The Marketing of Carlisle : Part III

by Charlie Andrews

The Decline Again

Over time, most organizations, businesses or communities fall into a routine. There is no individual fault, yet we are all at fault as we become comfortable, and complacency creeps into our routine. This is a difficult thing to combat, but it is particularly disastrous for what is essentially a marketing effort. We need to continue finding ways of increasing our marketing to the outside world, and ways of funding it. Our efforts have stalled, because our current plan for addressing this is no longer effective.

The downtown’s new decline is now apparent and has begun a vicious cycle. As empty storefronts appear, they are not soon filled with new merchants. They remain empty, become trashy looking, weeds are beginning to grow and tree wells are not maintained.

Stores become harder to rent, and rents start dropping. This allows less-credible merchants in who do not maintain or improve their storefronts, sidewalks, window displays, etc. The gutting of the sign ordinance further enhanced this deterioration. These less-credible merchants don’t stay long, and we are left with either another empty and now further- deteriorated site, or another less-credible merchant who is not going to last either.
All this means fewer people on the sidewalks, so they become attractive to skateboarders and bicyclists. This is illegal, but because there are fewer merchants or shoppers to complain, even less attention is paid to the downtown. Even traffic and crosswalk enforcement declines for the same reasons.

An ominous indicator of the downtown’s decline is that this year (2004) a building owner applied for and received a zoning exemption to convert a storefront into a residential apartment. For the downtown, this is “the kiss of death.”

Go to Part IV

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The Marketing of Carlisle : Part V

by Charlie Andrews

Carlisle’s Potential

Carlisle is already a destination for the local area, but it is the potential day-trippers within a two-hour driving radius who put a tremendous amount of disposable income within reach of our community. This means more people coming to Carlisle for all the right reasons, to shop, partake of our cultural events, to establish businesses and even to live in the proposed renovated areas of our downtown. For this to happen Carlisle must market itself.

Downtown Carlisle is a destination for:
• Antiques • Art • Crafts
• Specialty Shops • Fine Dining • Boutiques
• History • Architecture • Entertainment
• Cultural Events • Fine Hotels • Bed & Breakfasts
• Books • Baking/Desserts

Additionally, Carlisle’s fine lodging in its downtown allows visitors to take in not only Carlisle but surrounding historic and scenic areas. Some other attractions to people from outside our area are:

• Carlisle Car Shows • Area Civil War Sites
• Cumberland County Historical Society • Local/Area Museums • Dickinson College
• Famous Trout Streams
• US Army War College • Historic Colleges
• Dickinson School of Law

Some Allies of Carlisle
who also have a mutual interest in the health of our community are:
• Area Industries • Carlisle Productions
• Dickinson College
• Law School • US Army War College • Wal-Mart
• Lowes • Home Depot

Go to Part VI

The Marketing of Carlisle : Part VII

by Charlie Andrews

Where Do We Go From Here?

The responsibility for this community ultimately falls to our Borough Government. That does NOT mean that they do it all. We all share in the responsibility for this effort and it’s implementation. It does, however, mean that the Borough has the responsibility to show leadership in this effort themselves and through their appointees.

I would suggest a moderated, strategic planning meeting, hosted by the Borough at a public place in the downtown. The critical participants are the Borough of Carlisle, Cumberland County, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Downtown Carlisle Association. Other individuals or organizations such as the Historical Society, Dickinson College and others deemed necessary should also be included.

The object of this meeting is to design a specific action plan and assign responsibilities, with the ultimate goal of reshaping the Downtown Carlisle Association into a true marketing office. This office would be responsible for promoting and marketing Carlisle to the outside world, with a view to attracting people to Carlisle and its downtown for shopping, tourism, recreation, education, and culture. Concurrently, efforts should continue for attracting and recruiting quality merchants to the downtown.

I think a moderator would be helpful in keeping the meeting on track. Some of the objectives of this meeting might be:

• Establishing of a committee responsible for moving this forward.
• Outlining the scope of responsibilities of a rebuilt DCA.
• Identifying initial funding sources (to cover first 5 years).
• Identifying tasks and entities responsible for them.
• Establishing of a timeline for completion of actions.
• Establishing of any other subcommittees needed.

