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.

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.

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

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The Marketing of Carlisle : Part VI

by Charlie Andrews

Some Possible Future Enterprises?

Historical
• “The Shelling of Carlisle” Reenactment of the shelling of Carlisle by Jeb Stuart’s troops. This could be developed into festival celebrating Carlisle’s historic part in the Civil War. The festival could take place at the Carlisle Fairgrounds and also be developed as a Civil War re-enactors festival (vendors selling uniforms, paraphernalia, workshops, etc.). A festival should be at least a weekend long, and, of course, one of the highlights would be the reenactment of the shelling. The theater could be involved in showing a relevant film such as “Gettysburg.”

• “Washington at Carlisle” A review of the troops, reenacting George Washington’s coming to Carlisle on the way to western Pennsylvania to put down the Whiskey Rebellion. Again, this could be developed into a festival similar to the one above, only now with a revolutionary theme.

• Revolutionary War Walking Tour: Molly Pitcher, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, spies, and signers of the Declaration of Independence, etc. Historical movies with lecture/discussion afterward. Hotel package with period dinners and Patriot’s Ball, coordinated with the Cumberland County Historical Society and the Carlisle Theater.

The Carlisle Theater
• Theater/Hotel packages – Collaboration between the theater and hotel to coordinate show and movie packages. Object of bringing people and bus groups in for overnight or weekend stays. For example: Arrive Friday at hotel, performance/movie at theater. Saturday seminars/lectures at hotel and theater, gala dinner then show and theater. Sunday brunch, wrap-up and depart. Some packages might be: film festivals (Charlie Chaplin, Three Stooges, Jerry Lewis, animation, foreign film, etc.), live shows (Shakespeare, Gilbert and Sullivan, one-act play competition, etc.), music (jazz/blues series, acoustic guitar workshop and festival, violin makers festival, etc.)

• An Evening of Jazz at the Carlisle – Blitz Dinette, Steve Rudolph, Jimmy Woods. One of these local groups, even though popular, could not fill the theater, but the three groups featured the same evening would combine their following to fill the theater.

Art & Crafts
Transform the current fall arts and crafts festival into a three-day, juried arts festival, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A committee of local arts professionals would be enlisted to help reformat the festival into a noteworthy event whose increased revenues could seriously underwrite our marketing office/efforts.

For an example, I would cite the “Mountain Heritage Arts & Crafts Festival” in Charles Town, West Virginia. This show is put on by the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce. According to their Executive Director, the revenues from this show account for significantly more than 50% of the total budget for that Chamber office. This show runs from Friday through Sunday, from 10 to 6 p.m.

What helps to draw outstanding artists and crafters to this event is the outstanding treatment that they receive by the people who put on the event. For example: electrical power is provided to any vendor who needs it. What helps to draw incredible crowds to this show is the serious commitment of advertising and marketing that is put into it. The budget for the show is typically $180,000.00. The revenues from the show are typically $250,000.00. On top of this, they do the show twice a year, in June and September.

In discussing this idea with some people, I was asked if I felt the area needed another arts and crafts show. The answer to this is that there is always room for someone doing it right.

Go to Part VII

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

The Marketing of Carlisle : Part I

The Marketing of Carlisle : Part I

by Charlie Andrews

Prologue

A town is a living thing that has an identity, spirit and personality that makes the community unique and alive. Towns are old enough to have seen generations grow, walk their streets, live their lives and pass on. The town itself continues on. This is what gives a town special meaning in our lives. Changes occur, of course, but the essence of the town remains the same. The essence of Carlisle is its downtown, the face and heart of our community. Downtown Carlisle is beautiful, historic, and has a core of unique shops, galleries, antique stores, an art center, a performing arts center, lodging and restaurants. Carlisle overall is an economically diverse town with three colleges, that is growing culturally, intellectually and socially. It has tremendous (yet unrealized) potential.

In the 27 years I have made my living here in the downtown, I have worked alongside fellow merchants, other businesspeople and public officials for the betterment of Carlisle and its downtown.

Today, however, those efforts are no longer moving Carlisle forward. We are slipping into decline. If this decline is allowed to continue, more downtown storefronts will become offices, converted into residences, or increasingly occupied by less-than-credible merchants. I know that this sounds over the top, but I would suggest that it isn’t, and the process has already begun.

We have reached the point of diminishing returns with our current marketing programs as they are currently designed and funded. Complacency has set in as infrastructure ages and economic factors shift. In the mean time, new economic dynamics begin to present opportunities, brought upon by the recent revitalization of our existing malls.

Why is the downtown so important? It is a vital economic factor to Carlisle and the surrounding area that it serves. It is our county seat, an important crossroads and our most significant image of our community to the world. Can we survive without it? Yes, but only as the suburbs of the greater Harrisburg/West Shore area.

To counter this decline, Carlisle must present itself to the world as the unique, beautiful, historic and interesting town that it is. It must do this creatively, energetically, and head on. Carlisle ranks with the Georgetowns and New Hopes of the world, and it needs to show it. This would be the marketing of Carlisle.

Go to Part II

Image Credit: Wonderlane