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Inspiring, fascinating figures from local history come to life through Time Traveler Trunks interactive hands-on programming.

Ingenuity and Tradition: Native Americans of the Eastern Woodlands
Today, body ink, piercings, and unusual hairstyles are common fashion choices.  Through the 18th century, however, ritual tattooing, the decoration of ears and noses, and hair ornamentation were visual representations of some of the values and traditions of indigenous Iroquois and Algonquian peoples. By exploring these practices, as well as the development and utilization of handmade tools and weapons, hunting and farming practices, food preparation and preservation, and clothing production, we can better understand the effective use of resources, cultural expectations, and belief systems of the proud people who once controlled Pennsylvania and whose traditions continue into the present day.

Why Are They Wearing That? Life in Colonial and Early America
When we put on our favorite t-shirts, they reflect far more than where we shop, our favorite sports teams, preferred musical groups, or political viewpoints. Material culture, such as clothing, is a window into time and place. Inanimate objects are more than interesting they are innately able to relay information about technology, economics, resources, transportation, and, of course, culture.  Using textiles as a primary resource, layer by fascinating layer, we will literally step into the world of the 18th century. As participants dress in period correct attire, they will be learning not only how to interpret the past but also how current material culture reflects contemporary values and resources.

“Rioters at Heart”: Scots-Irish and the French and Indian War
Over 250 years ago, traditional and guerilla warfare waged throughout Pennsylvania. Due to its strategic geographic composition and the nature of its population, the central region was vital during this critical standoff over territory and commerce. While France and England warred over empire, harrowing and dynamic stories were being forged, native populations were transformed, and the seeds of a new nation were sown. This program is a great opportunity to teach about the significance of local history in the midst of global conflict.

 The Amazing Benjamin Rush: Medicine in Colonial and Early America
 More than one of the most accomplished physicians and medical teachers of his generation, Dr. Benjamin Rush was also a staunch patriot, advocate for the poor, avid abolitionist, progressive for prison reform, and the father of American psychiatry. His philosophies on medicine would guide the profession through to the Civil War. We will delve into the incredible life of this riveting figure, a man who was hailed for routinely poisoning, bleeding, purging, burning and blistering patients.  Learn about the cultural and technological limits of the 18th and early 19th centuries and why extreme therapies were the trademarks of the time.  You may be surprised by ways in which modern treatments are based upon our nation’s early history.

Rioters at Heart: Central Pennsylvania in the American Revolution
“No taxation without representation,” is a familiar cry of the American Revolution. Years before the Declaration of Independence, the men and women of Central Pennsylvania, keenly aware of their lack of representation in government, had actively mobilized against the tyranny of British rule. Expert Scots-Irish and German riflemen, led by fiercely patriotic individuals hardened by the French and Indian War, became instrumental to the outcome. We will not only explore the stories of amazing men who shouldered economic and physical hardship, but also the role local women who endured and likewise embodied the spirit of the fight.

Dr. Vampire: Benjamin Rush and the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793
Showered with honors and gifts by European nobility but derided as “Dr. Vampire” by angry Philadelphians, no one observed the epicenter of the plague as thoroughly as Dr. Benjamin Rush.  In 1793, experience, vision, and foresight prompted Dr. Rush to attempt radical ideas to reduce the spread and impact of the disease. Politicians, merchants, and citizens refused to implement his theories. Aided by gunpowder, vinegar, mercury, chocolate, tapioca, cold baths, and cutting instruments, Rush took heroic and controversial measures to treat his patients. We will immerse ourselves in the tragic events of 1793 and conclude with the groundbreaking research of Walter Reed in the early 1900s.    

What Were They Thinking? Slavery in Cumberland County
In terms of slavery, from the time that William Penn set precedent as a prosperous slave holder in the 17th century to the vital role of Philadelphia Quakers as leaders of the abolition movement in the 18th and 19th centuries, Pennsylvania underwent a dramatic transformation. Our state’s quest to rid itself of the institution led to manumission laws which gradually eliminated human bondage. Cumberland County is unique in that it was the only area that saw an increase of slave holdings after manumission. Economics, cultural attitudes, labor relations, taxation, immigration, racial relationships, and social status each played a part. Primary documents present an opportunity to explore life during Pennsylvania’s slave holding decades.  We will also explain uplifting ways in which an enslaved people enriched and defined American culture.

Against the Grain: The Underground Railroad in Central Pennsylvania
County records reveal Central Pennsylvania’s struggle to define its stance towards freedom seekers. Several court cases provide the means to assess mercurial state laws weighed against regional attitudes upholding the constitutional right to slave ownership. You will be introduced to spirited abolitionists willing to stake fortune and reputation in their efforts to protect a vulnerable minority, as well as runaways desperate to prevent being separated from their loved ones, and owners looking to the law to protect their vital investment. Using role playing, we will reenact key events which reached a national audience. Each case is a study in the difficulties of navigating through this polarizing subject.

