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Elizabethtown’s History in New Book told through images: Release scheduled for June 1

Jun 1st, 2015 | By | Category: Features, Lead Article

The book by local author Jean-Paul Benowitz is set to release on June 1, 2015. The book includes 200 vintage images, many of which have never been published, and showcases memories of days gone by.

Settled in 1708 and incorporated as a borough in 1827, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, is located five miles from the Susquehanna River in Lancaster County, 20 miles from both the county seat Lancaster City, to the east, and Harrisburg, the state capital, to the west. With its Old Peter’s Road, Elizabethtown played an important role in the westward expansion of the nation during the 18th and 19th centuries. Construction on the first railroad began in 1834, and Elizabethtown remains a strategic stop on the Amtrak Keystone line between Harrisburg and Philadelphia.

Along with its proximity to Hershey, Pennsylvania, Elizabethtown has been home to a Mars, Inc., confectionery plant since 1970 (formerly Klein’s Chocolate Company, incorporated in 1914). Elizabethtown College was founded in 1899, and the Masonic Village followed in 1910. The Pennsylvania State Hospital for Crippled Children opened in 1929, later becoming the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Training Academy in 1991.

Highlights of Elizabethtown include:

  • Elizabethtown played an important role in developing the ports of Philadelphia and Baltimore in Colonial America.
  • Elizabethtown is a key community for the Historic Peace Churches: Mennonites, Church of the Brethren, and Amish.
  • Elizabethtown played a significant role in the turnpike and railroad history in Pennsylvania.

Available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at (888)-313-2665 or online.


About the author:

For many years, Jean-Paul Benowitz has been on the faculty at Elizabethtown College, teaching in the Departments of History, Religious Studies, and for the Women and Gender program. He is currently the Director of Student Transitional Programs and Assistant Director of Academic Advising. He is also faculty advisor for the Liberal Arts Residence Living Learning Community in Myer Residence Hall. He earned his BS in History at Eastern Mennonite University where he wrote his senior thesis on the history of Horse and Buggy Mennonites of Virginia. He earned his MA in History at Millersville University where he wrote his MA thesis on the history of the Horse and Buggy Mennonites of Pennsylvania. He was a scholar in residence at the college’s Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies. Jean-Paul is a PhD candidate at Temple University. His dissertation is a biography of U. S. Congressman James Wadsworth Symington (D-MO).

Much of Jean-Paul’s scholarship, published works, and public presentations have focused on Twentieth Century American political history, particularly presidential studies and international relations. Each fall and spring semester, Jean-Paul teaches a first year seminar entitled “Discovery: America Now,” an interdisciplinary approach to the study of America’s heritage and the distinguishing features of the American mind and character. In essence this is an introduction to the academic field of American Studies. Each fall and spring semester, Jean-Paul teaches a first year seminar on the local history of Pennsylvania, Lancaster County, Elizabethtown Borough, and Elizabethtown College entitled “Landmarks and Legends: Learning Local History.” Jean-Paul enjoys hiking, especially the Appalachian Trail, bicycling, and running. He has entered many 5K and 10K races and has competed in marathons, half marathons, duathlons, bicycling races. Jean-Paul and his wife Amy have traveled extensively throughout the United States and abroad.

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