Hershey History

Meet Milton S. Hershey
20 or 50 minutes
Explore Milton Hershey‘s life from his early impoverished beginnings to his ultimate success with the Hershey Chocolate Company. His belief in sharing his wealth and using it to benefit others led him to build a modern chocolate factory and a model industrial town for his workers. Creating and developing the town and establishing a school for orphan children would be the focus of the rest of his life.

Milton Hershey and his Enduring Legacy
45 minutes
Learn how Milton Hershey overcame an impoverished childhood and built successful businesses, a thriving model industrial town and devoted his wealth to helping underprivileged children. Since his death, his legacy has not only continued but has grown and thrived. Learn more how Milton Hershey‘s values and legacy have shaped the businesses and community he founded.

Before There Was Hershey: Milton Hershey and Lancaster
15-30 minutes
Explore Milton Hershey‘s life before he became a household name. As an apprentice, Milton Hershey learned he had a talent for candy-making. Trace his growth from apprentice to successful entrepreneur, all before he founded a model town that bears his name.

History of The Hotel Hershey
45 minutes
The Hotel Hershey was constructed as part of Milton Hershey‘s “great building campaign” during the 1930s. Explore the rich history of The Hotel Hershey, its unique architectural details, celebrity guests and its unique role in American history.

Hershey, Cuba
45 minutes
Learn the surprising story of Milton Hershey‘s second model town: Hershey, Cuba. Between 1916 and 1946, Milton Hershey acquired over 60,000 acres of sugar plantations, built a modern sugar mill, an extensive railway system, and a unique model town for his workers in Cuba.

Serving the Nation: Hershey During World War II
20 minutes
World War II called Americans to serve in the military and on the homefront. Learn more how Hershey Chocolate Company supported the war effort with specially formulated chocolates; how The Hotel Hershey served as an elegant prison for some of the nation‘s political prisoners, and how local residents supported the war effort.

Hershey Gardens: A Historical Overview
45 minutes
Milton Hershey loved gardens and worked to create a horticultural legacy. Learn more about how beautiful landscaping and gardens were a part of Hershey‘s earliest plans for his community. Explore the origins of the Hershey Rose Garden and its evolution from “a nice garden of roses” to the beautiful 23-acre botanical garden visitors enjoy today.

History of Hershey Theatre
30 minutes
Built during the 1930s, Hershey Theatre was a dream of Milton Hershey‘s for many years. Learn more about this community jewel: its history, architecture, and the stories behind some of the many famous performers who have "trod the boards.”

From Model Town to Popular Destination: The History of Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company
45 minutes
Trace the origins and development of the company first charged with managing and maintaining Milton Hershey‘s model town. Learn more about all the businesses created by Milton Hershey to manage his town and the company‘s transformation to an entertainment- and resort-focused business.

Hershey Community Archives: The Archives‘ Collection and the Stories They Tell
50 minutes
Explore Hershey‘s rich history through some of the many materials found in the Archives‘ collections. See rarely-seen photographs, historic maps, business records and historic product packaging.

What is The M.S. Hershey Foundation?
15 minutes
Milton Hershey established The M.S. Hershey Foundation in 1935 to provide cultural and educational enrichment opportunities in Derry Township. Since its founding, the Foundation has served the community in a variety of ways. Learn more about the Foundation and how it continues to enrich the lives of Hershey residents and visitors.

The Hershey Entities: Understanding the Distinctions and Connections
15 minutes
Collectively known as the “Hershey Entities,” learn about the organizations founded by Milton Hershey: The Hershey Company; Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company; Hershey Trust Company; Milton Hershey School; and The M.S. Hershey Foundation. Discover the distinctions between the entities, how the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is connected, and how the entities work together to create “The Hershey Idea.”

Milton S. Hershey as a Strategic Thinker
30-45 minutes
Milton Hershey‘s successful community, businesses and philanthropies were no accident. They were the result of his careful planning and strategic thought process. Learn how world events helped to shape his timeline, but not change his intent.

Hershey: The Cultural Hub of Central Pennsylvania
45 minutes
In building his town, Milton Hershey provided cultural and educational amenities unusual for such a small community. Learn about the thinking behind his decisions, and the history of some of the cultural attractions available to both Hershey residents and visitors, including Hershey Theatre, Hershey Museum and Hershey Gardens.