Candy and Fudge and Elephants… Oh My!

Candy, candy, candy… oh, wait, fudge too? And elephants? And an enchanted forest? Who knew an outing to Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium would be an adventure the whole family could love? In fact, that’s their main goal! I recently sat down with Nicole Bucher, co-owner of Mister Ed’s along with her husband Isaac, to get a little history!

It all started 50 years ago with a wedding gift from Mister Ed’s sister-in-law. It was a simple elephant and while he found it strange, she was quick to assure Mister Ed that it was meant for good luck. While on the honeymoon in Williamsburg, Virginia, his fascination with this pachyderm began to blossom and he purchased a few more. Before he knew it, the collection had grown to mammoth proportions, purchasing another everywhere he went. Miss Pat, Mister Ed’s wife, reached a limit when their home was overrun with the collection and told him he needed to find a place to keep his treasures. At the time, Mister Ed was working as a store manager at a Giant Foods in Virginia and thought it was the right time to become his own boss. After a few businesses including some restaurants, they decided a move to Pennsylvania was in order. It was 1975 when that they opened Mister Ed’s: The Territory’s Most Unusual General Store located just down the road from its current location. 9 years later, they moved the store to where it currently stands. While elephants had always been a part of the experience, they didn’t become the focus until the move. At that time, the combination of elephants and candy made for a truly unique destination, perfect for the whole family to enjoy. Over the years, the business has adapted to become what customers want, a wholesome environment for children to dream and explore.

Three years ago, Nicole and Isaac purchased the business of which they’d been a part for a decade. Since then, business has boomed. They’ve added a variety of items to the store, most notably, in my opinion, the truffle case. I can say from personal experience that these are by far the most delectable, mouth-watering truffles I’ve ever sampled and with the most unique varieties. With lots of liqueur flavors including amaretto and champagne, fruit flavors such as cherry and orange, the most popular flavor, hazelnut and a wide variety of white, milk and dark chocolate, it would be impossible not to find a flavor you love.

When you go in the shop, the elephants and sheer volume and variety of candy are admittedly the first thing you see, but their biggest seller is what’s kept behind the counter. That’s right… the fudge. With over 100 varieties, they produce between 1,000-2,000 pounds per week. That’s not a typo… per week! And the crazy part is that it’s all made on property. Cheryl, their fudge master and creator, uses two mechanized machines, which enable her to make 72 pounds of fudge per hour. The fudge is proudly sold all over Gettysburg and is made with only the finest ingredients. All of the cream comes from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia based dairy farms, making them one of the few Pennsylvania Preferred fudge manufacturers.

I asked Nicole what trends she’s seen over the last few years and while I expected the answer to be candy buffets, it’s not. The growing trend is a shift from candy buffets back to individually boxed favors. For this, they offer both fudge and truffles, which are, in most cases, more economical than creating a candy buffet from scratch. “The fudge and truffles have a bigger ‘wow’ factor,” remarked Nicole. “They’re more elegant.”

I asked what the best sellers are and “Fudge!” was the answer without hesitate. Specifically, peanut butter fudge. After that, Goetz caramel creams and root beer barrels come in second and third.

In regards to the most rewarding part of the job, it’s when they can make a personal connection with someone and help to bring joy to a family. “For us, it’s the warm fuzzy. We want to take people back to a time where you can have fun without technology and connect the generations.”

My favorite part of our conversation was a story she told me about how the community rallied behind them when the building burned down on July 5, 2010. They lost over 2,000 elephants, but they received tremendous support from our community and in one afternoon, they had over 100 volunteers gathered together, scrubbing fire damaged elephants with toothbrushes. The community also began donating elephants to help replace and rebuild the museum displays. Today, they have over 25,000 total.

And as if everything they offer weren’t enough, each year they host an enormous Easter egg hunt, summer music in the gazebo, a Great Pumpkin Party and Santa’s arrival. The events are always free and are always geared for children. Look for changes in the coming years to include both the addition of peanut brittle, Nicole’s specialty, as well as a new collection in Miss Pat’s Teapot Museum! I can’t wait to see what they’ll think of next!

Keep up to date with all things Mister Ed’s by following them on Facebook.

