The Derry Church School, Hershey, PA.
The Township of Derry in Pennsylvania was incorporated August 1, 1729, when Lancaster County divided the territory for tax purposes. Derry became a part of Dauphin County when it was established in 1785. Public education began in Derry Township with the Pennsylvania Free School Act of 1834. The Township’s first school was the Derry Church One-room School, built in 1844 and located on Mansion Road. Over the next few decades, twelve more one-room schools were constructed in the Township. Born in Derry Township, Milton S. Hershey (1857-1945) attended this one-room schoolhouse during the winter of 1863-1864. This was the first of seven schools he attended before apprenticing to a Lancaster, PA. candy maker at age 14. Hershey was originally named Derry Church, Pennsylvania. It was renamed Hershey in 1906 after the growing popularity of Hershey’s Chocolate. Prior to its 1961 restoration by Milton Hershey School students, the schoolhouse served as the Hershey Country Club caddy house.