Carlisle Barracks, PA Image 1
    Carlisle Barracks, PA Image 2

    Carlisle Barracks, PA Museums

    The Cumberland County Historical Society maintains 16 galleries covering over 200 years of the county's history and artifacts. Past exhibits have included early fabric used in the area, and the building of antique plank bottom chairs. The society also includes a library and thousands of manuscripts and area records, and puts on walking tours and workshops for the community.

    The U.S. Army Heritage Museum collects and shares the history of the army through artifacts, exhibits, and research. Exhibits include the "soldier experience" where visitors can virtually parachute into Normandy or use the digital shooting range, view hundreds of images from the Civil War, and learn about the 5 Star General of the Army Omar N. Bradley.

    The Appalachian Trail Museum is located in a 200 year old grist mill in the Pine Grove Furnace State Park and is dedicated to telling the story of the trail since its creation. Exhibits are about the trail's founders and many early hikers, including thousands of pictures and a replica shelter built by a famous hiker. This is the country's only museum about hiking!

    Eastern Museum of Motor Racing showcases vintage racecars and exhibits and memorabilia of racing throughout history, with a focus on the east's superb legacy. The museum, located in York Springs, is on a 40-acre facility which also includes a renovated racetrack featuring several events every year, and one of the best motorcar research libraries in the country.

    Gettysburg National Military Park is just a 40 minute drive south of Carlisle and is one of the most well-known and perhaps one of the most important sites of the Civil War. Within the park is the Battlefield of Gettysburg, the site of the largest number of casualties in the war and where Confederate General Lee was defeated in his quest for another northern invasion. This is also where President Abraham Lincoln gave his legendary Gettysburg Address, at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery. Tours (guided and unguided) of the park are available, as well as a Civil War museum at the visitors center featuring tens of thousands of artifacts and exhibits on the war, and many other historic sites including David Wills House, where Lincoln stayed the night before his speech, and George Spangler Farm which was used as a field hospital.

    The National Apple Museum in Biglerville is dedicated to the history and artifacts associated with apple and fruit farming and how it has shaped the local community over the years. Exhibits include fruit processing equipment, how it is picked and shipped, early photographs, a replica 1880s kitchen, and other apple memorabilia.

    The National Civil War Museum strives to tell the "entire" story of the Civil War from both sides through thousands of artifacts and exhibits. Items include uniforms, weapons, personal objects carried by soldiers, manuscripts and documents, items that belonged to President Lincoln, General Lee, Major General McClellan, and "Stonewall" Jackson.

    The Oakes Museum is a 10,000 square foot space dedicated to African and North American natural history. The collection houses over 40,000 objects such as fossils, eggs, insects, mammals, birds, fish, and shells. There is even a sensory room where visitors can pick up and touch various rocks and fossils.

    The State Museum of Pennsylvania proudly displays the history of Pennsylvania from its early prehistoric eras to Native American civilizations, European colonizations, Revolutionary and Civil Wars, to the industrial age. Millions of artifacts relating to paleontology, archaeology, geology, ecology and fine arts and culture are on exhibit. Additionally, the museum also runs a planetarium.

    The Pennsylvania National Fire Museum is located in a 1899 Victorian era fire house in Harrisburg and features the history of firefighting from the early pre-Civil War days to modern times. Exhibits include early hand- or horse-drawn carriages through more recent firefighting vehicles, various tools and equipment, photographs, and more memorabilia.