The National Register of Historic Places was organized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.
The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) has overseen a program to recognize important historical sites throughout the Commonwealth since 1946. Prior to that, a program existed that identified historical sites with a plaque. Since 1946, there have been two types of markers – highway and city. The highway signs are larger but both types are similar in design with a blue field and gold lettering. Each site approved for the program displays a sign describing the significance of the site. There are 72 plaques, highway signs and city signs in Cumberland County.
To be approved for a sign, an application must be completed fully documenting the importance of the site. In addition, the person or group making the application must document the ability to pay for the sign. PHMC reviews each application and approves between 10-15 new sites each year. The two most recently approved sites in the county are the Pine Grove Furnace POW Interrogation Camp in Cooke Township approved in 2011, and the Craighead House in South Middleton Township approved in 2014.
The following sites are recognized in Cumberland County:
Bethel A.M.E. Church, Carlisle; Big Spring Presbyterian Church, Newville; Blaine House, Carlisle; Braddock Expedition, Shippensburg; 5 signs in several locations regarding the founding of Carlisle; Carlisle Barracks; Carlisle Fort; Carlisle Indian Industrial School; Carlisle Iron Works, Boiling Springs; Charles Albert “Chief’ Bender, Carlisle Barracks; Cumberland County, Carlisle; Cumberland Riflemen, Camp Hill; Cumberland Valley Railroad, Mechanicsburg; Daniel Drawbaugh, Eberly’s Mill; Daniel Kaufman, Boiling Springs; Dickinson College, Carlisle; Dickinson School of Law, Carlisle; Episcopal Square, Carlisle; Farthest North of Confederates, Carlisle Springs; First Presbyterian Church, Carlisle; Forbes Road – Raystown Path, US 11 west of Carlisle; Forbes Road-Raystown Path, US 11 1 miles NE of Shippensburg; 2 - Fort Couch, Lemoyne; 2 - Fort Morris, Shippensburg; Frederick Watts, Rt. 11 west of Carlisle; Gen. John Armstrong, Carlisle; Gen. William Irvine, Carlisle; George Washington, Carlisle; 5 Gettysburg Campaign, Mechanicsburg, Hampden Township, PA 74 near Carlisle; PA 34 near Carlisle; Walnut Bottom Road, near Carlisle; Camp Hill; Green Tree Inn, Carlisle; Harrisburg, Wormleysburg; Henszeys Wrought Iron Arch Bridge, Enola; Irving Female College, Mechanicsburg; James Wilson, Carlisle, John Bannister Gibson, Carlisle; John W. Geary, New Cumberland; Joseph Ritner, Rt. 11 6 miles west of Carlisle; Laughlin Mill, Newville, Locust Grove Cemetery, Shippensburg, Major Andre, Carlisle; Marcus A. Reno, New Cumberland, Marianne Moore, Carlisle; Middle Spring Church, Middle Spring; Molly Pitcher, Carlisle; Old Court House, Shippensburg; One-room Schoolhouse, Shippensburg; 2 - Peace Church, Camp Hill; Pine Grove Furnace POW Interrogation Camp, Cooke Township; Reformed Presbyterian Church, New Kingstown; Robert Whitehill, Camp Hill; 2 – Shippensburg; Union Church, Mechanicsburg; Williams Grove, Monroe Township.