Chocolate Park by Wib Davis   Submitted by Joan Bittner Fry

This article appeared in the July 30, 1977 edition of The Record Herald, Waynesboro, PA.

Remember Blue Mountain Chocolates?

The Cascade area-based candy factory was operated by the B. R. Summers family. The chocolate factory came into existence in 1920 after Summers’ two sons, Harris and Walter, came home from the Army at the end of World War I.

A German candy maker by the name of Jensen operated a boarding house near the lower gate of Camp Ritchie. He also made candy in the kitchen of his place. Jensen’s confections were sold in Waynesboro at the Clarence Croft Drug Store in Center Square.

The Summers brothers got interested in the candy business and persuaded their father to sell his coal feed and grain business and finance their venture. The elder Summers sold his business to W. B. Thompson. Summers also sold his fruit farm near Quincy.

The Summers trio purchased Jensen’s candy recipes and in 1920 constructed a large brick building opposite the Jensen place to house their operation. The building was built at a cost of $50,000.

The candy was called Blue Mountain Chocolates and found a ready market in Waynesboro, Hagerstown, and as far away as Baltimore and Washington. Vacationers in the mountain area purchased much of the candy to take home to their friends. This spread the popularity of the candy. In Waynesboro the Croft Drug Store had the lone franchise.

Jensen stayed with the Summers family until they were entirely familiar with the business and then returned to Germany.

The factory’s busiest times were Valentine’s Day, Christmas, and Easter. The candy was kept in cold rooms until delivered to the dealers. The factory employed 20 to 25 people.

In the late 20s, a swimming pool and picnic area were added and named Chocolate Park.

The trolley tracks, connecting Pen Mar and Blue Ridge Summit ran close to the fence along one side of the pool. Walter Summers, a physical fitness buff, was the lifeguard. Holidays and weekends through the summer there were wall-to-wall people. During the summer season the candy factory had a roadside booth for the sale of confections.

The factory closed down in the fall of 1940 and John B. Eader took over the property for a shirt mill. The mill burned in 1941. The roadside booth was purchased by Joe Greenawalt and blossomed into a tavern and dance pavilion, retaining the name “Chocolate Park.” The tavern is still in operation.

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