Chambersburg Travel Guide

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Chambersburg Overview

Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

The seat of Franklin County, Chambersburg (population 17,961) was founded in 1764 and was originally settled in 1730 by the Chambers brothers, who chose this point at the confluence of the Conococheaque Creek and Falling Spring as the location for their gristmill and sawmill. Chambersburg grew as an important crossroads; it soon became an important stopping place for travelers going west to Pittsburgh. In the late 1780s the first wagon train passed though Chambersburg, and in 1814 the first turnpike opened. The beginning of rail travel in 1837 further contributed to the growth of the community by bringing travelers from Harrisburg to Chambersburg.

Chambersburg and Franklin County lay along the frontier, forcing settlers of the region to hone their fighting skills during the French and Indian War. Riflemen from the region were requested by George Washington in 1776 to fight the British in Boston. Chambersburg was invaded three times during the Civil War, and Robert E. Lee made the decision to move east into Gettysburg in the town square. Much of downtown Chambersburg was burned on July 30, 1864. After the fire, the community’s economy quickly rebounded with the development of foundries and the Cumberland Valley Railroad.

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