The history of the county has hosted the imitators of Washington and Lincoln History

Unlike George Washington, merchants in the Carlisle area did not use the proverbial ax to take down a legendary cherry tree.

But they had a reasonable facsimile of the first president of the United States announcing profound price cuts planned for a birthday sales day.

This week's Tour Through Time greets President's Day by taking a close look at the people who portrayed Washington or Abraham Lincoln during local history.

It was Tuesday, February 21, 1967, and Eugene Wade was supposed to look like Washington the next day, touring downtown stores and handing out prizes to buyers.

His concert as a founding father was sponsored by the Retail Merchants Bureau in an effort to boost sales in downtown and MJ Mall and Carlisle Plaza shopping centers.

Advancement from 27 years to October 1994, when actor William Sommerfield entered Carlisle to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the whiskey rebellion. In 1794, the real George Washington was in Carlisle to gather troops to quell the insurrection.

During a three-day celebration, Sommerfield remained in the character during a parade along Hanover Street, a fox hunt in the West Pennsboro Township, a solo show at the Carlisle Theater and a review of re-enactors camps on Dickinson College university town.

Seven months later, in May 1995, Lincoln's impersonator Jim Getty of Gettysburg gave a speech as part of a one-day event honoring both Memorial Day and the 150th birthday of Boiling Springs. Getty has performed his solo exhibition in many places across the country, including the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California.

Forty-five years earlier, Pedro J. Kammerer played the Great Emancipator during a parade in Newville on July 28, 1940. The city celebrated its 150th anniversary.

Sentinel reported that the resemblance of Kammerer with Lincoln "has attracted considerable attention". Despite the excessive heat, the crowd aligned the parade route, which included over 50 wagons and other units.

Tour Through Time runs every Saturday in the printed edition of The Sentinel. The reporter Joseph Cress will work with the staff of the Cumberland County Historical Society every week to offer a glimpse of the county over the years. Send any questions, future ideas or suggestions to jcress@cumberlink.com.

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