Browse Encyclopedia

The Cumberland County Historical Encyclopedia is an expanding publication on the history of the Cumberland County. Covering a wide range of topics and the entire Cumberland County geographic region, the Encyclopedia seeks to be an initial entry point to those interested in the County's history. Entries seek to provide a list of resources available as well as showcasing some of the Cumberland County Historical Society's own collections.

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Katharine Drexel

Prayer card for Saint Katharine Drexel with picture on front and prayer on back

Katharine Mary Drexel (26 November, 1858-3 March, 1955) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She enjoyed a life of comfort and privilege before deciding to use her inherited wealth to establish a new religious order within the Roman Catholic Church. For her life and work, she has been formally recognized by her Church as one of its saints.

Emancipation Proclamation Grand Tournament held in Carlisle in 1869: Horses, Knights, a Queen and Maids of Honor

The August 6, 1869 edition of the Carlisle Herald reported on the Grand Tournament held several days before to celebrate “the emancipation of the slaves of the Southern States” by a procession through the streets of Carlisle and a tournament at Graham’s Grove.

Enola Yard

The Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) significantly expanded its infrastructure in the early 1900s to handle growing volumes of both freight and passenger traffic.

Flitting Day

Scan of the American Volunteer editorial from April 5, 1866

April 1 was known as “flitting day” in nineteenth-century Pennsylvania. It was the day when yearly leases expired, and tenant farmers, business men, mechanics and private citizens either renewed their leases for another year and “stayed put,” or they moved. Local newspapers usually ran a column or two about the “flittings,” noting the changes in location of hotel keepers and businessmen, and musing on the day in general. The editor of Carlisle’s American Volunteer waxed emotional about “flitting day” in his column on April 5, 1866.