We are very excited to announce that we have recently completed a project to digitize all of our local newspaper records that had been available until now only on microfilm. The new digital files are searchable, which makes finding what you want so much easier. Stop in today and try it out. Thank you.
A Jewel of Historical Representation Lies in The Fendrick Library for Public View
WORLD WAR II SCRAPBOOK COMPILED FOR JERE:
What does Veterans Day mean to you? Is it a day off work? Is it a shopping day? A day to prepare the lawn for winter? Or is it a day to honor Veterans?
Regardless of your choice, you may be interested in the carefully wrapped and gingerly stored WWII scrapbook in the History Room at Fendrick Library. A scrapbook that “Aunt Florence” made for her nephew “Jere” who was serving in World War II.
“Aunt Florence” read and clipped every article printed by the Mercersburg Journal during WWII and lovingly placed them in sequential order for her nephew, “Jere” to review on his return home. On the first page, of 88 pages, the WORLD WAR II ROLL OF HONOR resides. Followed by articles and pictures of the servicemen who were receiving medals; transfers; placements; promotions; wounded; killed; missing in action.
On the home front these service men and women were never forgotten:
Local women formed a group called, “Women Home Defense Unit”. This group of ladies spent many hours preparing and mailing packages of home goodies to their soldiers stationed in the United States and sending money to service men and women that were assigned outside the United States.
An almost weekly letter from a locally formed group called “News Gathered of Our Local Boys in our Country’s Service”, consisted of reports and information gathered by many local residents that was shared and printed in the Mercersburg Journal. Another group from home sent letters to “You Guys out Front” from the “Home Guys” hoping to lift spirits of the soldiers as the war raged on. “Life in the Country” signed by Hank Hayseed, presented a human-interest side of the news to update the soldiers on happenings in Franklin County
Correspondences went two ways. Servicepersons sent notes of thanks to the people that were remembering them; poems and letters of their experiences and feelings; and one set of parents received a letter from their prisoner-of-war son.
Library Vice-President, Virginia Smith knew from her reaction that the scrapbook had to be available to everyone, “When I opened the pages of the scrapbook, my heart was touched by the fading pictures of young men in their smart new uniforms and the brave words printed below them. I was a child during World War II and the scrapbook brought back many memories of life on the “home-front” and my cousins who served in far off places.” Virginia had the scrapbook carefully copied and then she complied an Index Guide. This guide lists every service person’s name that is mentioned in the scrapbook and refers that name to the page number recorded in the scrapbook. If you have or had a friend or relative that served in the war, and a news article was printed in the Mercersburg Journal, you will probably find it in this scrapbook/Index.
A copy of the scrapbook is on display at the Fendrick Library for public view. All are welcome to browse or look for a friend or relative that served in the war.
Seventy-five years later, after reviewing and pondering information in this scrapbook, the Mercersburg Area will say “Thank You Aunt Florence”.