“If You Will Back Me Up:” Love, Honor, and Technology in the Civil War
A monument in downtown Carlisle memorializes county soldiers who sacrificed their lives a century and a half ago. There is life and meaning to the 171 names carved in stone. Men abandoned beloved wives and children to fight for their beliefs, women persevered and prayed, childhood friends fought on opposing sides, and valiant heroes emerged from the call to defend their nation. Depravation, victory, and loss are conveyed through the inspiring and devastating experiences of area residents. Throughout we will survey the significance of munitions technology, expanding transportation systems, and improved communication; all of which introduced the prototype for 20th century warfare and laid the groundwork for the industrial revolution.

Maggots Are Your Friends: Lessons from Civil War Era Medicine
Horrifying conditions caused more soldiers to perish from diarrhea than bullets while poor logistics and primitive food preservation prompted many an infantryman to crave a meal of raw onions. On the other hand, improved medical procedures, and changing cultural attitudes made medicine during the Civil War a study in opportunity. Mangled limbs, wet gangrene, pus laden bandages, and maggots feasting on your flesh may make you squirm, but lessons from the past can benefit and improve healthcare in unforeseen ways. Learn how munitions technology, crowded camp sites, and overall poor nutrition, hygiene, and sanitation contributed to the high death toll but also lead to surprising innovations and advancements that changed American medicine forever.

Ten Thousand Voices:  The Carlisle Indian Industrial School
In the decades following the Civil War, industrialization and expanding transportation opened the floodgates of immigration, spurred westward expansion, and brought migrating white settlers and native populations into direct conflict.  Moving to protect their investment, the federal government waged war against targeted “hostile” tribes. Meanwhile, progressives were formulating another solution to the “Indian problem.”  Thus Central Pennsylvania became host to one of the most significant social experiments in world history.  You will “visit” the school through the diverse experiences of more than 10,000 students who attended the institution during a forty-year program of forced assimilation.

It Seems Like Such a Quiet Town: Dynamics of the Industrial Revolution in Cumberland County
Central Pennsylvania had its share of industrial leaders who made significant economic and social contributions to the lives of thousands of workers and their families.  Meet a German immigrant who would become the largest manufacturer of women’s shoes in the nation and revel in his patriotic and philanthropic gestures. Participate in the legal struggle of a local inventor who designed a communication system that would challenge Alexander Graham Bell all the way to the Supreme Court. While practicing manners, etiquette, and social skills we will look local businesses and the intriguing connections between Masland Carpet and Ford Motor Company, the history of Frog and Switch, products created by Carlisle Tire and Rubber, and the role of the Cumberland Valley Railroad.

Men and Women of Iron: Impact of World War I on the 20th Century
Industrial technology applied to the battlefield brought about a need so immediate and forceful that America was transformed.  The “Iron men” of Pennsylvania’s 28th division rose to the occasion. From Cumberland County emerged heroic men and dedicated women. Wilson mobilized a nation for war, the economy and the role of women expanded in unprecedented ways. Across the sea, hundreds of thousands of Americans endured rapid firing machine guns, flame throwers, trench foot, lice, and a constant barrage of unprecedented artillery fire. Learn how these and other technologies functioned and brought about adaptations such as air combat, tanks, and chemical warfare and ways in which the “War to End All Wars” would profoundly shape the decades to come.

Why the Twenties Roared: Significance of the Jazz Age
Responding to the horror wrought by the Great War and the devastation of the Spanish Influenza, many Americans defined themselves by the expression “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” Young adults sought to defy tradition, expressing themselves through slang, bootleg alcohol, uninhibited clothing, and carefree attitudes towards propriety. A burgeoning youth oriented culture arose and brought forth increased social diversity and independence. Women achieved suffrage and demanded equality not only in the workplace but at home. By the time the decade came to a close, the financial structure initiated by the war, followed by high risk borrowing and lending, brought the roar to a whimper as a new age of conservatism set in.

Chicken Thieves and Baked Bean Sandwiches: Life during the Great Depression
Brought to an economic low, Americans were encouraged to “make do or do without.” Once prosperous citizens were reduced to taking in boarders, raising chickens, and wearing dresses made of rough feed sacks. Despite the everyday woes, people made their own fun and enjoyed the simple things in life.  We will look at the role of CCC camps and other government policies, chicken thieves, gangsters, suicide, and murder in Central Pennsylvania as we follow the footsteps of local residents.  Would you have escaped from reality by dreaming of becoming a Hollywood star or robbing a bank?  As you contemplate munching on baked bean sandwiches, capping your own soda bottle, and experimenting with homemade remedies, we will attempt to understand this trying but fascinating period of American history.

