Cumberland Drive-In (Newville, PA)
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Cumberland Drive-In (Newville, PA)

Newville, Pennsylvania, Series

In an era of home theaters, multiplexes and internet streaming, there’s nothing quite like watching a movie on the big screen under a summer night sky. As time marches on however, increasingly fewer people are able to experience this good old-fashioned fun. At one time there were over 4000 drive-in theaters across the United States, but as of March 2014 they numbered only 348. Many have been lost to encroaching development. Others failed to meet the challenge and expense of digital conversion as movies on film became obsolete.

It’s a labor of love for Jay Mowery, co-owner of the Cumberland Drive-In Theatre. Jay’s father, Donn, built the drive-in after a fire destroyed a movie theater he owned in downtown Newville, PA. Situated amidst rural farmland at the intersection of routes 11 and 233 outside of Newville, the 45 x 96 foot screen has been drawing movie-goers since 1952. The theater has a capacity of 400 cars and features a snack bar and playground.

This mid-1950’s depiction of the Cumberland Drive-In also includes another area landmark. The familiar image of Newville’s Laughlin Mill appears on the movie screen. During the filming of the 1956 movie “Hollywood or Bust”, stars Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis are seen driving their red convertible past the mill on a road trip from New York to California.

Newville Fountain, Early (Newville, PA)
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Newville Fountain, Early (Newville, PA)

Newville, Series

After the town water system was installed in 1896 some public spirited citizens raised funds for a fountain, and in the same year Henry Schreffler, his son, John, and Mahlon Williams dressed and laid the stones for the base and pool of the fountain. The stones were hauled to the site by Brady Killian, who used a wagon pulled by a team of six horses for the job. On June 1, 1897 the fountain was turned over to the town.

When the fountain was quite new, grass was planted inside the circle to the edge of the catch basin and there were cast iron Grecian urns planted with flowers sitting on the stone circle. In later years the whole circle was used as the catch basin and several generations of children enjoyed the goldfish which spent their summers there. In time the cast iron urns were replaced by more durable concrete ones, and the goldfish were removed. Nevertheless the fountain continues to delight citizens and visitors alike.

In 1996 it was decided to have a 100th birthday party to celebrate the fountain, which grew into an annual event. The Newville Fountain Festival was born.

—Brief history courtesy of the Newville Historical Society

Ramp's Covered Bridge
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Ramp’s Covered Bridge

Newville, Pennsylvania, Series

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, Ramp’s Covered Bridge is the only remaining covered bridge still standing on its original site in Cumberland County. At one time, 37 covered bridges could be found in the county, but floods, fires and the passage of time have taken their toll on the others.

Built in 1882 by Samuel Myers, Ramp’s Bridge encorporates the Burr Arch Truss style of construction. A less common feature in covered bridges is its window overlooking the Conodoguinet Creek on the upstream side. This painting depicts the bridge from the downstream side, but you can see the window through the entrance. The 130-foot long structure stands 18 feet, 11 inches tall and is located on Covered Bridge Road outside of Newburg, PA, seven miles west of Newville. Ramp’s Bridge is regularly inspected and is in remarkably good shape for its age. One can still drive through the single lane bridge, steering carefully to keep the car wheels on the raised tire planks.

Some say that the reason bridges were covered and painted red was to fool the cows into crossing the water by making them think they were entering a barn. Other theories include providing shelter to travelers caught in a storm, or even rendezvous points for courting sweethearts. Romantic notions aside, early bridge builders knew that a covered bridge would last at least three times longer than an uncovered bridge. The roof itself added to the structural strength of the bridge, as well as protecting the wooden frame from the elements.

Cumberland County residents take comfort in knowing that their last covered bridge is being protected and maintained, and this quiet, picturesque reminder of earlier times can still be experienced and enjoyed.

Newville Firehouse (Newville, PA)
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Newville Firehouse (Newville, PA)

Newville, Series

1916 MUNICIPAL BUILDING AND AMERICAN LAFRANCE PUMPER

The two-story brick Municipal Building at the corner of West Street and Glebe Avenue in Newville, Pennsylvania was completed just in time for the delivery of the 1916 American LaFrance Rotary Pumper to Friendship Hose Company No. 1. The first floor was used for storage for the fire company’s apparatus and housed the borough lock-up. On the second floor were two meeting rooms, separated by a folding partition. This building was the home of the fire company for more than 60 years and was also used by the Civic Club and Borough Council for their meetings as well as for public events. For a time the police station was also located here.

The building, with additions, is now used as the borough office, and the LaFrance pumper is on display at the new home of Friendship Hose Company #1 in the old borough school building on East Big Spring Avenue.

