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Book Review: A History and Genealogy of Carlisle, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania

This is a gold mine of a book. Mrs. Schaumann has done some real digging in official County records and in doing so has come up with an excellent overview of Carlisle as found in tax lists. The major section deals with the original 312 lots, each 60' x 240' as laid out by John Armstrong for the Penn proprietors. In the beginning, each lot sold for seven pence sterling with the condition that the purchaser erect thereon within a year a 20 foot square house of stone, brick or frame (i.e., log) with a stone or brick chimney.

Book Review: An Infantryman Remembers World War II

John H. Light, An Infantryman Remembers World Wtzr II. Shippensburg PA: Beidel Printing House, Inc., 1997. vii, 157 pp. Paperback, $10.95. 

Anyone who can close this book with a dry eye has a heart of stone. John H. Light, for nearly thirty years a professor of mathematics at Dickinson College, here shares his memories of "ground-pounding" in the European Theatre during the Second War War. Although Light grew up in Lebanon County, his home was a Pennsylvania Dutch farm identical in many respects to those in Cumberland County. His story thus provides an analogue for experiences of soldiers from, say, Boiling Springs or Newville. 

Book Review: At a Place Called the Boiling Springs

At a Place Called the Boiling Springs. Edited by Richard L. Tritt and Randy Watts. Illustrated, 247 pp. Boiling Springs Sesquicentennial Publications Committee, 1995. $35, cloth.

This book, commemorating the sesquicentennial of Boiling Springs, provides a well written and visually rich history of this charming Cumberland County village. Although the foreword states that "with today's roads and speeds Carlisle and the village virtually run together," the book proceeds to illuminate the image of a distinct, charming, and historically rich community, whose heritage encompasses a remarkable blend of industry, recreation, and nature.

Book Review: Beyond Philadelphia: The American Revolution in the Pennsylvania Hinterland

John B. Frantz and William Pencak, eds., Beyond Philadelphia: The American Revolution in the Pennsylvania Hinterland. (University Park: Penn State University Press, 1998) viii, 273, maps, index. Hardback $55.00 (ISBN 0-27 1-01 766-X) Paperback $ 19.95 (ISBN 0-271-01767-8). 

The simplicity of some sound ideas makes them go unnoticed. Such is the case with this volume, a succinct study of how the War for Independence affected the various counties of Pennsylvania, one of the largest colonies in the British Empire. It is a wonder no one thought of such a study before 1990, but until then the field lay fallow. 

Book Review: Breaking the Backcountry: The Seven Years' War in Virginia and Pennsylvania, 1754-1765

Matthew C. Ward, Breaking the Back country: The Seven Years' War in Virginia and Pennsylvania, 1754-1765. Pittsburgh PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003. Maps, photos, 329 pps., $34.95.

A sense of pride is irresistible when the author's acknowledgements begin, "In particular I would like to thank the staff at the Cumberland County Historical Society in Carlisle, Pennsylvania . . . . " Matthew Ward, a Scotsman who studied at the College of William and Mary and who is now a lecturer in history at the University of Dundee in Scotland, has expressed amazement at the unique resources in the Society relevant to what we ex-colonials call the French and Indian War. He uses these resources and many others from four countries and from holdings great and small in offering a timely survey of a crucial aspect of the seventeenth century's world war. The 250'" anniversary of this war is upon us, and Ward's retelling of the story appropriately places Cumberland County and Pennsylvania front and center in those dramatic events.

Book Review: Cloth and Costume, 1750 to 1800: Cumberland County, Pennsylvania

Cloth and Costume, 1750 to 1800: Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Cumberland County Historical Society, 199 5. $34.95 plus tax. By Tandy and Charles Hersh. Illustrated; cloth. Carlisle: 

With their customary meticulous scholarship Tandy and Charles Hersh have researched textile and costume to present a richly detailed study of the people who settled in Cumberland County. A vivid picture emerges through their analysis of 1 ,220 estate inventories, wills, tax lists, indictments, and an impressive array of other county records and resources. Eighteenth-century Cumberland County, with 33 widespread townships and three towns, offers exceptional opportunity for study of the structure of life on what was then considered a frontier. The authors observe that "people living in a community offering 138 types of cloth were very much a part of the world of fashion. Households and costumes were not limited by a lack of choice of the world's fabrics." 

Book Review: Clyde A. Laughlin: Postcard King of the Cumberland Valley

Walter Lewis Cressler, Jr., Clyde A. Laughlin: "Postcard King of the Cumberland Valley" (self-published, 2000) viii, 45 pp. appendix, illustrated. Paperback $16.95.

This little book is a gem. For historians and the collectors of early twentieth century postcards, it is a valuable resource. Written by Laughlin's grandson, it contains a chronicle of Clyde Laughlin's life and a comprehensive 86-page list of the postcards that he produced over the course of his 44-year career as a photographer in south central Pennsylvania.

Book Review: County Courthouses of Pennsylvania: A Guide

Oliver P. Williams, County Courthouses of Pennsylvania: A Guide. (Mechanicsburg, Pa.: Stackpole Books, 2001) xi, 244 pp, glossary, index, illustrated; paperback, $19.95 (ISBN 0-8117-2738-6)

This guidebook will serve researchers as well as tourists. Oliver Williams, retired professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, has compiled histories and descriptions of courthouses in all sixty-seven counties in the Commonwealth. He has arranged them admirably in alphabetical order, with photographs of each courthouse, often with additional photographs of architectural details such as cupolas or cornices. A helpful glossary of architectural terms is also illustrated with photographs of parts of Pennsylvania's courthouses.