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Dearden House

2009 Historic Building Preservation Award Winner  - The Dearden House(MAP) 1201 Homestead Ln, Hershey, PA 17033

*** 2009 Preservation Award Winner *** 


Formerly known as Student Home Glendale, this historic brick farmhouse, located on McKorkle Road, is a worthy recipient of the 6th Historic Building Preservation Award as it not only highlights the unique history of Milton Hershey School but has a tale to tell of its own. Before Milton Hershey purchased the property in 1934, this 143 acre farm was part of an estate that included four farms privately owned by Albert B. Shenk. Shenk's untimely death in a trolley car accident in 1933 led to the sale of his properties


Glendale opened in 1935 at the height of the Hershey Industrial School farm program and remained in use as a student home until 1989. In April of 2000, brothers Richard Purcell '61 and Milt Purcell '64 acquired the property rights. The brothers shared a vision of creating an everlasting tribute to William E. Dearden '40, an alumnus widely regarded as a legacy to Milton S. Hershey and his work. Their dream was to see the Dearden House become a hub of activity for alumni, staff and the children of the school.


The Dearden House was formally dedicated in September, 2000. Sadly, in May of 2004, Dick Purcell passed away. Later in 2004, Milton Hershey School purchased the property and continued the restoration begun by the Purcells.


Today, the Dearden House has within its walls a museum depicting residential life of a student home in the '50's, a replica of Bill Dearden's Hershey Foods office, and alumni offices. It is part of a larger complex, the William E. Dearden Alumni Campus, which includes the Purcell Friendship Hall and Gardens and Southfield Alumni Center.