resources to provide more services also increased. In 1880 a train station was built on the property south of the tracks on present day Railroad Avenue. The north side of the lower level of the train station was the ticket booth, telegraph office, freight station, and shipping room. D.C Faust was the first train station master in Shiremanstown. The south side of the building’s lower level was the train master’s living room and kitchen. The bed rooms were on the second floor. There was also a four stall outhouse close by for the use of his family and the passengers on the trains. Chester Stanfield was Faust’s helper and the telegraph man was Ira Grubb. The station was in use almost until the time it was demolished in 1949. The Cumberland Valley Railroad began operating in 1837. At the time, it connected White Hill [on the West Shore] to Chambersburg. Eventually the line would connect Harrisburg to Winchester, Virginia. Passenger rail service ended on the CVRR sometime in 1952.