CCHS Publications Browsing

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.

Why Hampden?

In 1995 Hampden Township observed its sesquicentenary, causing one to wonder why it is called Hampden. While there is no documentary proof, it can with some confidence be concluded that it bears the name of a little known, almost forgotten hero of the English Civil War. Cumberland County's standard histories-Wing, Beers, Donehoo, and Godcharles-dutifully note the formation of the township in January, 1845, but none inquires into the name it bears. The county's prothonotary records the actions in civil court creating the township, but such transcripts offer no reason for the name.

William McCormick's Estate Papers, 1805

The prominent McCormick family dynasty of Harrisburg was founded by James McCormick, the only son of William McCormick of East Pennsborough township, Cumberland County. Though a great deal has been written concerning the vast financial empire erected by James McCormick in nineteenth century Harrisburg, little attention has been paid to his father, a moderately situated yeoman farmer and distiller, who met his untimely end in a farm accident during the opening decade of the nineteenth century.

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.

Women of Carlisle's East End

Thomas Penn, a son of William Penn and a Proprietor of the lands remaining from his father's original grant, was actively involved in plans related to the design of Carlisle. The town, as originally developed, incorporated sixteen square blocks centered on a Square bounded by the cardinal streets: North, South, East and West.

Women's Voices at the Picnic: Programs at Williams Grove in the 1890s

On August 21, 1897, The Farmers' Friend and Grange Advocate, a Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, newspaper, carried an advance notice about events at the Interstate Picnic and Exhibition that had been held annually for more than twenty years at Williams Grove on the eastern border of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. On "Suffrage Day" that year, the announcement read:

The Works of Henry Ganss

For twenty years, from 1890 to 1910, Father Henry Ganss served as pastor of Saint Patrick's Catholic Church in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. During that time he produced historical and musical works achieving international appreciation. He has merited entries in two prominent works of reference-The Dictionary of American Biography and The New Catholic Encyclopedia-rare for one whose activities one would assume deserved only parochial notice.