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Cumberland County is a county located in the state of Pennsylvania. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 235,406. Its county seat is
Cumberland County is included in the Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area
Named for Cumberland County in England. Carlisle
County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts
Created on January 27, 1750 from part
of Lancaster County, and named for Cumberland County in England. Carlisle, the
county seat since 1752, was incorporated as a borough on April 13, 1782. It was
named for the county town of England's Cumberland County. Shippensburg was the
county seat from 1750 to 1752.
First settlement was in a group of sheds at the site of Shippensburg, 1730. Title was acquired from Indians in 1736, but the area was contested with Maryland until 1737. Cumberland bore the brunt of Indian attacks from the west in 1756-1759 and 1763-1764. The sale of wheat to Baltimore was important to the early economy. The Cumberland Valley Railroad began in the 1830s. Iron works and paper mills sprang up, although iron production collapsed after 1900. Dickinson College was chartered in 1783. Carlisle Barracks began as a powder magazine in 1777, became the Army's cavalry school, the Indian School (1879- 1918), and since 1951 the Army War College. Until the 1960s Carlisle was known for manufacturing carpets, clothes, publications, and auto tires, and the county has had a strong lumber industry. After 1900 the population grew on the west shore of the Susquehanna because of railroad yards and state government. Because of public sector jobs the county has not been hurt badly by the national trend toward deindustrialization, although Cumberland no longer is a strong manufacturing area. Farms cover 44 percent of the county, and it is among the top ten counties in production of dairy products, corn, wheat, apples, hogs, and poultry. Famous residents have included James Wilson, Gov. Joseph Ritner, inventor Daniel Drawbaugh, athlete Jim Thorpe, and Molly Pitcher.
Carlisle produced several Revolutionary leaders, but it was a center of opposition to the US Constitution. A fugitive slave case, Oliver vs. Kauffman, in 1847, helped bring about the national Compromise of 1850. The Confederate army occupied Carlisle in 1863.
As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 551 square miles (1,427 km2), of which, 550
square miles (1,425 km2) of it is land and 1 square miles (3 km2) of it (0.18%) is water.
Bordering counties are as follows:
Central Pennsylvania College
Penn State Dickinson School of Law
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
US Army War College
ITT Technical Institute