“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Harrisburg in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

The Peanut House

(The Zimmerman House)


—1812-1991 —

The Peanut House Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, March 21, 2008
1. The Peanut House Marker
Marker is on the side of a parking garage.
Inscription. On this site for nearly 180 years stood a two and a-half story brick building with ties to local, state and national history. Initially the home of early settler John Frey, the house was sold in 1817 to a noted clockmaker, Frederick Heisley, whose son George is linked to the National Anthem. George Heisley, during the War of 1812, was a member of Pennsylvania's First Regiment. At the siege of Fort McHenry in Baltimore, September 1814, he reportedly provided Francis Scott Key with music for the Star Spangled Banner.

The house later was owned by the Boyd Family, then a succession of merchants. At various times it was an oyster house, a dry cleaning business and a restaurant. Its nickname, "The Peanut House," comes from Salvatore Magaro, an Italian immigrant who came to America as a stowaway at age 17 in 1889. In 1921 he leased the building and turned it into a grocery store and living quarters. His store, "The Buzy Corner," lasted 70 years and earned a reputation and a name for its fresh vegetables and its nickel-a-bag fresh-roasted peanuts.

Magaro's grandson, LeRoy Salvatore Zimmerman, lived on the second floor with his family and worked in the store as a teenager before attending law school. He later was elected District Attorney of Dauphin county and served from 1965 to 1980. In 1980 he became the first elected Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the state's top legal and law enforcement post, in which he served two full terms, establishing the state post as an independent agency to represent Pennsylvania's citizens in criminal, civic and consumer affairs.
Erected by Placed by Executive Order of Mayor Stephen R. Reed, 2001, as part of the Harrisburg History Project.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Pennsylvania, The Harrisburg History Project marker series.
Location. 40° 15.542′ N, 76° 52.804′ W. Marker is in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in Dauphin County. Marker is at the intersection of 2nd Street and Chestnut Street, on the left on 2nd Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Harrisburg PA 17101, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Executive Mansion (a few steps from this marker); The Crowne Plaza (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Salem Church (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Abraham Lincoln (about 300 feet away); a different marker also named Old Salem Church (about 400 feet away); The Johnston Building & Menaker Building (about 400 feet away); The Jones House (about 400 feet away); Market Square Presbyterian Church (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Harrisburg.
Categories. GovernmentIndustry & CommerceNotable BuildingsNotable Persons
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 24, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,822 times since then and 4 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on March 24, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Historical photograph of the house. • Can you help?
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