— brief history courtesy of the Newville Historical Society

Trout Fishing at Laughlin Mill (Newville, PA)
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Trout Fishing at Laughlin Mill (Newville, PA)

Newville, Pennsylvania, Series

After the death of her father, John, in 1758, Mary Atcheson Laughlin inherited a mill on the Big Spring in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. By terms of her will dated December 26, 1815, she left one half of the tract of land and the grist mill inherited from her father to her son, James Laughlin. The mill belonged to the Laughlin family for four generations. In 1896, John Laughlin’s heirs sold the mill and the nearby Cool Spring to the company which was building Newville’s public water system. The system’s pumps were housed in the mill, and Cool Spring was used as the water source.

—Brief history courtesy of the Newville Historical Society

Newville Train Station (Newville, PA)
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Newville Train Station (Newville, PA)

Newville, Pennsylvania, Series

In its earlier years, Newville, Pennsylvania was a bustling community, and the Cumberland Valley Railroad was responsible for much of the activity. The first train went through in 1837, and from that time on until the station was decommissioned, raw materials, manufactured goods, and passengers made the area near the station a busy part of town. In 1876 this Italianate station replaced an earlier one, and it continued in service until the mid 1950’s. The station was torn down in 1994.

— brief history courtesy of the Newville Historical Society

Massey's Frozen Custard (Carlisle, PA)
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Massey’s Frozen Custard (Carlisle, PA)

Carlisle, Miscellaneous, Pennsylvania, Series

In 1949, Jim and Geraldine Massey opened their ice cream stand in a converted gas station on West High Street in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. More than a half century later, the original neon signs continue to beckon crowds. Patrons wait in lines to be served cones, shakes, sundaes and slush drinks. The establishment has changed twice since its inception, but its name remains unchanged. Two original Electro Freezer machines continue to crank out rich frozen custard enticing visitors from near and far.

Newville Fountain (Newville, PA)
SOLD OUT

Newville Fountain (Newville, PA)

Newville, Pennsylvania, Series

After the town water system was installed in 1896 some public spirited citizens raised funds for a fountain, and in the same year Henry Schreffler, his son, John, and Mahlon Williams dressed and laid the stones for the base and pool of the fountain. The stones were hauled to the site by Brady Killian, who used a wagon pulled by a team of six horses for the job. On June 1, 1897 the fountain was turned over to the town.

When the fountain was quite new, grass was planted inside the circle to the edge of the catch basin and there were cast iron Grecian urns planted with flowers sitting on the stone circle. In later years the whole circle was used as the catch basin and several generations of children enjoyed the goldfish which spent their summers there. In time the cast iron urns were replaced by more durable concrete ones, and the goldfish were removed. Nevertheless the fountain continues to delight citizens and visitors alike.

In 1996 it was decided to have a 100th birthday party to celebrate the fountain, which grew into an annual event. The Newville Fountain Festival was born.

—Brief history courtesy of the Newville Historical Society

Dawn at Laughlin Mill
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Dawn at Laughlin Mill

Newville, Pennsylvania, Series

After the death of her father, John, in 1758, Mary Atcheson Laughlin inherited a mill on the Big Spring in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. By terms of her will dated December 26, 1815, she left one half of the tract of land and the grist mill inherited from her father to her son, James Laughlin. The mill belonged to the Laughlin family for four generations. In 1896, John Laughlin’s heirs sold the mill and the nearby Cool Spring to the company which was building Newville’s public water system. The system’s pumps were housed in the mill, and Cool Spring was used as the water source.

—Brief history courtesy of the Newville Historical Society

Heishman's Mill
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Heishman’s Mill

Newville, Pennsylvania, Series

Built in the early 1800’s by Francis Diller, the mill which we now know as Heishman’s Mill is located north of West Hill on Creek Road in West Pennsboro township, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. By 1858 it is shown on a county map as Diller & Greider, G. S. & Plaster Mill. During its lifetime the mill has been known as Diller’s, Greider’s or Crider’s, Keiter’s and was lastly named for Benjamin Heishman who purchased it in 1920. When the Greiders owned the mill it was a favorite haunt of Wilhelm Schimmel, the itinerant German wood carver of the Cumberland Valley.

Since 1969 Heishman’s Mill has been owned by William Foshag, a retired engineer from Washington D. C., who has devoted his efforts to researching, restoring, and preserving the mill. According to Mr. Foshag this is the last complete grist mill between the Susquehanna and Potomac Rivers in the Cumberland and Great Valleys. What this means is that all of its machinery, hydraulic structure, dams and mill pond are intact. As a project to reintroduce shad to the Conodoguinet Creek is being implemented, other dams are being torn down or altered by the addition of fish ladders. Mr. Foshag has lobbied and won approval to construct a fish channel around the dam. Thanks to his fundraising success, this historic mill and dam will remain intact as a reminder of its past role in the history of the Cumberland Valley.

