In the beginning, Biglerville, formally Middletown (Also called Sugartown by the local people) was not a crossroads, around 1756, the so called “Menallen Road” extended from York to the Menallen friends meeting house” (now Friends Grove). There it stopped temporarily because the land west, northwest and west of the Opossum Creek, which was called Opossum Creek Manor, was land reserved by the Penns to preserve their income. Later, this road continued through the present site of Biglerville to the Gettysburg-Shippensburg Road. Approximately 1808 a branch road led out to the present site of Arendtsville. Another road made by joining several short trails was started north from the settlement. Around 1832 in the direction of the Menallen area, which is now the road from Biglerville to Bendersville; acquired the name of Gettysburg-Newville Road.
In 1817, the village was surveyed and plotted by Samuel White, and lots (drawn by tickets) sold November 17 of that year. It was a paper village until April 1843 when Henry Hartzell who purchased White interest in 1839, erected a building at the intersection of Chambersburg and Berlin Roads. Now, the present site of Biglerville Hardware Store. The second establishment was a blacksmith shop owned by J.A.H. Rether. The third was that of Thomas Blocher, saddle and Harness maker and fourth, the second hotel built by Jacob Peters.
Prior to April 1, 1884, when the first regular train was run over the Gettysburg and Harrisburg Railroad, The village retained its primitive characteristics, but once the whistle of the locomotive was heard, a new era introduced itself; new buildings sprang into existence and good work then began and has continued. The settlement at the time of the Battle of Gettysburg, in 1863, consisted of 24 houses and commercial establishments, most of which were located east of the junction; among the merchants then operating in Middletown were Thomas Blocher, who was a Saddle and Harness Maker as well as the Justice of the Peace; Jesse Ebert, a Wheelwright (Wagon Maker); Jacob Pensyl, Storekeeper; John Rether, Proprietor of the Travelers Rest Inn; H. Slaybaugh, Blacksmith Shop; also a Marble Works and Steam Hub Factory were in operation; the original schoolhouse was located about one block north of the intersection, on the right side of the present Route 34. The Traveler’s Rest Inn, or Hotel, stood in the Southwest corner of the crossroads, and a Carriage Shop stood directly west of the town.
When Ewell’s Second Corps of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was ordered to move from Carlisle to Cashtown Gap on June 28, 1863, Johnson’s Division started for that Point by the way of Shippensburg, Scotland, Caledonia, while Rodes’ Division started by the way of Mt. Holly Springs, Petersburg (York Springs), Heidlersburg and Middletown (Biglerville). At the same time Early’s Division, which passed through Mummasburg and Gettysburg while on the way to York, June 26-27, starting back to “Cashtown Gap” by the way of East Berlin, Heidlersburg and Middletown (Biglerville). Rodes spent the night of June 30, 1863 in Heidlersburg, and Early at Five Points, east of Heidlersburg. On the morning of July 1, Rodes started for Middletown (Biglerville) and Arendtsville. While Early started for Gettysburg via Heidlersburg. Rode’s Division of 8,000 Infantry and Artillery, with Calvary in the front, reached Middletown (Biglerville) before Noon informed that the Confederate forces moved toward Gettysburg from Chambersburg had contacted the advance of the Federal Army at Gettysburg early in the morning, and a battle was already in progress there, General Rodes turned his forces left at the Middletown “Square” and started for Gettysburg, and moved to the right at the top of Keckler’s Hill, to follow the Ridge Road, and came out of the woods at Oak Hill (now the Peace Light Site), and attacked the extreme right flank of the Union Forces which were then just reaching that area.
Clarence M. Camp, James H. Walter and William Reary, residents of Middletown (Biglerville), were the first troops from Butler Township to respond to the call of April 1861. They were mustered in with Company E, Second Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.
Due to there being another Middletown in the Commonwealth, Middletown in Adams County was renamed Biglerville in 1903 for Col. William Bigler, who took office as the 12TH Governor of Pennsylvania, January 20, 1852, serving until January 16, 1855. Col. Bigler was born in Cumberland County, January 11, 1814, and died August 7, 1880. At the age of 64, he was elected to the Governor from Clearfield County.
Biglerville incorporated as a Borough by a Decree in the court of Quaker Sessions of Adams County, May 26, 1903 with S. McSwope as Presiding Judge.
First Ordinances establishing North and South Main Street, East and West York Street, and West Hanover Street, Penn Street, and Certain Alleys were adopted by the town council the 7TH OF September 1903 with H.U. Walters as Burgess and U.S. Klinefelter, as Secretary.
