This Century-Old Map of Hershey Headquarters Is Pretty Sweet

Because I take the elementary school-approach to Valentine's Day—sweets for all!—the Hershey Company, one of America's oldest chocolate-makers, tends to supply me. They're responsible for an astoundingly long list of choco-varietals manufactured on the cheap (probably thanks to their high butyric acid content, which stabilizes milk fermentation... and also gives human vomit its recognizable smell). And their candy is still made largely in the town of Hershey, Pennsylvania.

While putting off my annual chocolate run to CVS, I encountered a set of Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of Hershey Co.'s eponymous town, also known as "Chocolatetown, USA," circa 1915. (For more on the significance of Sanborn Maps, see Tanvi Misra's October 2014 post.)

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Hershey, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. (Library of Congress)

If you've ever been to Hershey, you'll notice that not much has really changed in the past 100 years. With the additions of a theme park, zoo, and resort, Hershey has just grown into its truest self: A town about candy. Witness a place where the streets are named for chocolate (and cocoa-exporting locales), a chewing gum factory is within spitting distance from the train tracks, and a room in one of the company's buildings is dedicated to the art of "kiss moulding." 

Two insets from Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps from Hershey, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. (Library of Congress)

For more vintage views of Hershey, hit the Library of Congress. And have a mappy Valentine's Day.

By Laura Bliss (