— brief history courtesy of the Newville Historical Society

Rhoades Farm
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Rhoades Farm near Doubling Gap

Newville, Pennsylvania, Series

North of Newville, Pennsylvania, along Center Road lies the Rhoades Farm. From this vantage point the North Mountain resembles an elephant slumbering in the landscape. The gap between the mountains, known as Doubling Gap, was given this name by the early settlers because its route through the mountains doubles back on itself. It was near Doubling Gap that “Lewis the Robber”, who terrorized central Pennsylvania in the early 1800’s, lived in a mountain cave. Later in the 1800’s and into the beginning of the 1900’s the White Sulfur Springs Hotel at Doubling Gap attracted tourists who came to partake of its healing waters.

—Brief history courtesy of the Newville Historical Society

Tollgate Bridge (Newville, PA)
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Tollgate Bridge (Newville, PA)

Newville, Pennsylvania, Series

Tollgate Bridge was an integral part of the Big Spring Turnpike from Newville to Stoughstown which was the route for transporting products of the farms and mills along the Big Spring to market. To get their products to the railroad in Newville, the millers and farmers would have had to cross this bridge. It is estimated that 17,000 tons of goods and materials passed over this road yearly. This would have meant that an average of 55 loaded wagons went up and down the road every day.

The Tollgate Bridge was completed in August of 1872 and has remained in service since that time. When President Ulysses Grant brought his friends to Newville to fish, they would have crossed this bridge to get to their fishing spot. When the flour produced for Queen Victoria by the Manning Mill was shipped to her it was transported over this bridge to the freight station. Tollgate Bridge has been a favorite of photographers and painters since its construction.

—Brief history courtesy of the Newville Historical Society

The Newville-Carlisle Trolley
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The Newville-Carlisle Trolley

Newville, Pennsylvania, Series

With the advent of cheap hydro-electric power in the late 1800’s trolleys, which were powered by electricity, could offer lower fares than the railroads. Short trips by this method of travel became popular in the Cumberland Valley.

In November of 1910 the Cumberland Railway began trolley service between Newville and Carlisle. The cars left both towns every hour on the hour between 6 a.m. and midnight. Each trolley carried a motorman and a conductor whose duties included taking care of packages, firing the stove in winter and collecting fares. From Newville the fare was 5 cents to Goodyear, 10 cents to Plainfield, 15 cents to Meadowbrook and 20 cents to Carlisle.

The trolley came into Newville on Main Street and continued to West Street, then south on West Street between the fountain and Parsonage Street, and finally to Big Spring Avenue. At the western end of Big Spring Avenue it was turned and retraced its route through town and back to Carlisle.

Because this line was a late comer to the scene, and automobiles were becoming popular, it failed to attract sufficient riders to keep the line profitable. Even the trolley park east of Newville with its picnic grounds, see-saws, swings and dance pavilion could not forestall the inevitable and the last trolley ran in 1918. The tracks were removed in 1920.

—Brief history courtesy of the Newville Historical Society

Bluebells at Linwood (Newville, PA)
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Bluebells at Linnwood (Newville, PA)

House Portraits, Newville, Pennsylvania, Series

In 1852 the Reverend Mr. Robert McCachran erected a four story brick building just east of Newville, Pennsylvania along the Big Spring and there established Linnwood Academy. He was assisted by Professor William Linn, who later succeeded him as headmaster. The academy was a classical school for boys which was later opened to girls.

During the Civil War the Confederates who came into Newville searching for supplies used the shady grounds to stake out and graze their horses.

In the early 1900’s Dr. And Mrs. George Hursh remodeled the house inside and added the sun porch on the west. Since then Linnwood has been used only as a residence.

Mute evidences of the past are the initials carved into the floors of the third floor rooms which appear to have been used as dormitories. The initials S.P.K., Dec. 25, 1873 are scratched on a windowpane in the living room, and the name W.B. Denning and some less legible names are scratched on a windowpane in the kitchen.

Old Newville newspapers record that a favorite pastime of the young folks of the community before 1900 was picking violets on Linnwood’s lawns. Parties were organized for just that purpose.

Some of the forest trees left standing when Linnwood was built are still there and many new ones have been planted. After Guy and Betty McElwain purchased the property Guy planted three bluebell plants which in more than forty years have spread throughout the front lawn.

—Brief history courtesy of the Newville Historical Society