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Spring 2014

Join Us for the Society's Annual Walking Tour: The Evergreen Cemetery

May 5, 2014 / 6:30 p.m.

Join historian Tim Smith on a walking tour of the Evergreen Cemetery. Dedicated in 1855, the land was conceived as a garden cemetery for area residents. Rich in history, it is the final resting place of townspeople and Civil War soldiers from both sides of the battle.

The tour will start at 6:30 p.m. and end before 8 p.m. Participants should meet by the gatehouse at 799 Baltimore Street, Gettysburg, at 6:30 p.m. Please note that parking is not permitted in the cemetery.

In case of rain, the tour will be rescheduled for the same time on Monday, May 12.

SIGN SUCCESS! PennDOT Agrees to Purchase, Place 13 Township Signs

In the last issue of this newsletter, the Cumberland Township Historical Society reported on a project to place “Cumberland Township” signs on each road that enters the township.

To ensure full coverage, the Society was prepared to fund the purchase of 28 signs. However, thanks to the efforts of Cumberland Township, PennDOT has agreed to purchase and place 13 of those signs this spring.

CTHS will fund the purchase of the remaining 15 signs, which will be placed by the township.

“This is a wonderful example of what can be accomplished when people work together,” CTHS Chairman Speros Marinos said. “The result is a benefit to everyone who travels these roads and to everyone in the township. It’s one more way of putting Cumberland Township on the map.”

Local Historian Fills Treasurer Post

Volunteers give life to just about every nonprofit organization, and the same is true of this historical society.

The board of directors offers a special “thank you” to Linda Seamon, who has volunteered her time and talent to fill the role of CTHS treasurer.

Originally from Oswego, New York, Linda and her husband, Henry, moved here about 11 years ago after they retired. That brought them closer to family, including two daughters and two grandsons.

Linda puts her love of history, especially the Civil War, to use as a Licensed Town Historian. She works with the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association to give walking tours and offer presentations at the Daniel Lady Farm. Linda is also membership secretary for the Civil War Roundtable and volunteers with the Adams County Historical Society.

Meet the Members: Ann Harnsberger

Editor’s note: The quarterly meetings and special events of the Cumberland Township Historical Society are a great way to get to know more about the community you live in. However, they’re also a great way to meet your neighbors. This column will introduce you to CTHS members: the people who share your interest in learning about the history of Cumberland Township and supporting the work of the Society.

Ann Harnsberger joined the Cumberland Township Historical Society to find a sense of place, community, and home.

Originally from Maryland, she got to know this area more than 50 years ago when she enrolled in Gettysburg College. The school was, she says, far enough away from her home — but not too far. She intended to study history but graduated in 1965 with a degree in biology instead.

After staying at the college for another year as a lab instructor, she returned to Maryland to face the challenges of multiple sclerosis. She veered from her chosen career path but wound up on another that turned out to be a perfect fit.

“I was sort of retired for seven years, and then I went to work for the Red Cross for 33 years,” she explains.

Harnsberger’s background in biology gave her a solid footing as the organization’s medical librarian for what is now named the Ann I. Harnsberger Biomedical Sciences Library.

When retirement was on the horizon, she remembered how much she had enjoyed her time in Adams County.

“It was familiar. It was comfortable. People were friendly,” Harnsberger says. “I come from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, and that is not a hometown. I lived in a 15-story high-rise apartment where you didn’t even know the people next door — and everything there was politics.”

So one day in 2005, she retired from the American Red Cross, and the next day she moved into the Gettysburg Lutheran Retirement Village in Straban Township.

It wasn’t long before her days were filled with a new task: developing a library for the Village’s residents.

“When I got here and saw there was no library, I said ‘that won’t do,’” Harnsberger says. “Now we’ve got about 1,800 volumes and also VHS tapes and CDs. I decided I would retire, and darned if I’m not doing the same thing!”

And while Harnsberger works in the library most days, she still finds time for other pursuits. For instance, when friends Elsie and Philip Morey invited her to a meeting of the Cumberland Township Historical Society, she was eager to accept.

“They took me to the Adams County Historical Society first and then to Cumberland Township,” Harnsberger says. “It’s very interesting for me to learn about the area. Plus, most of the people who live here seem to have been born in this area. It’s nice to become acquainted with the background they already know.”

The more she learns from the historical societies, the more she feels like a part of the community.

“It’s something just to feel more comfortable,” she says, “and more at home.”

Who’s next? Suggest someone for an upcoming Meet the Members column!

