Shippensburg, Pennsylvania

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Shippensburg is a borough in Cumberland and Franklin counties in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. Settled in 1730, Shippensburg lies in the Cumberland Valley, 41 miles (66 km) west-southwest of Harrisburg, and is part of the Harrisburg–Carlisle Metropolitan Statistical Area. In 1900, 3,228 people lived there; in 1910, 3,457; and in 1940, 5,244 people lived there. The population was 5,586 at the 2000 census.

Shippensburg was incorporated as a borough on January 21, 1819. In the past, there were furniture factories, engine and pump works, and other industrial works located within the town. Shippensburg is also the home of The Beistle Company, the oldest and largest manufacturer of decorations and party goods, which sells its distinctive honeycomb paper decorations worldwide. It is also the location of Pague and Fegan, the oldest continuously operated hardware store in Pennsylvania.

Shippensburg is also home to Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, one of 14 universities of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

Yearly the last full week of July, the Shippensburg Community Fair is held. Begun in 1958, the fair bills itself as Pennsylvania's largest bi-county fair. The fair includes agricultural exhibits, a craft show, food vendors, and carnival rides amongst other things.

Every summer on the last Saturday of August, Shippensburg holds the Corn Festival, an event that brings regional artisans and vendors to operate stands downtown. The downtown is closed to traffic for at least 5 blocks for most of the day. Average attendance at the festival is estimated at 60,000 - 70,000 each year.

Contents

History

Shippensburg is the oldest community of the Cumberland Valley, and the second oldest west of the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania (after York to the southeast). In July 1730, 12 Scots-Irish families came to the site of the present day Shippensburg and built cabin homes along Burd's Run. Shippensburg began as the western outpost of colonial settlement.

The village received its name from Edward Shippen, a prominent resident of Lancaster (and one time mayor of Philadelphia) who obtained the patent to the land from the heirs of William Penn. Edward Shippen's granddaughter, Peggy Shippen, was historically notable as the wife of General Benedict Arnold, who betrayed the Continental Army by defecting to the British during the American Revolutionary War.

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