Carlisle: All-American Spirit and History

Colonial-style China, featured at 1794 The Whiskey Rebellion, Carlisle

Colonial-style China, featured at 1794 The Whiskey Rebellion, Carlisle

By Karen Hendricks

As we celebrate Presidents Day, here’s a piece of Pennsylvania-themed presidential trivia:

Only one president has ever acted as commander-in-chief of troops in the field. Which president? What was the situation?

Answer: President George Washington acted as commander-in-chief of troops while staying in Carlisle, Pennsylvania for a week in 1794 when he organized federal suppression of the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania. That’s because Carlisle was Washington’s choice for the location of our first arsenal and school for the U.S. Army.

These fascinating facts relate to two stories I recently covered for two regional magazines. Both stories are based in Carlisle, a quaint, charming historical town that also features a fun, hip vibe.  In 2015, Carlisle was named one of America’s Top 100 Best Small Towns in 2015 by Livability.com (Carlisle came in at #16).

feb-2017-susquehanna-style-coverAll-American Spirit: Carlisle’s 1794 The Whiskey Rebellion, published in the February 2017 issue of Susquehanna Style, is a restaurant review for popular downtown spot, 1794 The Whiskey Rebellion. It’s all very straightforward and comfortable: a simple and traditional American menu, blended with whiskey and history. Click here to read more!

Also location in Carlisle, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) is considered the nation’s leading cover-jan-feb-2017-celebrate-gettysburgorganization dedicated to educating and preserving the legacy of Americans who have served their country as U.S. army soldiers.

The range, depth, and breadth of USAHEC is staggering: a 54-acre site housing 16 million military items (and growing), including what’s considered the world’s largest collection of Civil War photographs with a grand total of 1.7 million military photographs. USAHEC not only includes an indoor museum component, but also outdoor exhibits, and an extensive library, archives, and artifacts collection—all free and open to the public. “It’s one of the treasures of our region,” says Aaron Jumper, communications coordinator of the Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau.

Read more: U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center: Telling the U.S. Army’s Story, One Soldier at a Time, published in the Jan/Feb issue of Celebrate Gettysburg magazine.

And enjoy a collection of behind-the-scene photos taken during my research and interviews for both stories! (Click on any photo to arrow through the collection.)

Related Links:

1794 The Whiskey Rebellion

U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center

Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau

Culinary Travels: Christine’s Cafe, Gettysburg

Farmer's Benedict

Farmer’s Benedict: featuring house-made Bacon Jam

By Karen Hendricks

For Chef/Owner Keith Lowman of Christine’s Café, Gettysburg, life has been a journey across America. That 35-year journey is reflected in his cooking, infusing his menu with America’s favorite and iconic regional flavors.

He describes the menu at Christine’s Café as “American fusion,” bringing culinary creativity to breakfast, lunch, and dinner. “American fusion is a combination or fusion of ethnicities combined into one workable dish,” Lowman explains. “Kind of like the way our country is, a melting pot…Having a sense of adventure about new flavors is what American fusion is all about.”

Learn how his journeys shaped the menu at Christine’s Cafe, Gettysburg, PA in my latest restaurant review for Celebrate Gettysburg magazine: Christine’s Cafe: A Melting Pot of American Fusion.

And enjoy a few behind-the-scenes snapshots, below. (Click on any photo to arrow through the highlights.)

Links:

A Slice of Americana

The perfect summer dinner alfresco

The perfect summer dinner alfresco

By Karen Hendricks

Favorite recipes are crafted with the perfect blend of ingredients, often including a special or secret ingredient. Likewise, favorite dining experiences rely on the perfect mix of location, ambiance, and culinary flavors.

Beech Springs Farm’s Farm-to-Table Dinner Series have struck gold with a winning formula that combines a beautiful Adams County, Pennsylvania location, an enjoyable ambiance set by local musicians and warm hosts, and farm fresh dishes prepared by talented local and regional chefs. Continue reading

Embracing “Nerd” Status

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By Karen Hendricks

The term “nerd” is thought to have evolved from the 1950  Dr. Seuss book, “If I Ran the Zoo.” Today, “Merriam-Webster” defines “nerd” as “an unstylish, socially inept person; one who is slavishly devoted to intellectual or academic pursuits.”

However, a group of eight Gettysburg teenagers are not only embracing their nerd status, but also promoting it via a successful downtown shop, Nerd Herd Gifts & Games.

Click here for my latest freelance writing piece, “The Nerd Herd: Downtown Gettysburg Shop Takes Fun & Games to a New Level,” published in the Sept/Oct issue of Celebrate Gettysburg magazine. And go behind-the-scenes with photos I snapped during the writing of the story, below. What a great group of kids–check out their unique shop the next time you’re in downtown Gettysburg, PA! Continue reading

Trail Blazing

Cumberland Valley Rail Trail / Credit: Cumberland County Visitors Bureau

Cumberland Valley Rail Trail / Credit: Cumberland County Visitors Bureau

By Karen Hendricks

The rails-to-trails movement–converting unused railroad lines into recreational trails–is “on track” with today’s environmentally-friendly, recycling movement. There are numerous rail trails located in central Pennsylvania, such as York County’s Heritage Rail Trail and Cumberland County’s Cumberland Valley Rail Trail.

In fact, Pennsylvania is one of the top states for trail mileage (1,763 miles) and number of trails (173), according to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit dedicated to “transforming unused rail corridors into vibrant public places.”

While I was researching rail trails, bike paths, and bicycle-friendly communities, I met some of the kindest, most genuine people who truly care about communities and ensuring that outdoor recreation is part of their community’s mix: Continue reading

The Heart of the Holidays

The Heart of the Holidays

By Karen Hendricks

Our hometowns hold a special place in our hearts–especially during the holiday season. Historic Gettysburg, PA was my hometown for 22+ years and honestly, I think it’s the most charming, picturesque downtown I’ve ever experienced in my travels during Christmastime.

IMG_2392So, it was my absolute pleasure to write The Heart of the Holidays: There are No Better Sights and Sounds than on Lincoln Square at Christmastime for Celebrate Gettysburg magazine, the cover story for the Nov/Dec 2015 issue. Continue reading

Brewing Big Business

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By Karen Hendricks

If you’re a small business owner like me, you’re in the majority. What?

That’s right, the nation’s 28 million small businesses account for 54% of all sales in the U.S. And, small businesses provide 55% of all American jobs, according to the US Small Business Administration.

It’s a great time to celebrate the collective power and the sheer vitality small businesses bring to our marketplaces, through Small Business Saturday, this Saturday, November 28, 2015. Small Business Saturday, and its growing support, has a correlation to a freelance magazine article I recently wrote:

Here in Pennsylvania, there’s a movement of small, fiercely-independent businesses that collectively are brewing big business–the craft beer industry. Continue reading