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About Us


Mission Statement and Staff
The purpose of the Cumberland Cultural Foundation through the Gilchrist Gallery and Museum is to provide a public venue for the display of special exhibitions, permanent collections and cultural performances. The organization is committed to maintain and restore the historical structure and grounds at 104 Washington Street, Cumberland, Maryland and provide visual and performing arts education to the community while contributing to economic and tourism development in the area.

Board of Directors
Christina Collins-Smith  ( President )
Tony Cornwell  
Cristina Freas  ( Vice President )
Katie Gattens  
Shirley Giarritta  
Nicole Halmos  
David Love  
Greg Malloy  
David Nicolas  
Denise Partsch  ( Treasurer )
Frederick Shober  
Merrill Smith  
Sarah Thomas  ( Secretary )
Robin Vereen  
Stephen C. Wilkinson, Esq.  

Charlie Amos  
Katherine Getty  
Dr. Peter Halmos  
Edward Huber  
Jack McMullen  
James Odgers  
Paul Reckley  
Robert Riggs  
Ronald Screen  
Casper R. Taylor, Jr.  
Christina Collins-Smith
Volunteer Docents
Jill Baldinger  
Andrea Beall  
Ed Coffey  
Christina Collins-Smith  
Tony Cornwell  
Dena Darr  
Allen Emerick  
Charlie Farmer  
Geno Frazier  
Cristina Freas  
Katie Gattens  
Shirley Giarritta  
Teri Gill  
Krystyna Goddu  
Dr. Peter Halmos  
Nicole Halmos  
Iris Halmos  
Angela Heddrick  
Dustin Herrill-Orndorff  
Joshua Jacobs  
Eunique James  
George Lanigan  
Shannon Lewis  
David Love  
Karen Lyons  
Dr. James Lyons  
Vicki Macy  
Greg Malloy  
Lois McMullen  
Helen Miller  
David Nicolas  
Shaila Pai  
Denise Partsch  
William C. Pfaff  
Robert Riggs  
Kelly Schrecengost  
Frederick Shober  
Kiersten Sites  
Merrill Smith  
Cindy Thomas  
Sarah Thomas  
For information and inquiries please email us.
Visit us on our new Facebook page which is filled with photos and information about our facility.

History of the Gilchrist Mansion

The Colonial Era
The mansion stands within the stockade boundary of colonial Fort Cumberland. Artifacts dating from the French and Indian War have been found on the property.

The Perry House
Judge Thomas Perry began building the residence in 1843. It is one of the oldest brick structures on Washington Street. The Federal Style residence included the tall smoke house, three privies and a chicken coop. Thomas Perry died in 1871.

Gilchrist Mansion The Gephart Era
Judge Oliver Cromwell Gephart purchased property in 1875 at public auction for $10,000. The Gepharts enriched the house with many new features and additions. A columned porch was added to the first floor, exterior shutters added to second floor, pediment dormers to third floor and a new carriage house was built on the grounds. Later the Gepharts added a large new wing which included a kitchen with running water, upper and lower porches on the south side and a sleeping porch located on the west site of the residence. Still present in the structure today is an ornate gas chandelier, two French Empire crystal chandeliers, and three French inspired pier mirrors and ornate radiator coverings in the art nouveau style.

The Gillette Era
Mrs. Gephart died in 1899 and Judge Gephart died in 1916. The mansion was passed on to their daughters, Mary and Susan. Upon Susan’s death in 1921, Mary became the sole owner of the property. Mary Gephart married George Gillette in 1877 and lived in Baltimore and Philadelphia. In 1894 she moved back home with her son. Mary was an avid traveler and collector and added a wealth of fascinating objects to the house. Mary Gephart Gillette lived in the mansion until her death in 1952.

The Piper Era
After Mary Gephart Gillette’s death, her granddaughter, Christine Gillette Piper, and her husband, Charles A. Piper, bought the house from her estate in 1953. Christine's main contribution was the loving and dedicated preservation of the house and gardens. She and her ancestors had lived in the mansion for 120 years. Presently, on the second floor, turn of the century furnishings, paintings, costumes and accessories donated by the family are on display.

The house was privately owned for a brief time and then purchased by Mrs. Jeanette Gilchrist and donated to the Cumberland Cultural Foundation for the purpose of creating a gallery. This was accomplished in 1999. Mrs. Gilchrist requested the gallery be named in memory of her husband, C. William Gilchrist, a patron of the arts.