Middleburg/Mason-Dixon
Line Historical Society
Event Archives
April 2012

      Our April program was provided by Mr. John Alosi Jr. Mr.  Alosi spoke on the 282nd Signal Pigeon Co. And its importance during WWII. Mr. Alosi's father, 1st Sgt. John Alosi Sr. served in the 282nd during the war. Thousands of signal pigeons were used in the front lines to carry messages to command posts. Pigeons were housed in ' lofts ' and are trained to return to their hone loft when liberated. During the war, many mobile lofts were used to facilitate communications. This caused unique issues in that the pigeons, by nature, wanted to return to their geographical location of their home loft. Signal pigeons are specially breed for their task.
      Pigeons have been used to carry messages since the days of King Solomon. Later, the news of Napoleon's defeat at Waretloo in 1815 was carried back to England by pigeons. In 1849, Paul Reuter, founder of Reuter's Press Agency, experimented with pigeons to link Aachen and Brussels. With the advances in communications, the need for carrier pigeons deminished and the pigeons were phased out of service. Today there remains lofts whos birds are trained for sport competition. Our thanks to Mr. Alosi for his interesting and informative presentation.
                Read Mr. Alosi's book: ' War Birds: A History Of The 282nd Signal Pigeon Co. ISBN: 978-1-57747-150-9


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May 17, 2012   7:00pm

" Whispering Stones of Spring Grove Cemetery "

      Our May program featured Amy Hendershot Cox. Amy Cox is a native of Franklin County with family roots reaching back in the county's history to the early 1700s. She is a graduate of the Historical Preservations Program of Wilson College, Chambersburg, PA. In addition she has taken courses in cemetery preservation from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. She has written several books on the local history of Franklin County and most recently on the Spring Grove Cemetery.
      The Spring Grove Cemetery was established in 1738 and was first used as the burial place for victims of the French and Indian and Pontiac Wars. Located in Lemasters, PA it is the oldest public, non-church related cemetery in Franklin County, PA. Amy Cox's presentation covered some of the notable individuals that are buried there and their histories. Stories about James Buchanan and Harriet Lane; as well as Civil War Heros such as William Dunlop Dixon was shared during her presentation. In addition, Cox  talked about funerary art and practices as well as burial customs across the years. Her discussion included procedures for preserving headstones and cemeterys for future generations.
      Refreshments for the evening were provided by        Diane Horst and Nancy Crider