Sips of the Susquehanna

signature-drink2One Lincoln, Gettysburg’s Award Winning signature restaurant, has joined forces with Susquehanna Style Magazine to bring you Sips of the Susquehanna and the Old Chai-Town Signature Cocktail for the month of September. Eight restaurants throughout the Susquehanna Valley have been selected to create custom cocktails perfectly fashioned to bring you into the delicious tastes of autumn.

Peter Bales, One Lincoln’s Restaurant Manager and Mixologist, was inspired by the old world location of the restaurant in downtown Gettysburg and wanted to create a chai tea based cocktail. Prior to the emergence of the ‘modern cocktail’ in the 1920’s using hard liquor, tea was use as the base for cocktails. These originated in Japan, but here in the states, we used tea in alcoholic beverages, mainly in punches for grand balls.

One Lincoln was given a Nolet aging barrel by Diageo and Peter used it combined with Nolet’s award winning gin to create the base for this seasonal favorite. The gin has natural floral hints in its flavor, but when aged, it takes on the oaky quality of the barrel. The range of flavors can vary widely because each barrel is unique. Diageo provided a few cocktail ideas, including mixing it with tea, and Peter ran with it!

He starts by steeping the chai tea, then boils it with honey, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger root and bitters to infuse the flavors. Once brewed, he mixes the tea with the aged gin and shakes it to wake up the fall flavors.

Here’s how to enjoy this beverage on the Sips of the Susquehanna Tour for the month of September.

  • Start by picking up a copy of Susquehanna Style Magazine at your local Magazine Stand
  • Take the Sips of the Susquehanna Passport (found inside the magazine) and visit three of the participating businesses and request to have it “stamped”.
  • Return the completed Passport postcard to Susquehanna Style by United States mail. Entries must be postmarked on or before October 8, 2016.

You will then be entered for a chance to win gift cards to the participating locations!

Gettysburg Weekend Roundup, November 8 – 10

The weekend is here! If you’re ready to kick off and enjoy yourself, I have the latest roundup of special events, art exhibitions, and more. As always, if you attend any of these events, drop me a note in the comments and let me know how it was.

Friday, November 8
Boy Scout Memorabilia at Civil War MuseumThrough December 31, visitors to the Museum Complex will get a chance to view some Boy Scout memorabilia on loan from Andrew Chernak, including uniforms and insignia over the lifetime of the organization and 50th and 75th Anniversary memorabilia from the Battle on loan from local collector David Loose. he museum is opening daily through the end of December, 9am – 5pm. Admission is $6.95 for adults and $3.95 for youth (6 – 17). Children aged five and under get free admission.

Vietnam Era Helicopters on Display
Three Vietnam Era helicopters are on display at the Outlets at Gettysburg through Saturday, November 9.

Eisenhower in Gettysburg Gettysburg’s claim to fame is not just the Civil War. Join us for a weekend focusing on President Eisenhower in Gettysburg.

Learn about Camp Colt and the World War I tank training camp that first brought Eisenhower to Gettysburg. Visit the Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College, tour the Eisenhower home, and ;earn about the world leaders who visited Ike on the farm in Gettysburg including Khrushchev and De Gaulle.

The seminar will be lead by Gerry Eak, Historian; Retired Judge, State of New Jersey; U.S Regular Army Veteran, Former Capt., Judge Advocate General’s Corps; Former Adjunct Assistant Professor, Ocean County College(NJ).

Tickets are $75.

Saturday, November 9
Eisenhower in Gettysburg Gettysburg’s claim to fame is not just the Civil War. Join us for a weekend focusing on President Eisenhower in Gettysburg.

Learn about Camp Colt and the World War I tank training camp that first brought Eisenhower to Gettysburg. Visit the Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College, tour the Eisenhower home, and ;earn about the world leaders who visited Ike on the farm in Gettysburg including Khrushchev and De Gaulle.

The seminar will be lead by Gerry Eak, Historian; Retired Judge, State of New Jersey; U.S Regular Army Veteran, Former Capt., Judge Advocate General’s Corps; Former Adjunct Assistant Professor, Ocean County College(NJ).

Tickets are $75.

