Milton Hershey, the famed owner of the factory town Hershey had a dream of making it better for workers and their families. The factory town was not even really a town per se just the factory and housing for workers. There was a severe lack of extra-curricular activities for everyone. In 1907, despite the negative opinions about the park by his mother, Milton opened Hersheypark. The original park was comprised of picnic spots, canoeing, boating, and grassy areas in which to play surrounded by split rail fence. It also included a large bandstand for music and theatre.
After Hershey saw how much this park had changed the town and brought joy to its inhabitants, he decided to expand the split rail fence making room for more attractions. In celebration of July 4, 1908 Hershey unveiled a merry-go-round and amphitheater within the split rail fence. The amphitheater proved to be one of the most acoustically perfect building of its time inside the white split rail fence of the park.
Continuing to Improve Hersheypark
All of this pomp and circumstance was not enough as far as Hershey was concerned and a year later he again expanded the split rail fence and added two bowling alleys, a tennis court, a photography gallery, and a band shell. He also enticed visitors to enjoy the picturesque area outside of the split rail fence by building a railroad. Riders could tour the entire park within the split rail fence and the beautiful land beyond. It became so popular that after 60 years of running it is estimated that the train traveled in and out of the split rail fence over half a million miles.
Finding ways to outdo himself and to bring more magnificence inside the white split rail fence, Hershey enlisted William Dentzel to add a carrousel. Known as the “great flying horse manufacturer”, Dentzel built one of his most amazing masterpieces inside the split rail fence that sported a price tag of $15,000. It had a diameter of 50 feet and featured 53 animals that dazzled visitors inside the split rail fence.
The community of Hershey, which came to adore the new park that was nestled within the white split rail fence, planned a large celebration to commemorate Milton on the parks 20th anniversary. The townspeople thought they had gifted Hershey with a great surprise, but he had one in store for them. Enclosed in the split rail fence was a one of a kind roller coaster named the “Wild Cat”.
During the next few decades Hersheypark continued to grow, and additional attractions were hedged in the split rail fence with the original structures.
The town of Hershey went from being a somewhat depressing factory town to one of the most visited attractions in America. Today the park is so large that it has spilled outside of the split rail fence but the original still remains. The rides have kept up with the times and are attracting adrenaline junkies from across the country inside the split rail fence.
Milton Hershey passed away in 1945 so he did not get to see that park at its height. But he would be proud of what his park grew into. Once enclosed in a tiny split rail fence the park now covers 110 acres and has miles and miles of split rail bordering the perimeter of the park.
If you are looking to mimic the look of Hersheypark by installing split rail fence for your next project, get in touch with RMFP! We proudly offer wholesale pricing to the public, and would be happy to help you any way we can in this endeavor!