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Hanover PA Historic DistrictHanover, PA history begins in the 1730s when a thoughtful entrepreneur opened a combination tavern, inn, and store at the crossroads of the highways between Pennsylvania and Maryland and between Baltimore and Carlisle. In 1763, that entrepreneur, Richard McAllister, established a town surrounding his tavern and it didn't take long for settlers to arrive. 

In 1852, the first railroad reached the town and helped Hanover to grow even more. Throughout the remainder of the 1800s and into the 1900s, Hanover continued to expand and prosper. Today, this central area of Hanover is now called the Hanover Historic District and more than 3,000 buildings and sites have been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Hanover PA Historic Homes

Many of the individual buildings that make up the Hanover PA Historic District are homes and residential areas. One of the oldest homes in the area, the George Neas House on West Chestnut Street, has been acquired by the Hanover Area Historical Society and restored to closely match it's original 1780s appearance and features a number of artifacts and a cookbook from that era.

Most of the historic homes in Hanover PA are still lived in today. The majority were built from around 1870 to 1919 and feature Queen Anne and Colonial Revival architecture styles. Mixed in with these, you'll also find the occasional row home, Romanesque style, and Pennsylvania German style. Homes in the area were torn down, built, and rebuilt as the community needed them over the years so it's not uncommon to see houses from several different eras all sharing the same block.

Places to See in Historic Hanover PA

Along with the historically significant homes in the area, Hanover, PA is home to a number of historical sites and important places. Here are a few that make the top of the list.

  • Union Station. Located at 235 Railroad Street, Union Station was built in 1892 and is an important representation of an elegant passenger station at that time. 
  • Hanover Shoe Store. One of the rare examples of the Art Deco style in the Hanover Historic District, the Hanover Shoe Store is located at 5 Center Square and was a retail outlet for shoes produced in the local Hanover Shoe Company facility.
  • Hanover Steam Fire Engine Company. Although the building located at 118 Chestnut Street now serves as a residential apartment building, from the outside you can still see the old 1914 fire station construction and the lookout tower is still intact. 
  • B&O Railroad Freight Car. Once of the few objects to be placed on the registry, the freight car is permanently kept at 112 Fulton Street and is in the process of being fully restored.

Hanover's Future

Hanover, Pennsylvania has been a part of our nation's history from its earliest years and will continue to be a great place to work and to call home. To learn more about living in historic Hanover, review our list of the current Hanover, PA homes for sale. Contact Homesale Realty today for helping finding a home in Hanover.


Hanover, PA is known as the Snack Food Capital of the World--and for good reason. It is home to two of the most delicious names in the industry including Utz Quality Foods and Snyder's of Hanover. Besides providing tasty treats, these businesses have been a part of Hanover's history from the very beginning by attracting new residents, providing jobs, and giving back to the community to make Hanover a great place to live.

Where It All Began
With access to vast amounts of fresh produce from the fertile Susquehanna River Valley and a stash of German pretzel and dessert recipes from the Pennsylvania Dutch, opening a snack food company was relatively easy and affordable in the Hanover area in the early 1900s. Several companies started up, many merged, and some closed down. Snyder's and Utz are two of the biggest that are still in operation today.

Snyders of Hanover PretzelsSnyder's of Hanover
Founded in 1909, Snyder's of Hanover was originally called Hanover Canning Company.  The company became Snyder's Bakery in the 1920s and produced a variety of items from snacks to cakes to pasta. It wasn't until the 1960s, after the company had experienced a few tragedies and had changed hands several times, that the recipe for the Sourdough Hard Pretzel was developed. In the 1980s, the company branched out its operations and the Snyder's of Hanover snack operation as we know it today was born. Snyder's merged with Lance, Inc. in 2010 to become one of the biggest snack food companies in the U.S.

Utz Snacks Potato Chips HanoverUtz Quality Foods
Right alongside the Snyder family, in the 1920s, William and Salie Utz were producing potato chips in kitchen of their summer home under the name "Hanover Home Brand". In the 1930s, the facilities were expanded when they built on to the back of their home to include a factory. A few years later a modern manufacturing facility was built across town. The brand was changed to "Utz" in the late forties, and the Carlisle Street plant was purchased.  The Broadway plant and the High Street plant were both added in the 1970s and in the 1980s production expanded to include popcorn, corn chips and cheese curls. The latest facility, the Kindig Lane plant, was opened in 2003. Today, Utz is the largest independently held snack company in the U.S.

Things to Do in Hanover PA: Factory Tours

Both companies offer free tours for anyone looking for things to do in Hanover PA. Snyder's of Hanover gives a history of their fast-paced facility at the 1350 York Street building. The guided tour begins in the warehouse of raw foods, travels through the finished goods warehouse, and then on to the oven room where the smells can be intoxicating. The Utz factory has a special observation gallery that walks through the process from beginning to end. The tour is unguided, so feel free to take your time. Of the many things to do in Hanover PA, these tours are family favorites and are revisited often by Hanover residents.

Snyder's of Hanover and Utz have been supporting the community of Hanover for more than a century. In the very beginning, each company kept local farmers and tradesmen in business. Today, close to 5,000 local, full-time jobs are provided along with many more from shipping and distribution, and the boost to the local economy from the employees earning good wages. Both companies also contribute to local charities to keep the community strong making Hanover a great place to call home.

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