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This week’s Tour Through Time takes a look at then and now images of the Rakestraw’s Ice Cream Co. Store in Mechanicsburg.

According to the Washington Fire Company’s website, nearly 26 years ago fire crews responded to a four-alarm fire at Rakestraw’s that involved most departments between the Susquehanna River and Carlisle. The fire destroyed a majority of the building and was set by a disgruntled employee who was later convicted and jailed.

The Mechanicsburg landmark was strictly a retail outlet, but had been an ice cream manufacturer for most of the 20th century and today still operates as an ice cream store.

The then image shows Rakestraw’s in Mechanicsburg along South Market Street in the 1930s.

The now image shows the changes over the years.

Tour Through Time will run Saturdays in the Sentinel as a joint project with the Cumberland County Historical Society. Sentinel photographers will work with staff at the Historical Society each week to offer a look at Carlisle and the surrounding area through the years.

Please contact the Cumberland County Historical Society at 717-249-7610 with any information pertaining to these images. Please send future ideas or suggestions to