Waking up from the bus ride, I was expecting to see a stereotypical college town. I was used to seeing newly erected buildings and remnants of the young college life on a campus. What I encountered was far different from what my expectations were.
Dickinson College is in the middle of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, a town dating all the way back to the late 18th century. It has gone through some weathered times, but the people there have made sure not to neglect the history that has taken place.
As you walk through the campus, you will find commemorating plaques, notices of historical preservation in windows, and even shell riddled surfaces from the Civil War era. Being the first college to be charted in the United States, the college and town have seen more than most other places. I find it a testament to the institution to still be standing and thriving today.
With our time on campus, we got the opportunity to listen to Professor Pinsker talk about the House Divided Project, as well as his take on the Blind Memorandum from Abraham Lincoln. He gave us a chance to explain what we thought might have been going through Lincoln’s mind on August 23rd, 1864. Then giving us his historical perspective on the event, shared with us the bits of history he had dug up while doing research on the topic.
In addition, there is a building dedicated to the African-American citizens who helped form the community of Dickinson. Upon entering, you get the chance to experience a virtual guide through multiple mini exhibits featuring people and events connected to the school. Through their research, the team at Dickinson found that a former confederate aligned man was commemorated through a dorm on campus. They are now in the process of changing the name and the message they would like the college to be portrayed with.
All in all, the town of Carlise and the college of Dickinson were a sight to see. One could easily tell that the small area had a quaint atmosphere and an ability to make people feel right at home.