“Lost in the Mule Tracks” – Gordonville, PA (1907)

Mr. Earl Hershey lived in Gordonville, an unincorporated community in the eastern part of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Gordonville lies in a rich agricultural area that was part of an original land grant from William Penn.  

The community of Gordonville grew up around a stop on the first railroad in PA, the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad.

The Philadelphia and Columbia were first chartered in 1823.

The first rail line was laid through the farm of Christian Hershey- who may be a forbearer of Earl Hershey.

Today, Gordonville remains a charming agricultural community whose lands are worked largely by Amish farmers.

In February of 1907, Earl received a postcard greeting from Jane.

The postcard was mailed from Gordonville, so we may assume that Jane lived nearby.

The face of the postcard is illustrated by a drawing of a rural scene surrounded by four-leaf clovers and blue forget-me- nots.

An ornate inscription reads, “To one I love”.

Although there is no mention of St. Valentine, I believe that the postcard (mailed on February 12) is a Valentine greeting.

Jane inscribed a message on the face, “Did you loose yourself in the mule tracks?”.

I do not know if this is a reference to a private joke or a colloquial expression.

If one reads, “Lose yourself in the mule tracks” as “Lose yourself in the mule tracks”, the phrase could suggest one who is unable to follow a clear path or who is too befuddled to see the obvious.

In any event, one hopes that Mr. Hershey enjoyed the postcard and the joke, and that he and Jane remained friends for many years.


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