Summer 2016
Speakers, Tours, Brochures, and More!

A big “thanks” goes out to our June speaker James Rada for his presentation “1922: When the Marines Invaded Gettysburg.” There was a possibility that the U.S. Marine Corps might be disbanded. Thus, partially as a publicity stunt, 5,000 Marines left Quantico on June 19, 1922, and headed north to Gettysburg. Along the way, wherever they camped for the evening, they interacted with the public and invited veterans to watch maneuvers. They camped on the Codori Farm and for 10 days the battle raged on the fields. On July 4th, the Marines fought the Battle of Gettysburg with “modern” weapons and tactics. President and Mrs. Harding, with other military officials and representatives, stayed in the camp and watched the maneuvers of July 1 and 2. (See below for more on this lecture.)

The Society wishes to thank the Adams County Office of Planning and Development for their in-kind donation of printing 50 each of two new Planned Giving brochures for us. These will be available at the next lecture on September 12, 2016, which will feature “The History of the Brethren Church.”

The Society hosted a special event for members only with a tour of Fantasyland remnants. The tour was led by Jackie White and Speros Marinos. It began with Speros leading the group on the walk, pointing out the various features of the Park, such as positions of the original concrete poured at the base of trees, and indicating the locations of the lakes and Little Devil’s Den. Jackie handed out maps and brochures and presented further details about the Park by using the map of Fantasyland to indicate locations precisely. Stayed tuned for information on the next tour.

The Society has made its first major purchase in buying a Dell laptop/projector system for use at the meetings. This system was used for the first time by Mr. Rada during his presentation. The cost of the equipment was $1,430.88. The money for this purchase came from the generosity of the audience from our basket collections at the end of each one of our lectures. We thank all of you for this kindness.

CTHS is working on a sign for the Barlow Fire Station to recognize the location of the polling place where President and Mrs. Eisenhower voted. The text for the sign was written by CTHS Treasurer Linda Seamon. The next step is to pick the style of the plaque and have it made.

The Preservation Committee continues to confirm historic properties and research further information about them.

The Board is now hard at work discussing ideas for speakers for 2017. If anyone would like to suggest topics that they would like to see presented, please contact the Society with your ideas.
-- Elsie D. Morey
CTHS Chairman
Meet the Board: Ruby Warren

Ruby Warren grew up in Hagerstown, Md., but formed a Gettysburg connection when she married Gettysburg native Edward Warren.

She has lived in the Gettysburg area for 57 years now, with about 40 of those years as a resident of Cumberland Township. This CTHS member was a natural choice when board members were looking to fill the remaining year of an open position on the board of directors.

“I was employed at Westinghouse, Schindler Elevator, for 30 years in the Finance Department,” Ruby wrote in her CTHS bio, “so I thought my accounting background would be of service in providing assistance to the board of directors for the Cumberland Township Historical Society.”

Her goal is to keep the Society thriving.

“It’s a lot of work establishing a nonprofit group because we have to follow all the rules and laws behind the scenes and at the same time try to keep our meetings interesting with great speakers and tours, thus drawing new members and keeping original members enthused,” she added. “Everyone is doing a great job, and the Society is moving in the right direction.”

Ruby and Ed were married almost 53 years, until his passing 7 years ago. They have three children: Linda, who lives in Shreveport, La.; Lisa Burt, a fellow CTHS member who manages the Society’s membership records and lives in the township; and Ed Jr., who lives in Orrstown, Pa.

In addition to serving CTHS, Ruby enjoys reading, quilting, and all the projects that go along with sewing. She also serves on the Finance Committee for her church.

Regarding her appointment to the Society’s board, Ruby says, “It is an honor to serve this fine organization.”

Pitzer’s School Bell Tops Presidential Guesthouse

In the mid 1850s, Cumberland Township resident Samuel Pitzer built a small schoolhouse on the southwest corner of his farm, on the east side of Willoughby Run. In 1857, he sold it to the local public school system. It remained in use until around 1916-1917, according to the “Cultural Landscape Report for Eisenhower National Historic Site,” when a new school was built across Millerstown Road. (The report notes that some records indicate the new school may have been constructed as early as 1902, with the previous building destroyed by fire. The photo here is an undated image of Pitzer School from the National Apple Museum website.)

That property, including the “new” two-room brick schoolhouse, was purchased by W. Alton Jones, business partner of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in 1955. The report notes that Jones took a great interest in protecting the Eisenhowers’ privacy and purchased land surrounding the Eisenhower farm to do just that.

