Hanover is a borough in Pennsylvania with a population of about 16,000 in 2018. It was the site of the final encounter between the Union and Confederate States armies before they fought against each other in the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War. It has become known as the "Snack Food Capital of the World" because of establishment of several food manufacturing businesses there during the 20th century.
Hanover has been home to Utz Quality Foods since 1921 which still produces its products there, and to Snyder's of Hanover since 1905. There is an Utz outlet store. In nearby areas there are other snack food makers including Hanover Foods, Wolfgang Candy, Martin's Potato Chips, Hershey Foods, Herr's Snacks and Gibbles Potato Chips.
In 1727, John Digges, an Irish nobleman of Prince George's County, Maryland, obtained a grant of 10,000 acres (40 km2) of land where Hanover is now located from Charles Calvert, the fourth Lord Baltimore. The area was called Digges Choice, and in 1730, a group of Catholics started the settlement that became known as the Conewego Settlement. Settlers from Maryland and Pennsylvania began moving into the area in the 1730s.
In 1745, a Scot-Irishman named Richard McAllister purchased the tract of land upon which the town of Hanover was built. Hanover at that time was covered with a dense forest of hickory, walnut, and oak trees. McAllister erected a log house at what is now the corner of Baltimore and Middle streets, and opened a store and tavern. In 1763, McAllister divided his farm into lots and founded the town of Hanover. The name Hanover was suggested by Michael Tanner, who was one of the commissioners who laid out York County in 1749 and owned large tracts of land southeast of the town. Tanner was a native of Hannover, Germany.
Thomas Jefferson spent the night of April 12, 1776 at the Sign of the Horse, an inn, owned by Caspar Reinecker on Frederick Street. He was on his way from Monticello to Philadelphia to attend the first meeting of the Continental Congress, where on June 10 he would begin the draft the Declaration of Independence. At the time, Hanover was located at the crossing of two well-traveled roads, one from the port of Baltimore to points north and west and the other between Philadelphia and the Valley of Virginia. When Jefferson returned from Philadelphia to Monticello, he again dined and spent the night of September 5 at Reinecker's inn.
The town experienced only minor growth until 1852, when construction of the Hanover Branch Railroad to Hanover Junction was completed. In 1858 the Gettysburg Railroad opened a railroad link westward to Gettysburg. The Hanover and York Railroad completed a rail line to York in 1876.
During the American Civil War, the Battle of Hanover was fought on June 30, 1863. Union cavalry encountered Confederate cavalry and a sharp fight ensued in the town and in farm fields to the south, particularly along Frederick Street. The final encounter between Union and Confederate forces prior to the Battle of Gettysburg, this inconclusive engagement delayed the Confederate cavalry on their way to the Battle of Gettysburg. Three days before the battle, another detachment of Virginia cavalry had briefly occupied Hanover, taking supplies and horses from local citizens.
The Hanover area is served by Pennsylvania Routes 94, 194, 116, and 216. Route 94 (Carlisle Street/Pike and Baltimore Street/Pike) intersects with Route 194 at the square and extends north to Carlisle and south to Baltimore.
Route 194 (Broadway/Abbottstown Pike and Frederick Street/Hanover Pike) intersects with Route 94 and Route 116 at the square and extends north to Dillsburg, PA and south to Frederick.
Route 116 (York Street/Road and High Street/Hanover Road) overlaps Route 194 and runs through the square for three blocks. It extends west to Gettysburg and east to Spring Grove.
Route 216 (Blooming Grove Road) branches southwest off of Route 116 and runs through Codorus State Park.
Hanover is served by 4 routes of the Rabbit Transit bus system. Route #16 connects Downtown Hanover to Downtown York. An unnumbered route transports employees from York to Hanover. Route #21 connects Downtown Hanover with North Hanover and the Homewood Retirement Village. Route #22 connects Downtown Hanover with North Hanover and South Hanover.
- A car is extremely useful to get around.
- Taxi service is provided by American Taxi, a company based in York, ☏ .
- Local bus service is provided by Rabbit Transit, with two local lines (Routes 21 and 22) and one line (Route 16) that connects to York. The local lines run from 6AM-6PM Monday through Saturday. The line to/from York runs from 7:45AM-6:30PM Monday through Friday.
- Be careful of the only car rental in town, Enterprise on Carlisle Street. They have dubious practices. For example, they give you a car with empty gas, and upon return they charge you full gas. Also, their cars are pre-scratched under the front headlights, so if you decline insurance, they are ready to charge you for alleged "damage" to their cars.
- Hanover is best known as the snackfood capital of the USA. There are great factory tours available at Utz Quality Foods, and Snyders of Hanover [dead link].
- The Hanover Square is an interesting area of town and offers some insight to years past.
- The Basilica of The Sacred Heart is an old stone basilica on the edge of town, built in 1787.
- The Hanover Fire Museum [dead link] is a collection of fire memorabilia and apparatus. 44 Frederick Street, open 10AM-8PM daily.
- Neas House - Local history museum of the Hanover Area Historical Society
- Hanover Shoe Company – A large shoe factory from 1910, now converted into apartments.
- R H Sheppard Museum - Diesel engine museum with wide array of exhibits. Audio tour available in English and Spanish.
- Eichelberger Performing Arts Center - A school built in 1896, now in the former auditorium. It hosts many shows and events throughout the year.
The Hanover Historic District, Eichelberger High School, George Nace (Neas) House, and US Post Office-Hanover are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Codorus State Park has a large artificial lake, pontoon boat rentals, motor boat rentals, canoe rentals, row boat rentals, paddle boats, disc golf courses, and one of the largest pools in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
- Go to the gym at Club 2000 on Baltimore Street ($5 entrance).
- There is a lake 3 miles outside town.
- The local library/ is open M-Th 10AM-9PM and F-Sa 10AM-5PM.
A major retail area is along Eisenhower Drive, known as "The Golden Mile," stretching east to the intersection at Eisenhower Drive and Broadway (Route 194) and west to the intersection at Eisenhower Drive and Carlisle Street (Route 94). Some of the retail businesses include Wal-Mart Supercenter, the Home Depot, Kohls, Staples, the Bon Ton, and Lowe's. There is also an outlet type store called Value City, it's across the street from Pizza Hut on Carlisle Street. This store isn't fancy, but they have a big selection and you can find great values on some name brand clothes.
Don't forget the Farmer's Market [dead link] held on Saturday mornings 6AM-noon at 210 East Chestnut Street off of Railroad Street in Downtown Hanover. Fresh produce, home-baked pies, crafts, great deli/meat counters and more.
On Eisenhower Road you can find Texas Roadhouse, Ruby Tuesdays, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Red Lobster, Damon's Grill House, Wasabi Japanese Bar and Grill, and Bay City Restaurant, as well as the usual chain fast-food places found everywhere in America.
A lot of the locals like to frequent the Famous Hot Weiner. They have two locations. One on Dart Drive and one in downtown Hanover off on York Street. Secret chili recipe, good dogs, diner atmosphere.
They are a few great local taverns in town, one in particular is KClingers Tavern, which features the East Coast's largest beer selection. Lots of locals prefer some of the smaller, quaint taverns and bars. The Rendezvous Lounge on Elm Street is very clean, and the prices are probably the best around. On the south side of town you will find an import from Maryland in Bill Bateman's Bistro. Bateman's offers the area's best sports coverage. If dancing is more of your flavor, Fridays are always busy at Bay City Lounge, on Eisenhower Drive.