Only an Eighth Grade Education? A Day in a One Room Schoolhouse
English as a second language, year round education, and prayer in school are not new debates. These subjects were challenged during the rule of William Penn. His vision of universal classical education was not achieved until the early 20th century. Once the dream of common schools was realized, local students aged four to twenty-one were gathered into solitary classrooms. You will enjoy hearing about the evolution towards the modern school system, the extent to which teachers went to maintain discipline, as well as the ingenious pranks pulled by local students. As we explore the rigorous curriculum of an eighth grade education, you will be astounded and amused by everyday life in a one room setting.

“It’s All”: Influences of Pennsylvania German Culture
As a child did you leave a tooth under your pillow expecting to get a monetary gift in return?  Have you ever enjoyed the creamy sweetness of a delicious whoopee pie or reveled in fairy tales like Little Red Riding Hood? Germans settling in Pennsylvania brought traditions which flavored and enriched the culture of their new home. Holiday celebrations, folk remedies, food, storytelling, arts and crafts, ornamentation, literacy, language, and superstitions were all profoundly shaped by the influx of Germanic immigrants. In this fun and informative program, you will learn of the profound influence of the “Pennsylvania Dutch.” 

“I Can’t Believe They Ate That”: Glory and Sacrifice in World War II
With one in every seven soldiers hailing from Pennsylvania, we are rife with stories of honor and valor. Learn how Pennsylvania’s famed 28th Division earned the moniker, “Bloody Bucket.”  Become enveloped in one of the most incredible dogfights in American history; featured in a documentary on the History Channel. Lean forward and hear how an unlikely middle aged soldier known as “the old man” would distinguish himself as the last Medal of Honor winner of World War II. Keeping in mind that success on the battlefield depended upon the pivotal role of American women, we will examine ways in which their willingness to labor and sacrifice ensured our nation’s victory.  

Cold War, Hot Conflict: America in the 1950s
How did the Soviet Union turn from ally to enemy? Why was everyone so afraid of Joe McCarthy? Did we really think that better kitchens would crush the spirit of the Soviets? During this program we will look at the material culture of the 1950s as it relates to McCarthyism, cultural and technological competition with Russia, containment of the spread of communism through a war in Korea. Air raid drills, Mickey Mouse, and Hawaiian shirts exercised by a youth dominated culture obscured the undercurrent of fear that permeated the “Happy Days” of the 1950s. Not to be forgotten, we will feature valiant county soldiers who endured epidemic hemorrhagic fever, frost bite, Mao Zedong’s army, starvation in prison camps, and introduced the world to the H bomb, interracial fighting forces, napalm, helicopters, body armor, MASH units, jet aircraft and G-suits in a conflict that nearly led to World War III.

Conflict with Two Faces: The War in Vietnam
The conflict in Vietnam has become one of the most analyzed and controversial events in American history.  In its early years, conquest in Southeast Asia was supported with patriotic fervor. Many county youths enthusiastically enlisted saying, “It was the easiest decision of my life.” By the late sixties and early seventies, the tide of public opinion had turned away. What caused these changes and how did the reversal affect or reflect the views of the public? Relying upon the experiences of men and women from Cumberland County we will look at the technology and culture of the war while exploring reactions from enlistees, draftees, hippies, and squares to the Tet Offensive, military strategy, media coverage, and peace rallies. These voices may shed light not only on the past but on how memory of historic events is shaped and remembered in popular culture.



Impact of Ancient Cultures on Modern America
It’s All Fun and Games:Historic Toys and Games: Yo-yo’s, jump ropes, checkers, tops, jacks, and marbles provide opportunities to involve students in understanding how past civilizations impact the present.  They also reveal ways in which humans adapt and assimilate ideas learned through migration and warfare.  Beginning with ancient Egypt and moving towards Pennsylvania in the 21st century, we will discover ways in which technology and economics have affected playthings throughout history. 

Wow, Naked Gymnastics: Influence of Ancient Greece on Early American Medicine
Can you envision sports practice without clothes? How about community bathing? This program will both amuse and surprise you. The ancient world’s revolutionary views on medicine heavily influenced medical treatments in early America. Modern medical symbols, use of the Hippocratic Oath, hygiene, sanitation, physical fitness, and medicinal plants all have ancient origins. Through material culture and activities, we will explore the role of the ancient world on Early America.  You may conclude that you would have been safer to live in ancient Greece than colonial Pennsylvania.

