Cumberland County and Valley before the 1830s was one of the principal avenues to the American West. A steady procession of naturalists, farmers with their families and flocks, European reporters on American democracy, investors and speculators in land, fortune hunters and ne'er-do-wells came up from Philadelphia, crossed the Susquehanna, and, many of them, passed through Carlisle and Shippensburg over the mountains to Bedford, Pittsburgh, and the fertile lands of Ohio.
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Carlisle, the town, is widely known. Its place in history is secured by the accomplishments of many famous residents, institutions and events. It has earned many accolades over the centuries but there is one unique honor bestowed upon the community that is little known and that is the fact that the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad named one of their tugboats Carlisle.
On April 6, 1789, some seventy-two inhabitants of the Borough of Carlisle met to organize a fire company. The figure is to be deduced from the fact that seventy persons signed the articles of agreement at the organizing session.
A 30-foot stone sculpture of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is now open to the public on the Mall in Washington, D.C., to commemorate the sacrifice for freedom that defined Dr. King's life. The monument showing Dr. King emerging from stone is surrounded by walls with inspirational quotations from his speeches and writings.
The following article is adapted from a speech given as part of the commemoration of the role of the Union Fire Company of Carlisle, Pennsylvania in the American Civil War, read before the Union Fire Company on April 21, 2011. Much of the material is derived from research for an upcoming book, "The Union Legacy," that will be published for the 225th anniversary of the company.
The early years of the twentieth century were marked by a tremendous shift in population from the farm and small community to the city. Extreme hardships befell many families trying to obtain work and establish new roots. Social work was in its infancy and was provided primarily by charitable institutions and private foundations.
On April 12, 1973, ten residents of Upper Allen Township gathered in the municipal building in response to a call by the Commissioners for people interested in planning for the nation's bicentennial celebration. Several weeks later, on May 7, these same residents, along with two new recruits, formed the Upper Allen Heritage Committee, having as its stated purpose the preservation of the "natural and historical heritage of Upper Allen Township."
A collection of correspondence and memorabilia belonging to Vance Criswell McCormick rests in the archives of the Historical Society of Dauphin County. A part of the sixth generation of a Cumberland County family, he was born in Silver Spring Township in 1872. His family had settled along the Conodoguinet Creek before 1736. He wintered in Harrisburg and summered first at Rose Garden, Upper Allen Township, and later until his death in 1945 at the home of his wife, "Cedar Cliff," in Lower Allen Township.
On 14 September 1906 William Trickett, dean of the Dickinson School of Law, wrote a letter offering a faculty position to a young lawyer then living in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trickett proposed that the young man—Walter Harrison Hitchler—teach courses in criminal law and equity. "I think you will like the work," wrote Trickett. "It will be useful to you, and may be the initiation into a career as professor of law, that may be lifelong and honorable."
War History: Operations of the Union Cavalry on the Peninsula, in Which Some Cumberland County Soldiers Took Part
Read Before the Hamilton Library Association, Carlisle, Pa., October 23, 1908, and Reprinted for the Historical Department.
When it is considered by the highest and best authorities that it requires three years to transform a recruit into a good cavalryman, it can be understood why at the opening of the Rebellion, the authorities at Washington hesitated about organizing a mounted arm of the service.
The dash of the Confederate Black Horse Cavalry, at Bull Run, demonstrated the importance of cavalry and when the call for three—year troops was made, it was decided with some reluctance and hesitation to create a small mounted force.