Jones had the two-room school renovated into a home, which John and Barbara Eisenhower purchased from him in 1957. They lived in the house with their children, David, Anne, Susan, and Mary Jean, until 1963, and the structure remains a home today.

Part of that schoolhouse remains in another location, too. The bell and belfry were removed from the schoolhouse during renovations and made the short trip to the Eisenhower Farm, where they were placed atop the guesthouse — a one-time garage that had been renovated into a residence for those visiting President and Mrs. Eisenhower.

The photo above from the Adams County Historical Society shows students and teachers at the Pitzer School in March 1908. The back of the photograph identifies Bessie (Trostle) Spangler as the teacher in the doorway.

Below is a current look at the guesthouse at the Eisenhower National Historic Site with the belfry and bell from the rebuilt schoolhouse, along with a close-up of the bell (photos by Mike Florer)

Do you have historic photos of Cumberland Township? Or do you need help identifying people or places in those images? Share those photos with CTHS! The Society will include them in its online and printed newsletter and on its website,
Thanks to These Renewing Members

Thanks to renewing CTHS members Philip Magaldi and Robert Teeter — and to all members — for their support.

If you’re not yet a Society member, be sure to sign up at the membership table at the September 12 quarterly meeting. Members keep this Society going and growing!
Making Friends and Influencing People:
Marines March on Gettysburg in 1922

In July 1922, an estimated 100,000 civilians gathered in Gettysburg to watch 5,000 Marines in action, according to James Rada, coauthor of “The Last to Fall: The 1922 March, Battles, & Deaths of U.S. Marines at Gettysburg.” He shared why and how it happened during his June 6 presentation to the Cumberland Township Historical Society. (Rada is shown on the left in this photo, autographing one of his books during the meeting.)

The Marines, he pointed out, had essentially won their reputation during World War I, and Gen. John “Black Jack” Pershing, who commanded the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe during WWI, declared that the deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle. After the war, however, the military began to draw down its forces, and Gen. Pershing floated the idea that the Marines be disbanded and rolled into the Army.

Maj. Gen. John Lejeune, Commandant of the Marine Corps, had other ideas. He and Gen. Smedley Butler, commander of the Marine Corps base at Quantico, Va., developed a plan to show the country the value of the Corps. Among the ideas was to hold troops’ summer maneuvers in a very public way: by doing a series of Civil War re-enactments beginning in 1921.

On the move
In 1922, the maneuvers were slated for Gettysburg. On June 19, more than 5,000 Marines from Quantico, about a quarter of the Marine Corps at the time, hit the road with just about every piece of equipment possible. They stopped along the way at East Potomac Park in Washington, D.C., and then marched through the White House grounds for a presidential review. “This was a public relations move as well as a training exercise,” Rada said. “They were trying to make friends and influence people.”

After stops that drew cordial crowds in Bethesda, Gaithersburg, Ridgeville, Frederick, and Thurmont, Md., the Marines arrived in Gettysburg and set up what some estimate as a 100-acre camp on the Codori Farm. Scouts had arrived early to help the farmer harvest the fields and also to install water lines. This was the Marines’ new home for the next 10 days.

President Harding would be at the event for one night, and to make his stay comfortable, the Marines built him an 18-room presidential compound known as “the canvas White House”. The structure boasted a 40- by 25-foot reception room in the center, flanked by bedrooms with fully outfitted private baths. They had six porcelain bathtubs flown in, Rada said, “strapped to the bellies of…twin-engine bombers and flown up from Quantico. This led to another first: The first time bathtubs had ever been carried by airplanes.”

A sad start
However, tragedy struck before the event even got under way. Capt. George Hamilton, a seasoned Marine veteran of WWI, was accompanied in a DH4 fighter plane by Gunnery Sgt. George Martin. They left Thurmont on June 26 with four other planes and headed north. Two planes landed on a field in Gettysburg, just as the spectators were gathering, when Hamilton’s and Martin’s plane suddenly went into a nosedive about 500 feet above the ground, then went into a tailspin and crashed near the intersection of Long Lane and Emmitsburg Road. A carnival was in progress there at the time, and some speculate that Hamilton was trying to avoid crashing into that area. Hamilton is said to have died on impact, and Martin died on the way to Warner (now Gettysburg) Hospital.

