Sep 25, 201208:49 AMDaily News
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Mt. Holly Springs features small-town charm
When I lived in Boiling Springs for a year, I frequented the Amelia S. Givin Library just down the road in Mt. Holly Springs because it was the closest library and has a great selection of reading material.
It’s an old, impressive structure with a castle-like front and wooden floors and ornate woodwork. After picking out my books, I would head out of town, stop at Sheetz and make my way home. Little did I know the small Borough of Mt. Holly has so much more to offer than the library.
When I visited recently, I came in from the north on Route 34 and drove straight through the town on Baltimore Avenue.
Mt. Holly Springs is a great little town with mom and pop shops—a family dentistry is in an old house along the main street—and homes throughout are within walking distance of stores and restaurants. I didn’t venture in, but Cassell’s Grille at the south end of town looks very nice with its outdoor seating up on a slight hill.
Of course, my first stop was the library. I’m not a bookworm by any stretch, but this building is really cool.
The brownstone structure was built in 1889 and expanded in 1989. The side facing Baltimore Avenue is circa 1889, with its Romanesque architecture. Step inside the front doors and the wood floors creak as you approach the large desk with a fireplace behind it. Computers and magazines seem out of place in this hall of history, but it makes it a unique and fun visit. In the back is the expansion with racks of books and DVDs.
I talked with a patron about the town and was advised to check out In Your Attic Antique & Collectibles Consignments. The store is new to town but features an expansive website for buying and selling various items.
As luck would have it (this seems to be a recurring theme when I visit towns), the store was closed. I peered inside at the assortment of old stuff and thought it reminded me of something on American Pickers. I wish it had been open, but the website has plenty of items and information on how to buy and sell antiques and collectibles.
Next door is Redeemed Books & Gifts, a Christian book, gift and thrift store that is run solely by volunteers. Profits raised at the store go to various missions and families in need. Redeemed Books sells everything from books to shirts to CDs, DVDs and Bibles. It also offers a thrift store with very low prices on an assortment of items. Currently the store is running a bag sale that allows customers to fill a bag with the thrift store items and buy it for just $2.
I crossed Baltimore Avenue to the Family Dollar Store, which is also fairly new to the area and set up in an old supermarket. It features everything from detergent to clothing to Halloween decorations to food—all priced very low.
I wandered down Baltimore Avenue and crossed to the Holly Pharmacy. Similar to Hummelstown’s Rhoades Pharmacy, this is a small-town, family-owned place that sells decorations, candles, cards and plenty of medicine.
At the middle of it all is the pharmacy, but just beyond the medicine counter is something worth popping in for no matter your prescription needs—an old-fashioned soda bar with three old booths and tables. Per the recommendation of a friend, I got an ice cream float and then wandered the aisles of the store. There were walls of hunting and outdoor-themed decorations, including some lighters designed to look like guns.
There was pottery with town names such as Boiling Springs and Carlisle, and Penn State, Eagles and Steelers merchandise. It was a cool place full of random knick-knacks.
When I left the pharmacy, I drove south on Baltimore Avenue past the Holly Inn, which has been around since 1804 and boasts a tavern and restaurant. The hotel was built after travelers would pass through and stop off at a log tavern that used reside at the site.
Now the inn has various events, like bike nights, dancing or karaoke, and is still a hot spot for travelers visiting Carlisle, Gettysburg or the surrounding area.
Just south of town is the Holly Marsh Preserve, a 913-acre area that offers trails and places to fish. It was quiet and peaceful when I drove through briefly, and it looked like a great place for outdoors fans.
I turned around and headed back northeast. I would like to return for dinner at Cassell’s Grille or Holly Inn sometime and see what they have to offer. And no doubt, I’ll return to the pharmacy and enjoy another float.
Kurt Bopp is assistant editor/web for Central Penn Parent. He was able to resist the temptation to buy any of the Penn State merchandise at Holly Pharmacy.