Cloister Spring Water plant, 1996
Cloister Spring Water employees Ken Bradford and Francine Walker work in the company's new $5 million headquarters, which opened in the fall of 1996.
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Excerpts and summaries of news stories from the former Intelligencer Journal, Lancaster New Era and Sunday News that focus on the events in the county’s past that are noteworthy, newsworthy or just strange.

25 years ago

In 1996, the fastest-growing beverage category in the country was bottled water - and a local business was expanding to help meet the demand.

Cloister Spring Water Co. had just completed its new $5 million headquarters along Route 283 in East Hempfield Township after three years of work.

The 100,000 square foot complex combined corporate offices, a distribution center and a state-of-the-art bottling plant at one location. The company's operations had previously been spread between multiple locations in Leola and Ephrata.

The new facility could bottle 200 million gallons of water a year, and also had a plastic bottle-making facility on site through a partnership with Reid Plastics of California.

In the headlines:

Approval near for walk on tightrope over Niagara Falls

Gulf War syndrome debunked

Deficit smallest since '81

Check out the Oct. 10, 1996, Lancaster New Era here.

50 years ago

It's bad enough to have your life savings stolen, but to then have them literally thrown in a river? That's exponentially worse.

But that's just what happened to 74-year-old Joseph Carroll of Marietta in 1971, when a group of 5 teenagers broke into his Front Street home and stole nearly $17,000 worth of government securities and bonds, as well as a watch and $40 in cash.

The documents represented the vast majority of Carroll's life savings, and the teens promptly dumped them into the Susquehanna River along with the watch. They kept the cash.

However, all was not lost for Carroll, who was a World War I veteran. Police were able to recover the documents and the watch - but the Sunday News did not report how long they had been in the river or how much water damage they sustained.

In the headlines:

Baltimore wins World Series opener, 5-3

Ex-convict hijacks Boeing 727 to Cuba

VA hospital being saturated with drug-addicted veterans

Check out the Oct. 10, 1971, Sunday News here.

75 years ago

In the wake of World War II, military technology was beginning to filter out into the civilian world, and a Lancaster factory was a part of the efforts.

RCA demonstrated a new aircraft guidance system that combined radar and television technology to display "road maps" of the airways to pilots via in-cockpit screens showing the location of the pilot's plane, as well as any other aircraft in the area.

The new technology, dubbed "teleran" by RCA, was in early testing and expected to be widely available in two to three years. Prior to the new system, pilots had to calculate their position from instrument readings. 

The local connection? The picture tubes for the teleran screens were being manufactured at Lancaster's RCA plant.

In the headlines:

Parley adopts Trieste proposal

Emergency action by Truman in meat shortage is hinted

Police battle angry mob at Italian palace

Check out the Oct. 10, 1946, Intelligencer Journal here.

100 years ago

The classic "fish story" may have no place in the newspaper - unless your fish story involves a species previously unseen locally.

In October 1921, Ira Mellinger caught two large fish - nearly two feet long and each weighing about 20 pounds - in the Conestoga River. He was unable to identify them, and when he showed them around, other local fisherman were equally stumped.

Guesses included halibut, a cross between different types of carp, and even some kind of young shark.

The fish were ultimately identified by the Mettfett Company, purveyors of seafood, as Bonita Mackeral, a species typically seen in oceans. Further study would be conducted to see if more Bonita Mackeral were living in the Conestoga, as well as to see if it would be feasible to seed local waterways with the new species to improve local fishing.

In the headlines:

Yanks capture fifth series game, defeat Giants 3-1

Damaged vessel sunk by ship coming to rescue

Check out the Oct 10, 1921, Lancaster Intelligencer here.

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