Biglerville Borough Council met for the first time June 20, 1903. Councilmen were A.F. Cronice, U.S. Klinefelter, F.K. Heiges, S.N. Bowers, G.W. Koser, SAMIL Hoffman, and Amos Silik. S.N. Bowers was elected the first President and U.S. Klinefelter was elected the first Secretary of the Borough.
At the July 4, 1903 meeting of the Borough Council the Highway Committee reported they had arranged with P.S. Orner to survey the town and make a plot of the same on Monday, July 13. The tax rate was set at 2 Mills.
On September 5, 1903 the following ordinances were approved: Street Lights, Animals Running at Large, Building Permits, Fines and Penalties, Sale of Fireworks, and Speed of Travel within the Borough which was stated “It shall not be lawful for any person to ride or drive over any street or public alley in said Borough at a rate of speed exceeding Seven Miles Per Hour or a moderate trot.”
At the November 21, 1903 meeting it was decided that 15 #9 street lamps to be purchased at $2.90 each, and also to buy the same number of locust post to put the lamps on. Also, the ordinance was passed to tax the owners of all telephone poles at a rate of Fifty Cents per pole per year.
The first Lamplighter, William McDaniel, was hired on March 31, 1904 at a salary of $104.99 per year, for lighting Fifteen street lamps. According to the lamp lighting notice, “All lamps are to burn from Dusk until 9:30 P.M. except Saturday Evenings until 10:00 P.M. according to the moon light schedules every night except cloudless moonlit nights.” The Lamplighter was fined Ten Cents per night for each lamp that was not lit.
An Ordinance approved the 20TH day of May 1908, granted permission to Charles E. Deatrick to construct and maintain a water system.
On June 9, 1908, Ninety-Five Acres and Fifteen Perches of land east of the Borough was annexed and admitted to the Borough of Biglerville.
Action was taken by Council on March 9, 1912 to buy Arthur R. Greist’s lot at $500.00 for a Fire Building Site, with the understanding that Mr. Musselman takes half the lot and pays half the amount. An Ordinance approved on April 8, 1912, provided for the entire length of East and West York Streets to be paved from curb to curb by Juaniata Paving Co, at a cost of $1,950.00.
At the September 2, 1913 Meeting, it was decided to build a building of Galvanized Iron for the first fire outfit. Council agreed to pay Charles Deatrick (Water Co, Owner) $15.00 per fire plug (16 in number) per year for the supplying of water for Fire Protection.
Main Street Paving was accepted by the Council in August 1914. The Borough Health Board was appointed as follows: G.W. Koser, Dr. J.D. Heidlebrand, Ira Taylor, N.C. Thomas and George Deardorff.
At the December 7, 1915 meeting of Council, Clarence “DOC” Chronister’s bid for Lamp Lighting of $4.65 Per lamp (35 Lamps) per year, was accepted, “DOC” Chronister served as Lamplighter until 1921.
In 1918, the pay scale for laborers was set at 25 Cents per hour and the pay for a Two Horse Team was 50 cents.
An Ordinance was approved in March 1921 granting permission to Samuel Z. Musselman to erect poles etc., for the purpose of distributing electric power throughout the borough. The name of Mr. Musselman’s company was The Orrtanna Light Company.
In September 1921, it was decided to enlarge the public square by taking six feet from each corner the contract was awarded to H.W. Fohl, for $432.00.
In 1922 the assessed valuation of property in the borough was $316,900.00. The tax rate was set at 10 Mills.
Also, in 1929, The Orrtanna Light Company was sold to Metropolitan Edison Light Company. An Ordinance was passed in October allowing Manufactures Light and Heat Company to lay gas mains in the Borough. Assessed Valuation of Real Estate in 1939 WAS $441,753.00.
On February 10, 1942, the Highway Committee authorized the Metropolitan Edison Company to install a hand switch in order that our Air Raid Warden would be able to turn off the streetlights in harmony with our Defense Program during the duration of World War II.
Fourteen acres, 78 Perches of land west of the borough were added on February 19,1946.
Side Arms were purchased for Police Force by the borough on September 14, 1959.
The Biglerville Borough Authority was established on the 10TH of May 1960, for the purpose of constructing a sewer system for the borough and leasing the same to the borough.
In the last Census taken in 1960, the population of the borough was 923.
The 1966 Assessed Valuation of Real Estate was $2,156,760.00. The 1967 Tax Rate was set at 5 Mills.
In April 1967 a ten year contract was signed with Metropolitan Edison Company to provide street lighting for the borough through our seventy-six lights.