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.

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 Marketing of Carlisle : Part IV

by Charlie Andrews

A Return To Growth

What does a viable, dynamic and prosperous downtown offer?
• Increased employment.
• Increased property values.
• The adaptive reuse and renovation of older existing structures.
• Increased tax revenues.
• A more attractive community for new business, industry and residents.
• Enhanced quality of life for all of Carlisle.

The “Marketing of Carlisle” concept is supported by significant data and research. A 1997 study commissioned by the Greater Carlisle Chamber of Commerce and prepared by the Danth Corporation is called A Retail Marketing Strategy for Carlisle, PA. The study cites the strengths and weaknesses of Carlisle, and recommends strategies for revitalization. In regards to the downtown it says: “This downtown has a number of important assets, not the least of which is a leadership that fashioned an effective positioning strategy and made important improvements. Because of these improvements and policies, as well as the downtown’s other development assets, DANTH believes that Downtown Carlisle is ready to emerge from its chrysalis and become a true regional destination.”

In 2000, an actual blueprint for the downtown’s revitalization came from the Cumberland County Redevelopment Authority, and was approved by the DCA. It is titled Carlisle MainStreets Plan: The Road to Shaping the Downtown into a Commercial and Retail Power Center. The plan describes the leasing of 30,000 square feet of first floor space for prime retail space, the development of 20,000 square feet of class A office space on second floors, and 25 market rate apartments in the downtown. It also addresses public relations and business recruitment, facade and public private site improvements and even public and semipublic art. In conclusion, the report states: ”Consensus on a downtown strategy is of critical importance. National retailers overall want to know what the overall goals of the downtown revitalization effort are before locating in a downtown. Funding agencies such as state government also want assurances that there is consensus on an overallstrategy. For these reasons, Carlisle MainStreets can be an important document to help guide the downtown effort in both the short and long term.”

The recently completed Drive Shed Report by the South Central Assembly for Effective Governance states that within a 20 minute drive of Carlisle: “The population in this area is estimated to change from 393,935 to 395,848, resulting in a growth of 0.5% between 2000 and 2004. Over the next five years (2005-2010), the population is projected to grow by 1.6%”.

The return to growth for the downtown will require a resurgence of the DCA. The DCA’s executive director’s position needs to be upgraded in salary and benefits. The position’s job description needs to have an overriding emphasis on marketing and communications. There needs to be an increase in funding for materials, memberships in outside marketing groups, advertising packages in outside areas we are targeting, etc. Again from the DANTH study: “The responsibility for implementing the Downtown development strategy presented in this report would fall mainly upon the Downtown Carlisle Association (the DCA). While in the past the DCA has shown itself to be an effective organization, it is highly doubtful that this small staff and modest budget will be sufficient to implement the proposed strategy. The required heavy promotions and advertising, in both the print and broadcast media, means that the DCA will need substantially more program funds for air time and print ads. The additional recruitment efforts, targeted though they might be, will also require additional program funds. The ads, promotions and recruitment materials will all have to be designed. All of this will require additional staff who have the proper training and job experience.”

Funding this effort initially for the first five years should be a coalition of the Borough, County, Chamber of Commerce, DCA, major businesses and industries. It should also include any state or federal funding sources such as Community Development Block Grant funds and the Department of Community and Economic Development and other private and local sources detailed in the Carlisle MainStreets Plan. Two years before the end of this funding period, the borough should enact an ordinance for the creation of a “Business District Authority” (BDA), or as described in the DANTH study: “DANTH strongly recommends that Carlisle’s leaders seriously explore the feasibility of establishing a Downtown Investment District to provide some of the additional funds the DCA will require.”

The report further states: “These districts are a mechanism that allow downtown business operators and property owners to assess themselves and thus raise the funds needed to provide the special services and improvements that can revitalize a downtown. The other citizens of the municipality are not assessed! but all who might benefit from a special service district are assessed according to some fair and agreed upon formula.”

The bottom line is that we will know if this course of action is working within three years, and if it is, the BDA or some other formula to sustain it will be doable.

Development a marketing plan is crucial, and this responsibility would be that of the executive director of the DCA. This would become a strategy to use our funds tactically to derive the greatest return.

Go to Part V

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

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 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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