Thank You for . . .
taking the time to look this over. This document is meant to bring attention to a serious situation in our community. None of this will change overnight, but it will change, to first stop our decline and then to move us forward. Carlisle is a beautiful, historic and charming town with tremendous potential to thrive, and not just survive. This effort requires some courage and effort, but we have nothing to lose and the world to gain.

Sincerely,
*
Charles W. Andrews
249-1721
c2464@aol.com

The Marketing of Carlisle : Part II

by Charlie Andrews

Some History

In the 1970’s the only efforts to market Carlisle were by the merchants themselves. For many years they met once a month for a breakfast meeting at the old Bellaire House Restaurant, first as the Central Carlisle Business Association then as the Downtown Business Association. Essentially, the marketing efforts were of group advertising in the local newspapers and radio, holiday specials, and a one big annual event, “Sidewalk Sales” in July. The effect of two malls on the edges of Carlisle had already wrought dramatic change in the downtown (and in downtowns across America). Stores like Montgomery Wards, Penney’s, The Bon-Ton, Wengers, etc., moved to the malls. The downtown still had a lot to offer in its owner-operated stores and restaurants within a beautiful and historic downtown setting.

It was obvious, however, that marketing efforts needed to be increased to attract new businesses and people. We needed a person who was paid to work on these efforts constantly and consistently, rather than relying on volunteer merchants who already had a lot to do just running their businesses.

In 1980, the Carlisle Chamber of Commerce, under the leadership of then president Len Doran, proposed the formation of an organization and the hiring of an individual whose job would be to coordinate existing marketing efforts and develop new ones. They would create new opportunities to celebrate Carlisle and bring outside people to the downtown. There would be a board of directors with regular meetings, and various committees would be developed for events, beautification of the downtown, economic development, membership, etc. Initially, the Chamber of Commerce and the Borough each contributed money toward a matching grant from the state’s Department of Community Affairs (today called the Department of Community and Economic Development). The grant was made for each of three years, and after that the state grant ended. Local businesses and industries were also solicited and donated over $25,000. The idea was that after the grant ended, Carlisle would see the benefits of the program and continue to support it.

In Carlisle’s case, we did, but a number of communities across Pennsylvania didn’t. Many essentially lost their downtowns as far as economic effectiveness or meaning to their communities. Carlisle’s program, started in 1981, was initially called the Carlisle Economic Development Center. Today it is called the Downtown Carlisle Association (DCA).

Since its formation, the DCA has continued to develop group advertising ideas, new events (Octubafest, Street Hoops, Corvette Parade, etc.), financial assistance programs for facades and signage, and new marketing tools in the form of a Carlisle brochure and video, etc. Originally the goal was to draw people from the surrounding local areas to Carlisle. As the years have gone on though, it has became apparent that for Carlisle to really thrive and prosper, we need to draw people to Carlisle from out of the area, i.e. Baltimore, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, northern Virginia, etc. At the same time, we also need to attract competent merchants to the downtown.

Other, positive developments in the downtown have been the Carlisle Theater, the downtown hotel, and the parking garage as well as the Carlisle Arts Learning Center and the expansion of the Cumberland County Historical Society. Additionally, we are seeing the redevelopment of the old Woolworth’s building and the fire ravaged properties on the corner of High and Pitt Streets.

From the DCA’s beginning in 1981 and into the 1990’s, Carlisle had turned its downtown around and improved it significantly.

Go to Part III

Carlisle Pennsylvania – Information

Carlisle Pennsylvania – Information

Here is a quick list of information and resources for Carlisle. You can also find more by searching (using the search box at the top of the page).

Official Borough Sources
Carlisle Police : 717-243-5252
Carlisle Borough
Carlisle School District

Utilities
Electric: PP&L
Natural Gas: UGI
Water/Sewer: Contact the Borough (link above)
Telephone: Embarq

Organizations
Carlisle Chamber of Commerce
Downtown Carlisle Association

Dickinson College
Penn State Dickinson School of Law

Entertainment is Important Too…

If you have information that may be of use here, please email me: pamidstate@gmail.com and I will post pertinent information.
Please mention in the subject that this is for basic Carlisle, PA information.