We want to get to know every member of the Cumberland Township Historical Society. Tell us who you think we should feature in a future column by emailing or calling Jennifer Florer at 717-350-5568. Maybe it’s someone else, maybe it’s you — it can even be the whole family!

We’ll ask why these members joined the Society and why they call Cumberland Township home. After all, even just a few words of introduction can help break the ice and lead to a rewarding acquaintance.

Meet the Board: Cyril Ackerman

A love of learning and a love of teaching have shaped the life of CTHS board member Cyril Ackerman.

Ackerman’s teaching career in technology education spanned 25 years and encompassed schools in both Pennsylvania and Maryland. His own formal education includes Mount St. Mary’s College, Millersville University, the College of Southern Maryland, McDaniel College, the California University of Pennsylvania, and Oklahoma State University.

His dedication has been recognized with various awards over the years, including NASA Honors Teacher NEWMAST (NASA Educational Workshop for Math and Science Teachers) in 1994 and the Pennsylvania Governor’s Workshop for Technology Education in 2000.

He also served as club advisor for engineering, Future Business Leaders of America, astronomy, and lacrosse.

When not in the classroom, his activities included serving as a USA Swimming referee from 1996 to 2008. He is also involved with Special Olympics and was named Gettysburg YWCA Volunteer of the Year in 2000.

These days, Ackerman can be found working for the Gettysburg Foundation in Visitor Services for the Gettysburg National Military Park. That’s a perfect tie-in with his interest in the Civil War and local history. And a curiosity about local history is one reason he wanted to be a part of the Cumberland Township Historical Society.

Ackerman says that his wife, Lin, and daughters, Lauren and Allison, have been with him every step of the way.

“They have supported me at all the turns and branches my career has taken over the years,” he says.

For him, one thing is certain: There’s always something more to learn.

“Being a lifelong resident of Adams County gives me a unique historical perspective of how things have remained the same as well as how things have changed over time,” Ackerman says. “A lifelong resident and a lifelong learner sum up best what keep me going these days.”

Mark Your Calendar for 2014 CTHS Programs

The Cumberland Township Historical Society holds quarterly public meetings, each featuring a special presentation on a specific aspect of the township's history. All presentations are free and open to the public.

All events are held at 7 p.m. at the Church of the Brethren, 1710 Biglerville Road, Gettysburg, unless otherwise noted. Come and explore our local history!
  • May 5 — Annual CTHS walking tour: the Evergreen Cemetery (6:30 p.m.)
  • June 2 — The agricultural history of Cumberland Township
  • Sept. 8 — The history of McAllister’s Mill (rescheduled from March)
  • Dec. 1 — Board elections followed by a presentation on the history of law enforcement in Cumberland Township
Watch your email for more information on each event about two weeks before the scheduled date. Details will also be posted on the CTHS website.

CTHS Members Keep Society Going Strong

Membership support enables the Cumberland Township Historical Society to undertake programs that contribute to its ongoing mission.

The Society is proud to welcome the following new members:
  • Don and Carole Courtney
  • David Flesner
  • Stewart and Sarah Gardner
  • Donna Martin
  • Pat Small
  • Steve Wolf
  • Perry Wood
The Society is also pleased to note that the following have recently renewed their membership for 2014:
  • Cyril Ackerman
  • Linda and David Clark
  • Nancy Cocklin
  • Marie and Jim Crane
  • Jennifer and Michael Florer
  • Ann Harnsberger
  • Lynn and Roger Heller
  • Mike Hietikko
  • Elizabeth and Gerry Hoffman
  • Wayne Kump
  • James Landis Jr.
  • Richard Mancini
  • Nancye and Speros Marinos
  • John McCleaf
  • Julia and Richard McGeary
  • Elsie and Philip Morey
  • Mary Margaret Stewart
In addition, CTHS’ lifetime members include Tom Clowney, Al Ferranto and Dale Molina, Thomas and Carolyn Greaney, John Horner, and Judy Metheny. Thank you to all for your support!

Become a CTHS Member Today, or Renew Now for 2014!

Help support the CTHS mission by becoming a member. If you joined last year but have not yet renewed your membership for 2014, please consider doing so.

It's simple! Complete this membership application/renewal form and submit it, along with your payment, as directed on the form.

Membership categories are:
  • Individual - $20/year
  • Family - $30/year
  • Corporate - $100/year (CTHS will post the logo of all Business Partners and Supporters on our website supporter page, along with a link to your website.)
  • Lifetime - $500/year
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