304 W. King Street
MESSAGE FROM THE MAYOR
Historic Shippensburg, the second oldest permanent settlement west of the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania, has a long and varied history dating from the 1730’s. Once a frontier settlement that acted as the starting point for westward migration, Shippensburg has played a prominent role in the development of our nation. During the French and Indian War, Shippensburg’s Fort Morris stood in the line of forts throughout Pennsylvania designed to keep the French from establishing their influence in the area. A visit to the Shippensburg History Center located in the Stewart House at 52 West King Street is a start to follow our development from colonial times to the present.
In the 1800’s Shippensburg became the railroad hub of the Cumberland Valley with three railroads prominent in its continued development. Serving as the western terminus of the Reading Railroad, the eastern terminus of the Western Maryland Railroad, and a center of activity for the Cumberland Valley railroad, Shippensburg had stations, warehousing, and a grain elevator. Earl Street and Fayette Street were the main streets where trains ran. A “high Line” running east and west through a part of town served the Reading and Western Maryland companies. Today, most of our railroad facilities are a part of history, replaced by several trucking firms responsible for distributing goods to the east coast megalopolis stretching from Washington DC to New York City and New England.
Each year a variety of activities including memorial parades are available for locals and tourists. Activities include ShipShape Day, a local spruce-up the town event, held at the end of April, Bloom Festival in early May to begin the planting season, the Shippensburg Fair during the last full week of July, and the Corn Festival, a Main Street event with crafts, food, and other entertainment, always occurs the last Saturday of August. For September, you will find an activity such as a Brew Fest (coming 9/23/ 2017) or some other event. October brings the Kids Event Parade, our Halloween parade, the largest of the year. For the holiday season kickoff, in mid-November, Downtown Organizations Investing Together (D.O.I.T.) we have themed activities drawing attention to annual celebrations such as Christmas, and ending the year Drop the Anchor on New Year’s Eve. As you can see, there is rarely a dull moment for Shippensburg.
The Shippensburg Area School District and Shippensburg University provide exceptional educational, cultural, and sports programs for the area. Our H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center provides the region with top-of-the-line entertainment. Shippensburg Public Library, housed in a lovely Georgian mansion in the center of town, offers excellent learning opportunities in the form of books, electronic media, technology, and programs for all ages.
Straddling the border between Cumberland and Franklin Counties, Shippensburg serves as a hub for regional activities. We consider ourselves as a gateway community by being the western gateway to Cumberland County and the eastern gateway to Franklin County. Our location amid the major population centers of the mid-Atlantic region includes Washington DC, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh, all within two to four hours driving distance on major interstate highways. Gettysburg, a major Civil War battle site is just twenty-six miles away. The state capital of Harrisburg is located within fifty miles and just a short distance east is one of the nation’s premier amusement parks. Hershey Park offers many and varied activities for all ages. A short distance from Hershey is Penn National Raceway and one of Pennsylvania’s casinos. For those who enjoy the beach, we are a few hours away from the New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware beaches.
In conclusion, Shippensburg has a great deal to offer. Visit us and see that we’re a small town with a big character. You might be pleasantly surprised and decide to relocate here.