If you are a resident of Carlisle like I am, you probably walked by any number of historical markers in downtown Carlisle without actually paying attention to them. Next time you are out and about, either as a resident or a visitor, be sure to take time to read some of the markers and learn a little bit more about Carlisle’s rich and varied history. A brochure about the wayside markers, produced by the Historic Carlisle Association, can be picked up at the Cumberland Valley Visitors Center or downloaded from VisitCumberlandValley.com. The brochure provides excellent background information and offers walking directions to each of 27 different locations.
A few of the more well-known locations relate to Revolutionary and Civil War history including the Old Graveyard, the Old Prison, the Dickinson College campus, and First Presbyterian Church. Some of the lesser-known sites include the Duncan-Stiles House, owned by Stephen Duncan, who later became the “King of Cotton” and was one of the South’s largest slave owners, as well as the Richardson House, once the home of prosperous African-American Cyrus Richardson and later the childhood home of noted Impressionist artist Ruth A. Anderson. Combine your walking tour with stops at some of downtown Carlisle’s restaurants and shops and you have the makings of an enjoyable and relaxing afternoon.