Sunday, November 10
The Gettysburg Seminary Ridge Museum will present “The Civil War and America’s Culture of Death,” part of the museum’s new History Conversations Film Series (in partnership with WITF) at 1pm in the Valentine Hall Auditorium (next door to the museum). Suggested donation is $5, and advance tickets are here.

Thanksgiving Day at the Gettysburg Hotel

Thanksgiving will be here before you know it — and that marks the return of the annual Thanksgiving Day Buffet at the Gettyburg Hotel. It’s the full traditional Thanksgiving feast with all the side dishes, desserts, and fixings that make Thanksgiving, well, Thanksgiving.

What You Need To Know

Thanksgiving Buffet
11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Adults: $30.00 per person
Seniors: $27.00 per person
Children 12 and under: $14.95 per person
Children 4 and under: FREE
(Price Excludes Tax & Gratuity)
• Reservations Required • Call 717.337.2000

For those of you who’d prefer to dine a la carte, you can view One Lincoln‘s special Thanksgiving menu here

Gettysburg Weekend Roundup, October 18 – 20

The weekend is here! If you’re ready to kick off and enjoy yourself, I have the latest roundup of special events, art exhibitions, and more. As always, if you attend any of these events, drop me a note in the comments and let me know how it was.

Friday, October 18
Round Barn of Terror At 7:00 pm every Friday and Saturday in October, the second floor of the Historic Round Barn & Market (2988 Cashtown Road, Biglerville) transforms into a haunted house with a different non-profit organization volunteering their haunting and scaring skills. Tickets are $10 and include a bonfire and outdoor movie theater (weather permitting).

Book Swap
Pages of the Past Bookstore (13 Baltimore Street)is hosting its very first book swap. Tonight’s theme is history, so bring a book that relates to history and your story about why it’s a favorite for you. $20 ticket includes light refreshments, prizes, conversation with other book lovers — and a chance to browse the stacks after hours. Call 717.334.0572 for reservations since space is limited.

Saturday, October 12
Round Barn of Terror Round Barn of Terror At 7:00 pm every Friday and Saturday in October, the second floor of the Historic Round Barn & Market (2988 Cashtown Road, Biglerville) transforms into a haunted house with a different non-profit organization volunteering their haunting and scaring skills. Tickets are $10 and include a bonfire and outdoor movie theater (weather permitting).

Concordia Youth Chorale Concert Join the Gettysburg Foundation for a concert performance at the Lincoln Statue near the entrance to the Gettysburg Visitor Center. Concert is scheduled for 11:30a – 11:45a, so stop by on your way to other spots around the battlefield.

Sunday, October 20
Gettysburg Blue-Gray Half Marathon and 5k
In keeping with the theme that was initiated by the Gettysburg North-South Marathon, this half marathon strives to put a different spin on the same idea. We want to have the North and South battle on the roads of Gettysburg 150 years after the historic battle that defined the future of a young nation. Runners from North and South will compete again under Blue and Gray flags. Cheer on your favorite runner!

Visit the Pages of the Past Bookstore & Take A Greeting Card Workshop

I’ve written about the Pages of the Past Bookstore before — and for good reason. It’s a real treasure right here in Gettysburg, especially for those out there who have a healthy appetite for reading. Spending hours and hours picking through the shelves of a bookstore is a fine way to spend an afternoon.

Greeting Card Workshop, Pages of the Past

As part of the Girlfriends series of events, Pages of the Past is hosting a greeting card workshop tomorrow at 10am. Workshop attendees will enjoy making several cards using different rubber stamping techniques and tools, led by Julie Cade. Learn how to layer papers and include embellishments to add visual interest and a touch of flair to your cards.

The cost of the workshop is $15 and covers the cost of materials and instruction. Space is limited and reservations are required, so call 717.334.0572 or email to sign up as soon as you can.

And while you’re there, browse the shelves. You’ll find lots of titles covering history by local authors in both non-fiction and fiction. Whenever I stop in, I always leave with something new. Always.

Pages of the Past is open for business every day except for Monday and Tuesday. Business hours are Wednesday and Thursday from 10am to 6pm, Friday and Saturday from 10am to 8pm, and Sunday from noon to 5pm. Gift certificates are available and major credit cards are accepted.

Photo courtesy of the Pages of the Past Facebook page

Gettysburg Weekend Roundup, October 11 – 13

Gettysburg

Happy Friday!

