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Marion Thomas Harbaugh, known for Biglerville store, dies at 91

Written by Jennifer Wentz, The Evening Sun | May 11, 2015 8:58 AM
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Thomas Bros. owner Marion Harbaugh listens to a visitor at her Biglerville store on Dec. 13, 2013. (File -- The Evening Sun)

Marion Thomas Harbaugh, a Biglerville woman known for her country store and city spirit, died May 9 at the age of 91, according to a Gettysburg funeral home.

Monahan Funeral Home is still working with Harbaugh's family to solidify memorial services, said Tom Monahan, who works at the home.

Harbaugh spent nearly her entire life living and working in Biglerville, where she ran Thomas Bros. Country Store, according to newspaper records. The shop, filled with everything from sleds to old-time candy, became a staple in Adams County and beyond.

Harbaugh's parents, who were teachers, built the store in 1909. Harbaugh and her sister, Jean, took over the store when they were gone.

After growing up in rural Adams County, Harbaugh attended Wilson College, where she majored in English, and New York University, where she took graduate classes in merchandising, she told The Evening Sun in 2007.

When she moved back to Biglerville, she took her big-city fashion sense with her, sometimes sporting lacquered nails, feather boas and other accessories, even in her later years.

The store became a destination for locals and tourists alike, and even, she said, was a favorite of former president Dwight D. Eisenhower's family, who visited during their stay in nearby Gettysburg.

Some of the items on display in the shop included books, bonnets, antique tools and a large collection of sleds. Not everything was for sale, but Harbaugh was happy to share her knowledge of each item's history.

The country store was inducted into the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.

Harbaugh and her family were also well known philanthropists in the Biglerville community.

The family once donated $80,000 worth of antiques to the National Apple Museum, and Harbaugh and her sister helped found the Biglerville Historical and Preservation Society.

More about Harbaugh

Biglerville store has a story

'Dr. Zhivago' sleigh on display in Biglerville

Biglerville sled display preserves history


This article comes to us through a partnership between York Daily Record and WITF. 

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