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Carlisle in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The High Street Train Stations

Walking Tour Stop 18

 
 
The High Street Train Stations Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Shane Oliver, October 30, 2021
1. The High Street Train Stations Marker
Inscription.  On August 19, 1837, a jubilant throng gathered in Carlisle to watch the Cumberland Valley Railroad's first train roll down High Street. Bands played, speeches were made, and the crowds cheered as the “Cumberland Valley” locomotive and its yellow painted cars rolled by.

For 99 years trains ran down the length of High Street. A cloud of smoke and the train's shrill whistle sent many a man and young boy to the station on High & Pitt streets to watch the passengers arrive and depart, especially when they were celebrities like General Tom Thumb and his wife.

Although the railroad brought prestige, prosperity and excitement to the residents of Carlisle, it also brought danger. Sparks from the engine's smokestack often set High Street roofs on fire; carts and wagons broke down on the tracks, and horses as well as people were often rescued just before the train pulled into town; and once, an enraged bull, who had escaped from a local butcher, charged the locomotive.

With the advent of the automobile, it became impractical to have as many as a dozen trains a day running down High Street at four miles per
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hour.

In 1936, the Pennsylvania Railroad Co., which had purchased the C.V.R.R. in 1919, built a new train station at Penn and West streets and closed the High Street station.

On October 16, 1936, the last train, a 15-coach special drawn by the PRR Co.'s newest streamlined locomotive, made its way east on High Street. Just as they had done 99 years before, throngs gathered to watch while bands played and speeches were made. “On both occasions there were scenes of rejoicing,” wrote a local historian.

Images courtesy of the Cumberland County Historical Society.
 
Erected by Historic Carlisle, Inc.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Notable BuildingsRailroads & Streetcars. A significant historical month for this entry is October 1921.
 
Location. 40° 12.108′ N, 77° 11.5′ W. Marker is in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in Cumberland County. Marker is at the intersection of High Street (U.S. 11) and Pitt Street, on the right when traveling west on High Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Carlisle PA 17013, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. James Wilson (a few steps from this marker); The Fighting Butlers (within shouting distance of this marker); Cumberland County Historical Society & Hamilton Library Association (within
Marker in Carlisle image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, August 7, 2010
2. Marker in Carlisle
shouting distance of this marker); Hot-Chee Dogs (within shouting distance of this marker); Centenary Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Vale-Himes Park Landmark Lines (within shouting distance of this marker); Thomas Butler (within shouting distance of this marker); Carlisle's 250th Anniversary Mural (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Carlisle.
 
Mansion House Hotel Photo on Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., January 29, 2009
3. Mansion House Hotel Photo on Marker
Caption reads "A new CVRR train station (adjoining the Mansion House Hotel at 102 West High Street) opened in February, 1863. The ticket office and separate waiting rooms for the general public and for the ladies occupied the first floor. Offices occupied the second floor, while the third floor was connected by a passage to the Mansion House and was used as sleeping rooms for the hotel."
The Mansion House Hotel in 2009 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., January 29, 2009
4. The Mansion House Hotel in 2009
Postcard view of 1891 High Street Train Station image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., January 29, 2009
5. Postcard view of 1891 High Street Train Station
A new train depot was built in 1891 on the NW corner of High & Pitt streets. Designed to "be as comfortable and cozy as a New England cottage on Thanksgiving Day," it was an L-shaped, one story building, built of brownstone with a slate roof and stained glass windows. The station closed in 1936 and was town down in 1941. Some of its stones were used to build the Kitzmiller Apts. on the corner of South & Parker streets.
The High Street Train Station site, 2011 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Larry Gertner, 2011
6. The High Street Train Station site, 2011
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 16, 2022. It was originally submitted on February 13, 2009, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,562 times since then and 122 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on December 19, 2021, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia.   2. submitted on June 29, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.   3, 4, 5. submitted on February 13, 2009, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   6. submitted on June 12, 2020, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 12, 2024