Evergreens and Dreidels: American Holiday Customs
How did St. Nicholas, Christmas trees, gifts, vacation, carols, cookies, and a host of other traditions come to represent the season? The Saturnalia festivities of ancient Rome featured abundant and special foods, decorating with evergreens, singing, dancing, drinking, visiting, sacrifice, fortune telling, ceremony, and celebration. We will explore ways in which Roman customs were interpreted and converted in Europe and eventually adapted and blended by American religious and ethnic groups. This is not only the story of Christmas, but the evolution of Hanukkah in America.

The Making of Santa Claus: The Pennsylvania German Belsnickle
Each phase of Roman conquest brought divergent cultural groups together. Under the control of Rome, various Germanic sectors twisted Roman traditions to fit their cultural needs. German gift givers contained elements of Rome but were uniquely Germanic. Representing the good and the bad, Peltz Nichols and Christ kindles, Pelsnickles, and Knecht Rupperts dispensed goodies and beatings with equal fervor. Their nocturnal visits to households in December were expected with a mixture of anticipation and dread. As Germanic people flowed into Pennsylvania, the customs merged to become the Belsnickle. Through interaction with other cultural groups a new character emerged; he is known throughout the United States as Santa Claus.  



Underground Railroad Tour of Carlisle and Boiling Springs
This walking and bus tour will provide detailed information and insightful activities to endow participants with a deeper understanding of the institution of slavery in Pennsylvania.

Old Courthouse-Carlisle-
Several interactive court cases, dealing with conflicts between freedom seekers, abolitionists, and slave holders, will assist participants in contextualizing slavery in America.

Boiling Springs Tavern, Grocery Store, and Clock tower-Boiling Springs
-We will begin our tour of Boiling Springs at the site of one of the town’s oldest buildings.  Built in 1836 to serve travelers, the tavern was standing during the events of 1847 which received national press coverage. 

Exterior Tour of the Ege Mansion-Boiling Springs-This grand home built by Iron Master Michael Ege demonstrates the power and influence of the iron industry. We will use Mr. Ege’s role as a slave owner to discuss the role of slavery as a symbol of status and power as well as a solution to labor shortages. 

Iron Furnace-Boiling Springs-This limestone structure permits us to analyze the process of iron making and the role of slavery and also address American’s ongoing demand for inexpensive products. 

Workers Site-Boiling Springs-A short walk from the iron furnace, here we will look for insight as to the lives of slaves in adapting to a life of bondage.  Audience members will participate in a “jumping the broom” ceremony as we investigate ways in which slaves sought to express their humanity.

Home of Daniel Kaufman During His Trial for Assisting Runaway Slaves-Boiling Springs-By the age of seventeen; Daniel Kaufman had determined that he would do his part to end slavery.  He and a small group of trusted friends and family were active facilitators for thirteen years. His actions would bring him into the spotlight in 1847 when he was arrested for helping thirteen slaves make their way to freedom.

Walk to Island Grove-Boiling Springs-This is the longest walking segment of the day. We will walk towards Island Grove where Kaufman built a shed near a spring to house freedom seekers until they could make arrangements for the next leg of the journey. This beautiful setting would later become a much visited site for recreation until the early 20th century.

Daniel Kaufman Mansion-Boiling Springs-Our program will end in front of the Kaufman mansion where Daniel lived until his death. We will pause to provide a final analysis of the life of Daniel Kaufman and his involvement in the Underground Railroad.


County Seat Walking Tour
Learn how events from the past influenced the development of Cumberland County. As we reenact our early history you will enjoy hearing about fascinating local figures and the influence   and organization of government services, geography, land forms, immigration, economics, and culture. The tour includes selections from the following sites:

Old Courthouse- At the majestic old Courthouse, you may select from a number of court cases to learn about the thoughts and actions of our ancestors. Participants will take on the roles of distinguished and notorious members of the community.

First Presbyterian Church- During the program at the First Presbyterian Church you will come to understand the distinctive motives and beliefs of the Scots-Irish who settled in the area. After hearing about the role of William Penn in establishing freedom of religion you will view this beautiful, historically rich church and other houses of worship in a new light.

Old Prison-Audience members will come to understand the swift and harsh response towards criminals during the colonial and early American periods. We will also examine the role of the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia and author Alexis de Tocqueville in the evolving attitudes about crime and punishment in America.

Picnic Lunch at Le Tort Park Pavilion-Participants may select to order bagged lunches from one of several local restaurants or pack their own. Le Tort park, alongside of the Le Tort Creek has excellent playground equipment and provides covered pavilions with picnic tables as well as bathroom facilities. 

Old Graveyard-Known by locals as the Molly Pitcher graveyard, this site provides rich insight into the ideas of early settlers and delivers numerous opportunities to hear the fascinating stories of some of Cumberland County’s most distinguished residents. No trip to the graveyard would be complete without stopping by the grave of Molly Pitcher and other heroes of the American Revolution, Whiskey Rebellion, and Civil War.

Other Options: Tour of Dickinson College