The beginning of the Camp Curtin Church can be traced to an organization of a Sunday School in north Harrisburg by the Rev. Dr. Thomas Wilcox on May 12, 1889. Within a year, the Curtin Heights Methodist Episcopal Church was built and by 1893, two wings were added. Sadly, on December 30, 1894, the new church and all of its contents were destroyed by fire but within two years a new building was constructed.
By 1914, the membership had grown so large that a new building had to be constructed. Since the new church was located on the site of Camp Curtin, it was designated a memorial to all Civil War soldiers and the name was changed to Camp Curtin Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church. A large allegorical painting - depicting Christ appearing to a dying soldier, dressed in blue and gray - still adorns the sanctuary wall.
In 1922, the monument to Governor Curtin was erected adjacent to the church. In 1939, the church became Camp Curtin Memorial Methodist Church and in 1968 it was renamed Camp Curtin Memorial United Methodist Church. On June 25, 1989, it merged with the Mitchell congregation and is now known as the Camp Curtin Memorial-Mitchell United Methodist Church
The Camp Curtin Historical Society and Civil War Round Table
The Camp Curtin Historical Society & Civil War Round Table is a nonprofit, all volunteer organization, dedicated to the preservation of Camp Curtin history, landmarks and relics. The Society involves a wide array of students, neighbors, historians and civic leaders in a continuing mission of educational outreach and community service.
Quarterly Journal - The Bugle provides updates on Society business and activities and articles about various aspects of the Civil War.
Guest Speakers – CCHS has hosted Pulitzer Prize winning historian Dr. James McPherson, National Park Service Chief Historian Ed Bearss (right), and William C. “Jack” Davis author of more than forty books. Other speakers have presented programs on Harrisburgs role in the Civil War, the Underground Railroad in South Central Pennsylvania, Civil War Music, the Medal of Honor, Blacks in the Confederacy, Gettysburg Civilians, U.S. Colored Troops, Flags in the Civil War, and biographies of Gov. Curtin, Gen. John Reynolds, Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, Gen. Daniel Sickles, and Lt. Col. George McFarland
Living History Events – In 1996, the Society, along with several local municipalities, began an annual commemoration of the 1863 Confederate Invasion and Union Defense of the Harrisburg area. These events usually include living history encampments, firing demonstrations, dances, lectures, tours and artifact displays. Thousands have attended these events and learned about our local Civil War history right in their own backyards
Educational Outreach – CCHS can provide speakers on a variety of Civil War topics for schools and organizations. One of our most popular programs is a PowerPoint presentation on “The Harrisburg Area in the Civil War,” based on our acclaimed tour book, Civil War Harrisburg: A Guide to Capital Area Sites, Incidents and Personalities, edited by Lawrence E. Keener-Farley and James E. Schmick, published by the Camp Curtin Historical Society in 2000 and revised in 2006.
Preservation – In addition to preserving the memory of Camp Curtin, the Society has adopted the 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry Monument at Gettysburg, placed historical markers in the Harrisburg area, restored Civil War tombstones, and donated to Civil War preservation efforts.
In 2005, the Society placed monuments at Fort Couch in Lemoyne (left) and the Rupp House in Mechanicsburg (right) to mark local Civil War history.
Currently, we are assisting the state with the creation of Civil War Trails in south central in Pennsylvania. The Harrisburg area portion of the trail is based on our tour book.
Please join us in our work of Preservation, Commemoration