The Molly Pitcher Frock

The Molly Pitcher Frock

Like people, buildings have their history.  The 44 North Bedford, home to Bedford Street Antiques, is no different.  The northern, three-story section of Bedford Street Antiques was originally a church.  Completed by the First Lutheran Church in 1852 at a cost of $7,122.50, glimpses of the original architecture can be found throughout the three floors.  During the Confederate Invasion of Carlisle, the church was struck twice. One shell landed in the supports of the roof without exploding.   Attendance was down until the shell was removed!

When the congregation built its present church on the corner of E. High and S. Bedford at the turn of the 1900s, the John W. Plank Company renovated the church into a factory for the manufacturing of women’s and children’s garments.  On the cutting edge of ready-to-wear day clothing, one of the company’s most successful lines was the one-piece cotton dress known as the “Molly Pitcher Frock.”  Plank’s garment business eventually became the Carlisle Garment Company in 1913.  In 1956, a 10,000 square foot building on the adjoining southern property was added for storage and shipping.  In its peak year of 1962, the company produced and shipped 175,464 dozen dresses and pajamas – that’s 72,105,505 pieces!  Total employment was about 300 with a payroll in 1963 of $650,000.  The company operated until 1976.

Molly Pitcher’s Poem

All day the great guns barked;
All day the big balls screeched and soared;
All day, ‘mid the sweating gunners grim,
Who toiled in their smoke-shroud dense and dim,
Sweet Molly labored with courage high,
With steady hand and watchful eye,
Till the day was ours, and the sinking sun
Looked down on the field of Monmouth won,
And Molly standing beside her gun.

Laura E. Richards

You can read Carlisle’s poem to Molly Pitcher on a visit to the Molly Pitcher Monument located in Carlisle’s Old Graveyard on East South St.
FYI: The statue of is a composite likeness of the descendants of Mary Hays McCauley, Carlisle’s Molly Pitcher.

Compliments of
Carlisle Guided Tours
Walking tours of Historic Carlisle
(717) 249-2926  (Not sure if they are still in business)

References:
Thompson, D.W. and Schaumann, Merri Lou. “Goodbye, Molly Pitcher,” Cumberland County History, Vol. 6, Number 1, Carlisle, PA, Cumberland County Historical Society,1989.

Echman, Walter. Program script on the history of the Carlisle Carpet Co., 1964.

Hoffer, Ann Kramer. Twentieth Century Thoughts-Carlisle: The Past Hundred Years, Carlisle, PA, Cumberland County Historical Society, 2002.

Molly Pitcher

Molly Pitcher
As Americans began writing their history in the 1800s, they searched for heroes and heroines symbolizing America’s spirit and character. George Washington became “The Father of Our Country.” And America’s Revolutionary War heroine? Molly Pitcher. Bits and pieces of actual people and events, along with half truths and embellishments, evolved into the Molly Pitcher Legend that has been handed down from generation to generation.

The Legend:
On June 28, 1778, Continental and British troops clashed at the Battle of Monmouth, New Jersey. Reported as “one of the hottest days ever known,” soldiers dying of heat and thirst welcomed the sight of Mary Hays, wife of an artillery soldier, as she repeatedly brought water to the exhausted and wounded men. They nicknamed her Molly Pitcher. (Afterwards, any woman bringing water to soldiers on the field, was called “Molly Pitcher.”)

As the battle raged, Molly’s husband was wounded while manning his cannon. Molly rose to the occasion by picking up the rammer and servicing the cannon through out the remainder of the battle. Her heroic efforts were recognized by George Washington himself (as some stories claim) and by the State of Pennsylvania.

Carlisle’s Molly Pitcher:

The Basics
Mary Hays McCauley (McKolly or McCalla or McCawley or McAuley) was born c1753 and married William Hays. William was a gunner in Proctor’s 4th Artillery at the Battle of Monmouth during the American Revolution, and Mary, like many women, followed her husband to war. After the War, William, Mary, and their 3-year-old son, John L. Hays, settled in Carlisle purchasing lot #257. William entered the barbering business. William died in 1786 and by 1793 Mary married John McCalla, who dies or disappears by 1810. In 1822 Mary Hays McCauley applied for a pension from the State of Pennsylvania and was granted a yearly $40 pension by special act of the PA legislature. The initial bill, Senate No. 265, was entitled “An act for the relief of Molly McKolly, a widow of a soldier of the Revolutionary War.” Striking “widow of a soldier” and inserting “for services rendered” was a deliberate change to the bill and Mary thus received the pension in her own right. Molly and her son continued to live in Carlisle until her death in 1832. Mary Hays McCauley is referred to as Mary, Molly, and Polly in various tax and other records. Although oral accounts have been passed down that Mary Hays actually took her husband’s place at the cannon after he was injured at the Battle of Monmouth, there is no documentation – as yet – that she really did this.

