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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Frankford Township

While not one of the earliest municipal components of Cumberland County, Frankford Township dates back to the 18th century. It was created from West Pennsboro Township in April of 1795, by the County Court. The court records tell us:

Benjamin Franklin

Intellectually, Benjamin Franklin was a very gifted person, with only a few years of academic schooling, he was a self-taught individual. Franklin was born in Boston, Massachusetts, one of ten children of a soap and candle maker.

Henry Ganss

Photo portrait of Rev. Henry G. Ganss

Henry George Ganss (22 February, 1855-25 December, 1912) was a Roman Catholic priest of the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, as well as a musician and historian. For twenty years he served as pastor of Saint Patrick’s parish in Carlisle, and then he became pastor of Saint Mary’s parish in Lancaster.

Halloween Customs

All Hallow’s Eve--the night when witches and hobgoblins supposedly walk abroad. What began in the 1860s as a night of boyish pranks evolved into a county-wide celebration of parties, parades and fun.

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