The following books can be purchased at Whistlestop Bookshop

129 West High Street, Carlisle, PA 
(717) 243-4744 or

Silver Spring Township, Cumberland County

Silver Spring TownshipSilver Spring Township was established in 1757, by the Scots-Irish. Its early history describes fierce battles between the settlers, the Shawnees and the Lenape Indians.  A treaty was finally negotiated between the settlers and the Natives with the help of prominent fur trader and Native interpreter, George Crogan. The early settlers blazed the area for farming, built taverns, inns and mercantile businesses. James Silver, one of the first settlers and for whom the township is named for, was granted land where the first church west of the Susquehanna River and north of York County was built. The Silver Spring Presbyterian Church thrived over the years and remains today. The villages of Hogestown and New Kingstown were formed in the early nineteenth century and the township eventually became known as a resort area due to its pristine landscape. Visitors and locals found relaxation in swimming, fishing, visiting with family and friends, eating ice cream cones, and horseback riding. In the early 20th century, the Hogestown Stock Show began and was attended by large crowds. Not only were farm animals judged, but there were also baking contests. In 1929, Raymond DeWalt, inventor of the radial circular saw and the founder of the DeWalt Tool Company, sold his patent for the saw in order to purchase the Huston Mill and its grounds. DeWalt opened the Willow Mill Park along the Conodoguinet Creek. There visitors and locals could picnic, fish, swim and boat. In the 1940s, Willow Mill Park became an amusement park. During the 1950s, President Harry Truman supported the “Great Road” project by taking a road trip from New York to Washington, D.C. During his trip he stopped in New Kingstown and ate at the Country Diner. The famed McCormick family farm is located in the township and has been put in trust never to be developed. This is noted by a landmark outside of Hogestown along the Carlisle Pike. Notable people of the township are Jonathan Hoge, James Junkin, James McCormick, Senator George Wade, Dr. George Wade, Jr, and Senator Pat Vance. Many descendants of the early settlers have remained in the township for generations, as well as the many buildings that were built during the early settlement.

Christine Clepper Musser is a lifelong resident of Cumberland County and currently resides in Silver Spring Township. She is a local historian who holds a BA in American History from Vermont College.

Images of America Silver Spring Township is now available for purchasing. The book can be purchased online at Arcadia Publishing, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. Books can also be purchased at local venues or from Christine Clepper Musser online at The Wandering Pen.

Murder in Carlisle’s East End

murder in carlisle's east end

Jealousy. Rage. Murder. Injury. Disruption. Abandonment. Incarceration. Accommodation. Patience. Forgiveness. Redemption. In this work by author Paul Hoch, all of the words listed previously figure significantly in the narrative. It reads like a novel, but the events and the people involved are real. The author tells a tale that could happen in any small town in America. This type of story is often familiar to local citizenry if the people involved are from the upper echelons of society. But the people in this narrative are working class citizens who likely were not known by many of the people in the community and the struggles of their lives were largely unknown by other than those directly involved. This book brings their difficult circumstances to light. The story and the unfortunate events that continue to follow the two main characters for many years after the initial tragic murder are explored in detail throughout the book. The extensive research done by the author to fully develop the story is impressive. An unusual aspect of this work is that the setting of the story and the times in which it occurred play an important role in the book. The reader, if from Carlisle, will recognize the places and events of the town during the middle of the twentieth century. If not from Carlisle, the reader will come to know the town very well.

Paul Hoch is well-known in the town and surrounding community. He has been a successful businessman and has served as a leader in a variety of institutions in the Carlisle area. A native of the area, he has a unique perspective on the events that play out in this narrative. Paul Hoch, the writer, is also well-known, although this is his first “published” work. For two years he contributed a column to the local newspaper, The Carlisle Sentinel. The column entitled “Walk Around Town,” described various places and events in the history of the community. Well-received and remembered by the readership, the articles were compiled in 2008 and published by the Cumberland County Historical Society in a single volume entitled “Carlisle History and Lore.” He has also written for the Society’s annual Journal. This work will provide the local community with an opportunity to read Paul’s first book-length endeavor. Readers from outside the local area will be introduced to the town, a unique time in twentieth-century history, and a rewarding and well-told true story.

The opportunity to read and provide input on an early draft of this book was greatly appreciated. It was a story that I did not know even after working for eleven years as a librarian at the Cumberland County Historical Society. The unusual aspect of having the town and its familiar locations play a role in the book is intriguing and enlightening. One of the most rewarding parts of the story is the way both main characters are able to rise above the tragedy and bring real meaning to their lives. The use of original photographs of the main characters and of the town from the original time provide significant enhancement to the telling of these events.

David L. Smith
Editor, Cumberland County History, Cumberland County Historical Society
Co-author, Penn Township, Cumberland County Pennsylvania, 150 Years
Director, Camp Michaux Recognition and Development

Hidden History in Cumberland County

Hidden HistoryThe rolling fields and quiet towns of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, belie its dynamic history. From slaves who escaped to freedom through Underground Railroad stations in Shippensburg and Boiling Springs to a telephone-like invention created by Lower Allen’s Daniel Drawbaugh a full decade before the patent of Alexander Graham Bell, the pages of Cumberland County’s history conceal long-forgotten but true tales. There are numerous but often-overlooked contributions from county residents–from 1920 to 1923, Newville hosted the first state police academy in the nation, and during World War II, a humble bandage invented in Carlisle saved countless lives. With an engaging collection of vignettes, author Joseph David Cress explores these and other hidden tales from the history of Cumberland County.

Murder and Mayhem in Cumberland County

murder and mayhemFrom the horrific Enoch Brown Schoolhouse Massacre of 1764 to settlers who hunted local tribes for a bounty, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, has long had a violent and bloody history. As more people came to the region, murder and mischief of every kind only multiplied. Local author Joseph David Cress explores the dark side of history, from little-known cases such as that of Sarah Clark–who became the first woman hanged in the county after she poisoned a family to dispatch a romantic rival–to high-profile crimes like the shocking 1955 courtroom slaying that left one person dead and three injured. Join Cress on a hair-raising walk down Hell Street as he investigates the underbelly of Cumberland County.


60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Harrisburg: Including Cumberland, Dauphin, Lebanon, Lancaster, Perry and York Counties

hikingThe southern portion of Pennsylvania is rich with history, but also boasts breathtaking natural beauty. From rolling hills in Lancaster and York Counties to steep ravines along the Susquehanna River, this region offers hikers a wide array of outdoor experiences. This guide is the first comprehensive hiking tour of the region, and its accessible format brings this diverse natural area closer to hikers than ever before.

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