An impressionistic little plein air painting done from my neighbor’s dock looking upstream. Looking westward in early evening and the sky was beginning to show some pink, and what happens above also gets reflected below around here. The Conodoguinet Creek is deep and wide at Cave Hill in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, allowing for a variety of boating activity. This same little white cottage with its blue shutters can also be seen in my Cave Hill Skater painting.
I’ve long had my eye on the great clock tower of Denny Hall in Carlisle, with its aged green copper dome. I knew I wanted to paint it but wasn’t sure of the angle I would choose, until one day in April walking down High Street in Carlisle. There’s nothing like the fresh spring green color of tree buds emerging in front of dark clouds that can often roll in from the west in April. Along with the verdigris of that dome, I had the exciting colors and the scene I had been waiting for.
The property on which Denny Memorial Hall was built was donated by the Denny family of Carlisle and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. First built in 1897, it suffered a major fire just eight years after completion. By 1905 it had been rebuilt bigger and better, and now houses Dickinson College’s history and social science departments.
A fun side note: the clock faces on all four sides of the tower are lit up at night and are of similar in size and color to the full moon. On very rare occasions you may catch a glimpse of the moon right beside the tower, for a pretty unforgettable sight!
A pretty display of spring tulips in one of the old neighborhoods in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Wilson Street is a great street for strolling in the Old Mooreland section of Carlisle.
Having lived here at Cave Hill alongside the broad, lazy Conodoguinet Creek for four decades, I’ve had ample opportunity to see its many faces. We don’t get to see it frozen every winter, and skating isn’t always possible even when it does freeze. The Conodoguinet is well over your head in the deep center part of the creek here at Cave Hill, so we discourage would-be skaters unless there’s a good four inches of ice.
Perfect skating ice is uncommon, when it freezes just right without choppy ridges and lasts long enough without subsequent snow piling on top. I’ve seen avid skaters shovel themselves a skating rink when that happens, but there’s nothing like the thrill of perfect ice that invites you to skate for miles! For my husband, who is a much stronger skater than me, it’s one of the highlights of life here at Cave Hill. Depicted in this watercolor is my young neighbor who works the ice pretty nicely as well, navigating between snowy patches.
West of Carlisle, PA is Meadowbrooke Gourds Farm, where every fall the sunflower fields are open to the public. On more than one occasion I’ve come home with armloads of sunflowers to share with family and friends. On this occasion, an old enamel bucket full of sunflowers made its way to my Monday paint group. Teamed up with a matching sunny yellow pair of ceramic chickens and my favorite vintage tablecloth, this still life was irresistibly cheery!
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.
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