Carlisle was laid out and settled by Scots-Irish immigrants in 1751. During its earliest period, Carlisle was situated near major Indian hunting grounds and warpaths. It was named after the town of Carlisle, England, which is the seat of England's Cumberland County. The Borough of Carlisle was incorporated on April 13, 1782. During the French and Indian War, Carlisle was the westernmost point at which British Crown regiments bivouacked and the largest British town west of the Susquehanna River. During the Colonial period, Carlisle was the major jumping-off point for travel west to the Ohio Valley, and it has since continued to be a crossroads of national importance.
The Cumberland County Historical Society has been serving the area since it's charter in 1874. Visitors will experience over 250 years of history. The museum tells the stories of a changing world, evolving lives and the dreams that shaped local, state and national history. The award-winning museum encourages visitors to explore local history, showcasing a public trust and create civic pride. The newly redesigned facility is on the second floor, expanded to 6,300 square feet, and encompasses 16 galleries including a new folk art gallery housing a nationally significant collection, a new Indian School gallery featuring the nation's largest repository of Carlisle Indian School artifacts and archival materials, and much more. A second changing gallery provides new incentives for repeated visitation. Regionally, it is a prominent art and history center.
An active history center, the Society is dedicated to preserving, collecting and interpreting county history. CCHS maintains the Hamilton Library, Photo Archives, a hands-on Educational Center, Museum Shop and the historic Two Mile House located on Walnut Bottom Road, in Carlisle.
Anyone interested in local history is invited to become a member. Admission to the museum is free. Call 249-7610 or visit our web page for more information.