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It's all about Clean Water.  Post your pictures of our events, water conservation, floods, pollution.  Share your memories about the Swatara....  Our projects and areas of interest include the Bordner Cabin, Eagle Scout Projects, PA Conservation Corps, Swatara State Park, Swatara River, Swatara Sojourn, Swatara Water Trail, Tenaska, Swatara Watershed Park, and Water Companies


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Lebanon, PA USA

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Excerpts from the Mode "One Tank Getaway" by by Mitchell L. Hillman, Jr.


Swatara Creek Inn— R.D. 2, Box 692 (Jonestown Road), Annville, PA 17003, (717) 865-3259; Dick & Susan Hess, proprietors.

Harper’s Tavern— Rt. 934 & Old Jonestown Road, Annville, PA 17003, (717) 865-2584; Elaine Brensinger, proprietor. Open for Dinner: Tuesday through Saturday at 5:00 p.m. & Sunday 11:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. Open for Lunch: Tuesday through Friday 11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Please call for reservations.

Allen Theatre— 36 East Main Street, Annville, PA 17003, (717) 867-4766; Skip Hicks, proprietor. Call for currently playing films and show times.

MJ’s Coffeehouse at the Allen Theatre— Open Sunday to Thursday 3:00 p.m.- 11:00 p.m., Open Friday & Saturday 3:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.


Annville is conveniently located with many nearby sites for fun, including: Memorial Lake State Park, the Appalachian Trail, Hershey attractions (only 15 minutes away), Lancaster, Mt. Hope, Mt. Gretna, Reading, & Lebanon.

For a comfortable night’s stay, try the Swatara Creek Inn, then dinner at Harper’s Tavern and a movie at the Allen Theatre.

The Swatara Creek Inn is a beautiful three story Victorian mansion, converted to a bed & breakfast and owned by Dick and Susan Hess, that rests majestically on top of a hill amidst century old trees, just off Route 934.  Each of ten guest rooms comes with its own private bath and a queen size canopy bed.

The Swatara Creek Inn was originally built in 1860 by a wealthy bachelor named Jacob Ulrich, who lived there with his two sisters. From 1882 until 1917 two couples, Frey and Klick, owned the house— it was then purchased by Milton Hershey and eventually handed over to the Milton Trust Company in 1931. During this time it was used as a boy’s orphanage home and as a quarantine house.

In 1941 it was purchased by the Paynes and renamed Hemlock Hall, which was originally started as a tourist home, but eventually housed G.I. s in World War II. The Inn has changed hands many times since then, at one time it was owned by Syracuse University at another time it was used as a fabric warehouse.

Finally in 1986, Dick Hess purchased the house and the four acres of property it rests upon. Renovations began immediately and opened the Inn in 1987, starting with five rooms.

Across the road from the Inn is Harper’s Tavern, a comfortably elegant dining establishment run with love by Elaine Brensinger.  Harper’s Tavern was built in 1804 by Mr. Harper himself, but its present incarnation as a restaurant started in 1980 and Elaine was one of the original cooks.

Everything’s home made and freshly done to order. Nothing is made up ahead and all of our seafood is fresh.

One of the biggest attractions to downtown Annville, aside from Lebanon Valley College, is the Allen Theater. The Allen Theatre recalls single screen theatres of the past, with a traditional neon marquee, a small concession area offering soda, popcorn (great popcorn!) and candy, and newsreels or cartoons shown before the film. There are even greeters at the door and a one-person ticket booth. Yet, the Allen Theatre also seems to be the theatre of the future, featuring its own coffeehouse, occasional live musicians playing in the lobby and a wide array of delicious desserts. The project began in 1990, took three years to plan, and finally opened on September 21, 1995. Although the Allen Theatre is located where the old Hippodrome Theatre once stood, it was a total restoration project.