Frederick Watts

Photo portrait of Frederick Watts and child

Born on May 9, 1801 in Carlisle, Watts was one of 12 children born to David and Juliana Miller Watts. Watts’ Cumberland County roots extended to nearly its founding when his grandfather Frederick Watts emigrated from Wales purchasing a large tract of land in 1760 on the banks of the Juniata River in present day Perry County. Watt’s father, David was a well-known lawyer in the county and a member of the first graduating class of Dickinson College in 1787.

Marcia Dale Weary

For Marcia Dale, the daughter and namesake of father, Dale Weary, the developmental motor sequence from birth, to crawl, to walk, to run and dance took only three years. Dale, the father of Marcia, Sandra, and Rosemary, provided everything – a home, protection, a nurturing environment, and fun.

What's in a Name? Carlisle Springs

There is no mystery about the name Carlisle Springs, and no research is required to learn its origin. What other name would anyone give to a sulphur spring of medicinal properties located only five miles from the county seat of Cumberland County? What is of special interest, however, is that Carlisle Springs was one of many springs, baths, and spas that flourished as popular resorts for health and recreation in the United States in the second third of the nineteenth century.

Whiskey Rebellion

During the presidency of George Washington one of the early major issues confronting him was raising taxes to pay the debt of the states incurred during the Revolutionary War. Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton in 1790 recommended an excise tax on domestically produced distilled spirits (the Whiskey Act of 1791).1

Who Was Lewis the Robber?

Pennsylvania has produced few true folk heroes, but one of the best known has a close association with Cumberland County. David Lewis, better known as Lewis the Robber, is the subject of an extensive legend to which have accrued numerous deeds and attributes of other outlaw folk heroes.

John “Black Jack” Wilkins: Cook, Caterer and Hotel Keeper

Scan of John ‘Black Jack’ Wilkins’ 1844 petition to keep a tavern in Hogestown with the signatures of local men who attested to his ability to do so. Clerk of Courts, Tavern License Petition 1844.060.1-2. Cumberland County Archives.

"'Black Jack’ was a famous cook,” wrote Jeremiah Zeamer, editor of the American Volunteer  newspaper. “He had a great reputation as a cook and caterer. Whenever in that part of the county there was a wedding, a dance, or a party of any kind for which a feast was to be prepared, ‘Black Jack’ was sent for to superintend the cooking and set the table, and so well did he do this that he was always in high favor with people who had appetites.”

William Petrikin: An Ardent Love of Liberty

William Petrikin immigrated to America from Scotland and settled in Carlisle, Pennsylvania sometime in 1785. He arrived in the midst of a period of intense political activity when, after the victory for independence, citizens across the newly formed republic turned their attention to the formation of their government. "An ardent love of liberty was the cause of his emigration" and he wasted little time in immersing himself in the politics of his new community, state and nation.