Cumberland County Historical Society

I first went to the college archives catalog and searched for any possible hit on Lincoln Cemetery. The main goal was to find the names of the soldiers buried there so that I could start using those soldiers to formulate a narrative. The only things I found that might be useful so far were background materials on African American’s in Carlisle. For example:

Valanos, Vicky. Social Mobility of the Blacks in Carlisle. Dickinsoniana Books, 1981.

Cavenagh, Susan. Blacks in Carlisle, 1870-1880. Dickinsoniana Books, 1978.

So both of these and similar sources could be good to go back and check once I know the soldier’s names that I am researching.

Next, I went to the Cumberland County Historical Society and went to research in their library. I asked for help finding information on Lincoln Cemetery and specifically any burial records. They were really helpful and we found a list of Lincoln Cemetery Burial Plots, recorded by Susan Cavenough in 1971. There was also a folder on Lincoln Cemetery that contained documents between 1971 and now on the cemetery. For the most part it focused on the time when the Borough of Carlisle put the new park idea up for suggestion in 1971. Lastly, I obtained a folder with three pictures of Lincoln Cemetery in 1971, taken by Jim Bradley.

Through these three finds I made a lot of headway into my research. The list of burial plot names was reprinted and re-done in 2001 by Aaron Feldman-Grosse and Donald Koide with the Pennsylvania State University Department of Landscape Architecture. I photocopied their printout, which contains the 78 marked and unmarked gravestones, 22 other names known to be buried there, a map of Memorial Park and a few maps of how the burial plots were laid out. These would all be great for illustrating what the cemetery used to look like to a tour. From these names, I can already tell that some of these people were Civil War soldiers. One man buried there, James Ines, actually had U.S.C.T. inscribed on his gravestone. I can use all these names with secondary sources, databases and newspapers to figure out who was a veteran and see if any of them have a recorded story too.

Then I took a look at newspaper articles of the Evening Sentinel that were at the Cumberland County Historical Society. They mostly described how a meeting about the park was proposed on September, 1971 and then they finally had it on November 17, 1971. I found out that the leader of the protestors to the park was Reverend Robert Bailey, a pastor of the AME Church on East Pomfret. His main argument was not that the cemetery should not be destroyed, but that instead of a park they should build houses for other African Americans. Also in one of these articles it mentioned that Justice William Dosh might be an expert on Lincoln Park or have recorded information about it. So he is someone I could research into as well.

Lastly, I photocopied two of the three photos taken by Jim Bradley. One of them shows a more landscape picture of the cemetery that is perfect to show a tour. They have the photo in color at the historical society, so it would be nice if I could somehow get more than just a photocopy. The second picture is an amazing picture that displays, “George Lane, Sargt. Co. E, 8th Reg. U.S.C.T.” I was really excited when I saw this. However, the first thing I did was double check this with the burial names list and saw that George Lane was not on it. Since this was a very intact gravestone and both the list and the picture were done in 1971, I am very questionable about the photo now. My plan is to look into George Lane and make sure he was actually buried there before I get too excited about the photo. It also might help to look into more of Jim Bradley’s photos and figure out what his story is too.

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One Response to Cumberland County Historical Society

  1. Matthew Pinsker says:

    Good work. Please add any images of the photographs or documents (especially the key newspaper articles) that you might have or could obtain easily (say by using a cell phone camera) or by printing microfilm as PDF. CCHS should allow you to take cell phone pictures if you explain it is for a class project. Your questions about Lane are also good and definitely deserve quick follow up. And I hope that you might try to track down and contact several of the people mentioned above. If you find out anything, please provide their contact info here –and we’ll leave this post private.

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