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Justus J. Perrine made it official when he used a silver shovel to turn over the first mound of dirt.

The retired owner of a grocery store in downtown Carlisle was surrounded by other members of the First Presbyterian Church on the Square the afternoon of Dec. 6, 1950.

A dedication service was underway on the west lawn of the church celebrating the start of a new annex wing to include a fellowship hall, Sunday school rooms, a parlor and a minister’s office.

This week’s Tour Through Time focuses on the scene that January 1951 when work crews were digging out the basement of the one-story addition. There are also photos of the church site before and after the annex was complete.

There is a brief mention of the annex in the book “If These Stones Could Speak: An Illustrated History of the First Presbyterian Church of Carlisle, Pennsylvania.”

The book says the church lacked sufficient space, prompting the addition that ran south from the tower to West High Street. The annex was built of limestone compatible with the original building.

The Sentinel reported that Perrine at the time was a church elder and one of its oldest members. Prior to retirement, he owned and operated a business in the first block of West Louther Street.

Tour Through Time runs every Saturday in The Sentinel print edition. Reporter Joseph Cress will work with staff at the Cumberland County Historical Society each week to offer a look at the county through the years.

Send any questions, future ideas or tips to jcress@cumberlink.com.

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Email Joseph Cress at jcress@cumberlink.com.

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Education/History Reporter

History and education reporter for The Sentinel.