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Cumberland County is located in the south-central part of Pennsylvania. With a population of over 250,000 people, it is the fifth-most populous county in the state. Cumberland County has a rich history dating back to the colonial era. Here are seven interesting facts about Cumberland County in Pennsylvania history.

1. Formation

Cumberland County was formed on January 27, 1750. The county was carved out of Lancaster County, and its name was derived from the Cumberland region in England.

2. Westward Expansion

In the late 1700s, Cumberland County was the western frontier of the United States. As settlers pushed further westward, Cumberland County became a trading hub for goods and services.

3. Carlisle Indian Industrial School

The Carlisle Indian Industrial School, located in Carlisle, opened in 1879, was a government-run boarding school for Native American children. The goal was to assimilate the children into American society by teaching them English and forcing them to abandon their native culture. Famous alumni include Olympic athlete Jim Thorpe.

4. Shippensburg University

Shippensburg University, located in Shippensburg, was founded in 1871 as the Cumberland Valley State Normal School. It was the first state-owned school to offer a four-year degree program. Today, it is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

5. Army War College

The U.S. Army War College, located in Carlisle, was founded in 1901. The college is the oldest military education institution in the country. Its mission is to prepare military leaders for strategic leadership roles in defense of the nation.

6. Mechanicsburg

Mechanicsburg, located in Cumberland County, was founded in 1806. The town was named for the mechanics who set up businesses in the area. Mechanicsburg played an important role during the Civil War as a stop on the Underground Railroad.

7. Molly Pitcher

Molly Pitcher, a heroine of the American Revolution, is believed to have lived in Carlisle. Born Mary Ludwig in 1754, she earned her nickname during the Battle of Monmouth when she carried water to the thirsty Continental Army soldiers and manned a cannon after her husband was wounded.

In conclusion, Cumberland County has a fascinating and varied past. From the early colonial days to the present, the county has played an important role in Pennsylvania and the United States.

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