A plaque recanting a time when President Abraham Lincoln addressed the citizens of Hanover, PA.
Published on
May 9, 2024

President’s Day is nearly here! Not only does this day give many Americans a long weekend (President’s Day is a federal holiday) it also gives us time to reflect on the history of our nation’s leaders, many of whom spent time in Hanover. Keep reading to discover which presidents stepped foot in Snack Town, USA over the years.

George Washington

While brief, Hanover’s time with the first president is still a noteworthy highlight of our town’s history. President George Washington made an early-morning stop in July 1791 in McAlister's Town, now Hanover, which he described as "a very pretty village with a number of good brick houses and Mechanics in it..." He later made his way to York where he spent the night.

Abraham Lincoln

On his way to Gettysburg for his famous address in 1863, Lincoln's train paused in Hanover after he had changed trains at Hanover Junction. Many who saw the president that day remembered it for the rest of their lives, including Hanover resident, Joanna Wrentzel. To read about Lincoln’s impact on Wrentzel and her first-hand experience with battle of Hanover, click here.  

Photo courtesy of Main Street Hanover

U.S. Grant

On his way to Gettysburg in 1868, Grant’s defective locomotive caused him to make a pit-stop in Hanover. Once he arrived, Grant praised the performance of Union commanders in the Battle of Gettysburg.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

President Franklin D. Roosevelt traveled through York County by train at least two times in the 1930s. He waved from his private car but did not appear on the platform as he headed through Hanover to give his own Gettysburg Address at the Adams County battlefield on May 30, 1934.

Richard M. Nixon

In 1946, when Nixon was first elected to the U.S. House, Nixon's parents moved to a Menges Mills farm. Their famous son visited them several times. Nixon visited Staub's Drug Store in Hanover in 1968. The owner later wrote for -- and received -- Nixon's autograph. Jake Thomas was proud of the signature. "Then after Watergate, Jake never mentioned it much," Abigail, his wife, said.

Information from this article adapted from a February 2019 York Daily Record Article.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to common questions about dietary options, reservation policies, and hours of operation.

What are the top attractions to visit in Hanover?

Visitors often inquire about the Hanover Historic District, which is known for its over 2600 mid-19th to mid-20th-century buildings.

Are there guided tours available in Hanover?

In Hanover, Pennsylvania, history enthusiasts can enjoy a journey through time with visits to the Hanover Area Historical Society Museum, which showcases the town’s rich past; the Warehime-Myers Mansion, a beautifully preserved example of early 20th-century architecture; and the Neas House, one of the oldest surviving structures in Hanover, offering a glimpse into the life of the 18th-century Pennsylvania German settlers. These historical landmarks provide a captivating window into Hanover’s heritage and are a must-visit for those looking to experience the town’s historical charm.

Can visitors engage in any unique local activities?

In addition to Codorus State Park and Hickory Falls, Hanover is also known for the Snack Town Street Fair, a vibrant festival celebrating the town’s snack food heritage with craft vendors, food, and entertainment, created in partnership between the Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce and Utz Brands

What historical experiences can one have in Hanover?

Hanover provides a rich historical experience with tours like the Civil War Ghosts of Gettysburg Tour and the Spirits of Jennie Wade Ghost Night Tour in nearby Gettysburg.

What is Hanover known for?

Hanover, Pennsylvania, is renowned as the Snack Food Capital of the World, home to iconic brands like Utz Quality Foods and Snyder’s of Hanover, which are part of the Campbell Snacks portfolio.                              

Where can I grab a drink?

Dolphin & Anchor Pub: Located in the heart of Hanover, they offer traditional beer styles with a twist.

Sign of the Horse Brewery: A contemporary brewery catering to craft brew enthusiasts with a range of house taps.

Fat Bat Brewing Company: A local brewery started by a beer-loving brother and sister team, known for their craft beer selections.

Iron Lion: A place where you can enjoy a selection of craft beers in a market setting1.

Where can I get a map of Hanover?

The Borough office at 44 Frederick St, Hanover has everything you will need to find your way around Hanover.