The Museum Experience examines the journey of Milton Hershey from failed entrepreneur to chocolate king and philanthropic benefactor.
Our state-of-the-art facility allows visitors to explore the history of Hershey in an educational and immersive environment well-suited for both adults and children. Our upstairs museum galleries present five distinct phases of Milton Hershey’s life as part of our permanent museum exhibits.
This series of installations chronicles a chocolate pioneer. The first two museum exhibits, Failures to Fortune and Sweet Innovations, focus on the young life of Hershey, his early entrepreneurial disappointments and his initial success with chocolate. The Hershey Builds Hershey and Power of Promotion exhibits deal with Hershey’s innovative approach to chocolate making and promotion. Lastly, A Living Legacy celebrates the inspiring philanthropic work that was a large part of Hershey’s life.
Museum Exhibits at The Hershey Story
Failures to Fortunes Exhibit
Learn about Milton Hershey’s impoverished childhood, apprenticeships, early business failures and ultimate successes.
Sweet Innovations Exhibit
Discover how Mr. Hershey inspired creativity among his employees as he introduced milk chocolate mass production techniques.
Power of Promotion Exhibit
Find out how Milton Hershey utilized creative promotional strategies to become the number one U.S. chocolate-maker.
Explore the development of the Hershey Community, which by 1915, boasted the largest chocolate factory in the world.
A Living Legacy Exhibit
Celebrate over 100 years of Milton Hershey’s legacy, including his generous gifts to educational and cultural institutions.
Special Exhibit Gallery
On the first floor of The Hershey Story is our 2,000 square-foot Special Exhibit Gallery.
Interactive Things to Do Throughout the Museum
The Museum Experience at The Hershey Story is a bit different from traditional museums. Throughout each of our five major exhibits are interactive components — touch screens, live working machines, replica props, movies and more — that create an engaging experience for adults and children alike. Additionally, our Apprentice and I Spy activities make the museum exhibits fun and appealing to younger audiences.
The “Community Builder” Mural
What would Milton Hershey say about his legacy today? A fitting tribute to a man whose generosity has touched the lives of many, the “Community Builder” two-story mural is a visitor favorite!
Located in the Grand Lobby, the mural is painted in “trompe l’oeil” style, meaning “trick the eye.” This unique painting style makes subjects appear three-dimensional when, in fact, they are part of a two-dimensional painted surface.
Not intended to be an historical image, the mural depicts Milton Hershey visiting modern-day Hershey. Visitors can see Milton Hershey sitting on the steps of his birthplace, The Homestead. He is surrounded by six children from Milton Hershey School, which began as a dream and vision shared by Milton Hershey and his wife, Catherine. Unable to have children of their own, the Hersheys decided to use their wealth to create a home and a school for orphaned boys. Originally named the Hershey Industrial School in 1909, it was renamed Milton Hershey School in 1951.
The mural also includes landmark buildings as well as green space and agricultural heritage, both important parts of Hershey. A shadow box contains items reminiscent of Milton Hershey’s Pennsylvania heritage, his family and early business struggles.
Well-known trompe l’oeil artist William Cochran painted the mural in his studio in Frederick, Maryland.