“Because they were line of duty deaths,” Rada said, “they are considered the last line of duty deaths on the battlefield at Gettysburg, and they are the only Marines who died in the line of duty on the battlefield at Gettysburg.” The crash is thought to have been caused by a problem with the altimeter.

Despite that sad start, the week continued with the re-enactment, education, and maneuvers. Maj. Gen. Lejeune wanted the troops to learn tactics of the Civil War — how they were employed, what worked, and what didn’t. The Marines toured the battlefield with licensed guides and also had instruction from the military. Unfortunately, they were inundated with rain. “When they were doing the Pickett’s Charge re-enactment,” Rada said, “they were called Pickett’s ducks.”

President and Mrs. Harding were there to witness the events on July 1, along with dignitaries that included several governors, Assistant Navy Secretary Theodore Roosevelt Jr., senators and congressmen, and even foreign visitors, including a young Japanese adjutant who was eventually promoted and, years later, Rada said, gave the command to attack Pearl Harbor.

The Marines engaged in three days of Civil War re-enactments, Rada noted, withstanding storms and oppressive heat. Theatrics took center stage, with the troops striving for authenticity in their clothes and focusing on special effects: beets cut and boiled to create “blood,” flour packets shot into the ground to create “smoke,” and modern artillery firing blanks while hidden from site to provide an appropriate sound track to the “fighting.”

On July 3 and 4, the Marines “fought” a 1922 version of the Civil War, with airplanes, tanks, and machine guns. “When all was said and done,” Rada said, “it was judged that, fought the modern Marine way, the Confederates won the Battle of Gettysburg.”

Not the best impression
While the Marines were extremely popular during their March from Quantico to Gettysburg and back again, and also with all the spectators in Gettysburg, Rada said the troops were less than impressed with the town. They saw the townspeople as money-hungry, overcharging for everything. Today, Rada pointed out, local businesses have struck a much better balance between offering a good tourism experience and still turning a profit.

Clearly, the troops’ PR effort was a success. Today, the U.S. Marine Corps reportedly has more than 182,000 active-duty personnel.

James Rada’s book on the 1922 Marine maneuvers, co-written with Richard D.L. Fulton, is available locally, through online retailers, and at
Marking History: Sach's Covered Bridge

Sachs Covered Bridge is a landmark for locals, a “must-see” attraction for visitors, and the fourth in CTHS’s look at Cumberland Township sites designated with a historical marker by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Located on the western side of Cumberland Township, spanning Marsh Creek at the border of Freedom Township, the 100-foot bridge was built in 1852 using a now rarely seen lattice system of support trusses. In 1938, the Pennsylvania Highway Department named it the most historic covered bridge in the state. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

(Photo by Mike Florer)
A Walk Through Fantasyland

On June 13, CTHS members toured the grounds that once housed Fantasyland Storybook Park in Cumberland Township.

Speros Marinos kicked off the tour, and Jackie White, whose family owned the park and who worked there while growing up, passed out Fantasyland brochures and shared stories of the park.

She’s shown here sporting a Fantasyland hat and a yellow T-shirt that says “My fantasies come true at Fantasyland/Gettysburg, Pa.”

Thanks to Elsie Morey for providing these photos from the event.


Mark Your Calendar!

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!
  • August — Walking tour — watch for details.
  • September 12 — The Church of the Brethren has more than 210 years of history in and around Cumberland Township. Learn more about it from past to present.
  • December 5 — Licensed Battlefield Guide Chris Brenneman discusses Paul Philippoteaux’s cyclorama painting “The Battle of Gettysburg.”
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.

Purchasing a CTHS keepsake allows you to give a wonderful gift to someone else or yourself. It also supports the Historical Society's ongoing mission. Browse the options below, and make your purchase at the CTHS quarterly meetings or by contacting CTHS member Tom Clowney at (717) 334-5406.

This cozy throw ($36) depicts Sachs Bridge, as well as the Cumberland Township logo.

The handcrafted keepsakes shown below are made from a tree that witnessed President Lincoln as he rode toward the National Cemetery to deliver his Gettysburg Address.

Pricing for the items shown above follows:
  • Magnet – $15
  • Hanging ornament – $15
  • Paper weight – $20
  • Letter opener – $25
  • Pen – $45
The following printed documents are also available:
  • The Inhabitants of Cumberland Township During the Civil War ($10)
  • The Agricultural History of Cumberland Township, 1749-2014 ($5)
Thank you for your purchase and your support of the Cumberland Township Historical Society.
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