Mixing it up
Also in Cumberland County at the time of the Revolutionary War, just north of Chambersburg,
(now Franklin County) was Mary Corbin. Known as Captain Molly, she fought at the Battle of Washington in 1776 and documentation verifies her firing a cannon and being wounded during that battle. She also received a pension in her own right. She is buried at West Point.

Was she the original Molly Pitcher?
FYI: Other women were also granted pensions for their services during the American Revolution by special act of the PA Legislature.

Does it matter?
Whether Carlisle’s Mary Hays McCauley or Margaret Corbin, visiting the Molly Pitcher Monument in Carlisle’s Old Graveyard is worth the visit to pay respects to all women who followed their loved ones to war and made heroic sacrifices in the cause of Independence – on and off the field of battle.

Compliments of Carlisle Guided Tours * Walking Tours of Carlisle * (717) 249-2926 (Not sure if they are in business now)

References:
Thompson, D.W. and Schaumann, Merri Lou. “Goodbye, Molly Pitcher,” Cumberland County History, Vol. 6, Number 1, Carlisle, PA, Cumberland County Historical Society,1989.

Echman, Walter. Program script on the history of the Carlisle Carpet Co., 1964.

Hoffer, Ann Kramer. Twentieth Century Thoughts-Carlisle: The Past Hundred Years, Carlisle, PA, Cumberland County Historical Society, 2002.

The Green Man of Carlisle

And just who is The Green Man of Carlisle?

Peering from behind tendrils of foliage, The Green Man watches the comings and goings of those passing by on Carlisle streets. Hopefully, he is wishing us well.

What does The Green Man look like? As varied as the personalities who created, and continue to create, him. The image can be grotesque to ward off evil; with vegetation exuding from the mouth, ears, nose or eyes to encircle the face. Other images, like those in Carlisle, are fatherly and friendly. No matter the depiction, foliage is an integral part of his make-up. Mostly carved in stone or wood, The Green Man of Carlisle is in iron.

Who is The Green Man? Where did he come from? One of history’s mysteries yet to be solved, he dates back 1000s of years and is found around the world by various names. The French called him “tete de feuilles” (head of leaves) and the Germans called him “blattmaske” (leaf mask). He can be linked to the Egyptian God Osiris, the Sumerian Tammuz, the Celtic God Kernunnos, and the Babylonian Dimuzzi. He can be found in the folk lore characters of Jack-in-the-Green, Robin Hood, John Barleycorn, The King of the May, The Green Knight of King Arthur’s realm, Pan, the Oak and Holly King, the Burry Man of Edinburgh, the Celtic Lugh, the Leaf Men of Switzerland, and even Father Christmas. (Just to mention a few.)

He was dubbed The Green Man in 1939 when Lady Raglan was intrigued by all the links.

What does The Green Man stand for? No matter his name or place, The Green Man represents the natural cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth as seen in winter giving way to spring and the cycle beginning again. He is the protector of the earth; the caretaker of nature. His signature is foliage.

Where can The Green Man be found? The earliest images to date are from Classical Rome in the 2nd century AD, on Christian gravestones of the 4th century, and in Celtic art before the Roman conquest of Gaul. One can especially find his image in the medieval churches and cathedrals of Great Britain from the 12th to the 16th centuries. And in America, he can be found in the decorative motifs of the Victorian Era and present day new age art. He seems to be everywhere – once you recognize him!

Where is The Green Man in Carlisle? There are some 2 dozen images in Carlisle’s original 1751 grid bordered by North, South, East, and West streets. They are waiting for you to find them. Wherever you find him, who ever he is, and for whatever reason he is among us, you’re sure to find him a haunting enchanter.