I don’t know about you, but this rain is definitely starting to wearing me down — and it looks like it’s going to be a soggy weekend. That said, there’s some really great events happening here in the area so get out there and have some fun. As always, if you make it out to one of these events, drop a comment below and let me know how it was.

Friday, October 11
Round Barn of Terror At 7:00 pm every Friday and Saturday in October, the second floor of the Historic Round Barn & Market (2988 Cashtown Road, Biglerville) transforms into a haunted house with a different non-profit organization volunteering their haunting and scaring skills. Tickets are $10 and include a bonfire and outdoor movie theater (weather permitting).

Midnight Orphanage Tour
Ghostly Images of Gettysburg, 777 Baltimore Street. Tour starts at 10:45 pm (every Friday, through November 1st). The content may not be suitable for children under 10, so, parents, use discretion. Tickets are $13.

Saturday, October 12
Round Barn of Terror Round Barn of Terror At 7:00 pm every Friday and Saturday in October, the second floor of the Historic Round Barn & Market (2988 Cashtown Road, Biglerville) transforms into a haunted house with a different non-profit organization volunteering their haunting and scaring skills. Tickets are $10 and include a bonfire and outdoor movie theater (weather permitting).

Summer Concert Series Extension Celebrate the apple harvest with live music from Shelley McCarthy at Reid’s Orchard Winery, 2135 Buchanan Valley Road, Orrtanna, from 2 pm – 5 pm. Wine and sangria available for purchase until 6pm. Call 717-677-7047 for more information.

49th Annual National Apple Harvest Festival
Held during the first two full weekends in October right here in Adams County at the South Mountain Fairgrounds, the National Apple Harvest Festival has been celebrating great food, music and handcrafted wares for forty-nine years. Rain or shine. General admission, $9. Children under 12 are free. Full schedule of events can be found here.

Sunday, October 13
Kirk Wise of Jazz Me Celebrate the apple harvest with live music from Kirk Wise at Reid’s Orchard Winery, 2135 Buchanan Valley Road, Orrtanna, from 2 pm – 5 pm. Wine and sangria available for purchase until 6pm. Call 717-677-7047 for more information.

Boy Scout Memorabilia at Civil War MuseumThrough December 31, visitors to the Museum Complex will get a chance to view some Boy Scout memorabilia on loan from Andrew Chernak, including uniforms and insignia over the lifetime of the organization and 50th and 75th Anniversary memorabilia from the Battle on loan from local collector David Loose. he museum is opening daily through the end of December, 9am – 5pm. Admission is $6.95 for adults and $3.95 for youth (6 – 17). Children aged five and under get free admission.

Dancing with the Vines at Hauser Estate Winery

Do you like to dance? Or have you been looking for a place to take lessons, but you’ve come up empty?

Hauser Estate Winery‘s Dancing with the Vines could be just the thing for you. Located just eight miles from downtown Gettysburg, the winery boasts some pretty spectacular views from its glass-enclosed tasting room overlooking over over 170 acres of grapevines, orchards, farmland and rolling woodland. This monthly event will give introduce you to a new dance — and there’s wine and cider, too.

This month’s Dancing with the Wines will showcase the waltz, beginning at 6pm on October 9th. The first hour is a casual reception with lessons beginning at 7pm. Cost is $5/person or $8/couple.

What You Need To Know

What: Dancing with the Vines
Where: Hauser Estate Winery, 410 Cashtown Road, Biglerville
When: October 9, 6pm – 9pm

For more information, visit the Hauser Estate website or call 717.334.4888.

5 Things To Do in Gettysburg During the Shutdown

By now, you’ve heard about the government shutdown. Furloughs have affected the National Military Park, Eisenhower National Historic Site and David Wills House, though there are some modified tours of the battlefield available.

But let’s look for the silver lining in the midst of all this uncertainty.

If you’re visiting Gettysburg — a day, a long weekend, or even a full week –, there are lots of opportunities to shop, eat, and simply relax. We have farmers’ markets, wineries, orchards, art galleries, and some truly exceptional restaurants. You can enjoy theater productions, concerts, or head out to one of the area’s award-winning golf courses.

