Things to Do

Historical Sites & Education

Experience a taste of the past! Lovers of history will fall in love with Downtown Carlisle and the surrounding areas. Extend your stay in the area while visiting Carlisle Events and plan to explore history and educational sites in the Cumberland Valley.


U.S. ARMY HERITAGE AND EDUCATION CENTER The center aims to preserve and interpret the heritage of the U.S. Army. It acquires, preserves, and makes publicly available Army-related library and archival materials. The current research collection contains military history books, military newspapers, technical and field manuals, periodicals, veteran’s surveys, photographs, and transcribes oral histories. The collections include material from as early as the French and Indian War to current U.S. Army operations. The USAHEC also provides interpretive exhibits and educational outreach programs to foster a greater understanding of the Army's central role in the growth, development and protection of the nation and its way of life. The USAHEC motto is "Telling the Army story, one soldier at a time."

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CARLISLE BARRACKS Nestled in the beautiful Susquehanna Valley, the Carlisle Barracks is one of our nation's oldest military installations. Since 1757, Carlisle Barracks has witnessed pioneering concepts in military training and education, and innovative measures to prepare for a changing world. Second oldest Army Post in U.S. A powder magazine built by Hessian prisoners in 1777 survives. Burned by Confederates on July 1, 1863. Indian School, 1879-1918. Army Medical Field Service School, 1920-1946. Army War College since 1951. Visitors are required to show a photo driver's license, car registration and proof of car insurance. Passengers also need photo ID. Grounds may be toured (self-guided walking tour) Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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ALL THINGS CIVIL WAR The Confederates shelled Carlisle borough on July 1, 1863, during the Battle of Carlisle, part of the Civil War’s Gettysburg Campaign. On June 28, 1863, General Albert Jenkins marched his 700 or so cavalrymen through Mechanicsburg and demanded that the Burgess surrender the Union flag. He also demanded 1,500 rations. After the actions at Oyster Point and Sporting Hill, the Confederates cut down a few telegraph lines, tore up a few rails, and left town.

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REVOLUTIONARY WAR COLLECTION Plan for a Revolutionary War themed weekend and uncover stories at area cemeteries and monuments. Start discovering the Revolutionary War at the museum inside the Cumberland County Historical Society. This museum has 16 galleries filled with military weaponry, folk art, wood-carvings, Carlisle Indian School artifacts, Revolutionary War related items, including Molly’s pitcher, and more. The research library houses documents and manuscripts dating back to 1785.

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CARLISLE IRON WORKS FURNACE Carlisle Iron Works Furnace is one of the earliest blast furnaces in PA. Built in 1760. This iron furnace was founded by John Rigble & Co. After 1781, it was operated by Mighael Ege - a well-known ironmaster of the time. Ruins of the charcoal furnace still stand and they are in relatively good shape. Located in Boiling Springs, PA. Boiling Springs is a small, provincial, nineteenth century village that has remained virtually intact since its initial development. Take PA Rt 174 East to the town of Boiling Springs. Go through the town square and up the hill (there will be a small lake to your right). At the top of the hill, make the first right turn. As you start to cross the lake, there will be a parking lot to your left.

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MOLLY PITCHER GRAVE AND STATUE The deeds in the story of Molly Pitcher are generally attributed to Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley. She is renowned for her bravery at the Battle of Monmouth during the Revolutionary War. Lasting through "one of the hottest days ever known", the wife of John Hays, a sergeant of artillery, was carrying water in a pitcher to the thursty soldiers, who called her familiarly, by reason of this grateful service, Molly Pitcher. The monument erected in the old cemetery at Carlisle bears the following inscription: "MOLLY McCAULY, Renowned in history as MOLLY PITCHER, The Heroine of Monmouth, died Jan 1833, aged 79 years. Erected by the Citizens of Cumberland County, July 4, 1876."

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