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The building sometimes referred to as the “Garrison Commander’s house” (Garrison Commander Ty McPhillips lived there), and by others as the “Chaplain’s house” (Post Chaplain Philip Mahalic lived there), is most commonly referred to as the “Old Farmhouse” at Carlisle Barracks.    It was built between 1853 and 1856, most likely by a man named Daniel B. Kieffer.  The original 109 acre farm encompassed most of the current Carlisle Barracks.  Before the Battle at Gettysburg the farmhouse served as lodging for Confederate soldiers.  In 1887 the farmhouse and property were acquired by Pratt for the purpose of educating the students of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School about agriculture.  In a statement related to the justification for the purchase of the farmhouse he stated that “more than half of our boys will eventually find in agriculture their life work”.   From 1887 until 1918 the Carlisle Indian Industrial School utilized the farm as a center for education and food production. Recent debates about the historical significance of the farm have been ongoing.  When the U.S. Army War College decided to demolish the building after investigations determined the farmhouse had only “minor associations with the Carlisle Indian Industrial School”, protest from individuals and Native Rights Groups ensued.  At present, demolition of the farmhouse is suspended indefinitely while the War College launches another investigation into the historical significance of the farmhouse.

Information regarding the farmhouse can be found here.  If you are interesting in working with the Carlisle Farmhouse Friends you can connect with them on Facebook.

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