Blinking lights in Boiling Springs spelled the end of a romantic interlude.
It was the signal that couples on the Lovers Walk only had 15 minutes to hustle down the tree-lined path to board the last trolley to Carlisle.
This week’s Tour Through Time celebrates Valentine’s Day early with a stroll along the intimate pathways of a bygone era.
From 1896 to 1926, the Valley Traction Co. operated a trolley line between the Square in Carlisle and a park along present-day Children’s Lake. Aside from Lovers Walk, Boiling Springs Park had a dance pavilion, a restaurant, a carousel, a band stand, a shooting gallery and deer pens.
A short distance away, in Mount Holly Springs, Harrisburg entrepreneur Pat Russ operated a park that offered concerts, ball fields, a roller coaster, a Ferris Wheel and a Lovers Lane for couples looking to spend some quality time together.
Both parks were popular getaway destinations in the early 20th century. That popularity dwindled as the use of automobiles increased and people started to leave the area for vacations and weekend trips. By 1930, both parks had closed.
A Lovers Lane once existed on the Dickinson College campus as a tree-lined pathway linking the main campus entrance at the corner of West and High streets to East College, according to the college online archives.
“The path apparently was the favorite spot of many a college student, a place to while away the hours with friends or perhaps with even young ladies, possibly giving rise to the name,” the online article reads. “The path seems to have fallen out of favor with the student population after the First World War.”
A 1929 project to re-landscape the college quadrangle removed many of the trees that lined the path, effectively erasing any trace of Lovers Lane.
Tour Through Time runs every Saturday in The Sentinel print edition. Reporter Joseph Cress will work with the historical society staff each week to offer a look at the county through the years. Send any questions, future ideas or tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.