Wheatland carriage 1970

Junior League member Mrs. Christian Herr, left, and Wheatland hostess Mrs. R.C. Geez welcome back to Wheatland a recently restored 1853 carriage owned by President James Buchanan in this photo from May 1970.

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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. 

Not long after a massive expansion plan was announced for Lancaster Bible College, the brakes were quickly applied. 

The plan, announced just weeks earlier, was to begin with the construction of a $4M chapel, and over the course of five years, would have doubled the size of the campus. However, a large charitable organization that was expected to provide a significant portion of the estimated $20M cost of the plan unexpectedly filed for bankruptcy. 

The Foundation for New Era Philanthropy, based in Radnor, purportedly operated on a system where charitable organizations would pay into a group fund, and anonymous donors would contribute matching funds to double the investments. However, as of May 1995, lawyers were alleging that the anonymous donors didn't really exist, and the whole structure was a Ponzi or pyramid scheme.

LBC officials said the campus didn't lose any of its operating budget, and construction plans were simply put on hold until alternative funding could be worked out.

In the headlines:

House votes to relax '72 Clean Water Act

McVeigh reportedly takes responsibility for bombing

Possible Ebola carriers facing strict quarantine

Check out the May 17, 1995, Intelligencer Journal here.


In May 1970, Wheatland was host to a homecoming of sorts.

The oldest presidential carriage known to exist - an 1853 German Rockaway custom-built for President James Buchanan - had been lovingly restored and was back at its home in the carriage house at the former presidential estate.

Valued at $10,000, the carriage had been purchased at auction by Wheatland in 1963, and was restored at the Intercourse carriage shop of John Lapp.

In the headlines:

Dual Allied pullout in Cambodia seen

Australians turning profit on kangaroos

Unser cops pole spot in Indy 500

Check out the May 17, 1970, Sunday News here.


Despite the end of the war in Europe, the New Era reported that nearly all of the wartime workers in Lancaster County wanted to stay on at their jobs, producing munitions and goods necessary to finish the war in the Pacific.

Between 95 and 100 percent of men and women workers polled at three local plants engaged in wartime production said they wanted to stay on and "finish the job." Many had loved ones still fighting in the Pacific theater, while others were frank in admitting that the high wages for wartime production were a big draw.

The plants where workers were quizzed included: Armstrong Cork Co., which was making shells for the Army and Navy, as well as the Navy's Crosier fighter plane; Lehigh Foundries, which was making 40mm mortar shells for trench warfare; and RCA, manufacturer of military radio equipment.

In the headlines:

U.S. casualties on Okinawa 20,950

No 'soft peace,' plenty of hard work faces Germans

Easing of cigaret shortage predicted within 3 months

Check out the May 17, 1945, New Era here.


Prohibition may have been in effect for several months by May 1920, but that certainly didn't stop the annual harvest of wild dandelions - the key ingredient for the longtime local tradition of dandelion wine.

"Every bypath in the county and many of the fields were dotted yesterday with dandelion pickers, many of them returning home with huge baskets filed with the blooms," the Intelligencer reported.

Of course, the paper said, anyone who was asked about the harvest was quick to declare that they were simply "fond of dandelion salad - that's all."

In the headlines:

Mexican rebels fail to locate Carranza

Germany assessed huge sum for damages

Check out the May 17, 1920, Lancaster Intelligencer here.