Without further ado, here are my five picks for things to do during the government shutdown:

Visit the Schmucker Art Gallery at Gettysburg College
The 1600 square-foot Schmucker Art Gallery is a lively art space that displays seven to eight different exhibitions each year. Included in the gallery calendar are shows by local, national, and international contemporary artists, a faculty exhibition, a student exhibition, the annual senior art major show, and traveling exhibits of works selected from public and private collections. Melissa Ichiuji’s exhibit currently hanging is exceptional.

Browse the stacks at Pages of the Past Bookstore
Pages of the Past is a history bookstore that carries an extensive collection of history titles ranging from Ancient studies to 20th century. There is an excellent selection of Civil War and American History along with historical fiction titles and history books for all ages. We also carry a large assortment of gift items, including handmade greeting cards, candles, puzzles, maps and posters.

Catch a show at the Majestic Theater
Built by Henry Scharf as an annex to the historic Gettysburg Hotel, the theater seats 1,200 and has proudly served as the cultural crossroads of commerce, college, and community for more than eighty years. You can view the complete calendar here. There’s some fantastic performances coming up.

Hit the trails at Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve
Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve and Environmental Center is a non-profit education and conservation organization located on 609 acres in the beautiful foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I especially love exploring at this time of year with my camera in hand. In a few weeks, the foliage will be spectacular.

Enjoy a cocktail, conversation and modern American cuisine at One Lincoln
The newly renovated signature restaurant at the Gettysburg Hotel, One Lincoln. Chef Joseph Holmes calls his fare “casual comfort,” but you can be sure that it’s going to be a memorable meal, no matter what you call it. If you’re around for a First Friday, stop by for cocktail and appetizer specials.

49th National Apple Harvest Festival is Here!

It’s here! It’s here! The National Apple Harvest Festival is here!

apple_harvest

Held during the first two full weekends in October right here in Adams County at the South Mountain Fairgrounds, the National Apple Harvest Festival has been celebrating great food, music and handcrafted wares for forty-nine years. It’s a lovely ride through farmland and local apple orchards from Gettysburg (just ten miles!) to the fairgrounds, and a great way to spend a weekend in October.

General admission is just $9 (includes parking and shuttle bus or wagon service to the festival grounds) and you get to enjoy all these attractions and more.

  • 300+ Arts and Crafts Vendors
  • Antique and Classic Cars
  • Antique Cider Press
  • Antique Farm Equipment
  • Antique Gas Engines
  • Antique Shingle Mill
  • Apple Art
  • Apple Jellies
  • Apple Pancake Patio
  • Apple Syrup Making
  • Applesauce and Peeler
  • Candied Apples
  • Chainsaw Carving
  • Chicken Barbeque
  • Country Sausage & Ham
  • Free Live Entertainment
  • French Fried Sweet Potatoes
  • Gallery/Apple Memorabilia


This is a rain or shine event, 8am to 6pm, so pack accordingly.

Highlights for this weekend’s events include:

STROLLING: TOM  JOLIN (Hammer Dulcimer, Accordian & More) • JENNY JUMBLES the Clown • TOPPER the Clown • PAST TIME HARMONAIRES (Barbershop Quartet)
AH CHARACTERS: Johnny Appleseed, Mr. Apple, Honeybee
KIDS’ ACTIVITIES: KID COUNTRY BUILDING • Apple Magic – Old Fashioned Games – Face Painting • APPLE FLUME & Pie Eating Contests (rear of Kid Country)
PETTING ZOO BUILDING: CowJazz & Chicken Karaoke –  Kids’ Craft Corner – Petting Zoo • Music, Movement & More
EXHIBITION AREA: NATIVE AMERICAN DANCERS – Show Times: 11:30AM, 2:30PM & 4:00PM • VAN WAGNER’S TALL TIMBER “LUMBER HERITAGE” PROGRAM – Show Times: 9:45AM, 12:45PM & 3:30PM
DEMO AREA: APPALACHIAN ARTS STUDIO featuring – Chainsaw Carving & Pottery Making
SHINGLE MILL: Shows throughout the Day
ANTIQUE AUTO AWARDS: (Visit Antique Auto Tent to Vote for your Favorite) • Awards-2:45PM

Photo courtesy of mcmmbr on Flickr.