Two Mile House & Gardens

The Two Mile House, an impressive, historic Federal limestone residence, was built in the 1820s when the Walnut Bottom Road served as a busy thoroughfare for travelers, merchants, and farmers plying their trades. From 1826 to 1857, it served as The James Given Tavern. Many a weary traveler stopped here for lodging and simple food.

The Two Mile House, so-named because of its distance from the town square, contains 12 rooms, 10 with fireplaces, which feature Doric-style pilasters and a central panel with oval medallion. The floor plan of the main block consists of a central passage flanked by double parlors on the west and double dining rooms to the east . A kitchen ell on the first floor has a large cooking fireplace. The central passage is dominated by an open staircase. The property has five acres of landscaped grounds and is on the National Register of Historic Places. 

It is also available as a rental facility for corporate retreats, weddings and receptions, anniversary and birthday parties, bridal and baby showers, class reunions, family reunions, and other events. The house is air-conditioned, and the grounds are neatly maintained with colorful flowerbeds and herb gardens.

CCHS was bequeathed the property by Mrs. Mary Wheeler King in 1992.

Donate to help support the Two Mile House here.

Group tours of the Two Mile House are available by contacting Sharon Filipovich at

Individuals or organizations wishing to rent the Two Mile House for a private event click here.

The Gardens at the Two Mile House

Located at the western boundary of the Two Mile House, adjacent to Family Pharmacy, the pollinator garden is maintained as a joint effort between CCHS and the Penn State Master Gardeners in Cumberland County. Although only four years old, it has turned into a pollinator magnet quickly and has been certified as a Pollinator Friendly Garden by Penn State. This designation adheres to a set of rules on required host and pollinator plants, including native trees, shrubs, and perennials in the garden to attract pollinators and butterfly larvae. The Penn State Master Gardeners offer educational programs about pollinators and how to achieve a Pollinator Friendly Garden certification. Don’t miss this lovely garden when visiting the Two Mile House.

Front Gardens

The formal full Georgian façade is the perfect backdrop for wedding photos and is planted with roses, hydrangeas, and other romantic landscape plantings. Many mature trees surrounding the house make it an urban oasis with a tree canopy as well as a large, covered patio on the west side, inviting three seasons of celebrations outdoors.

The Flower Gardens

While approaching the backside entry of the Two Mile House, visitors can take notice of a partly shaded flower garden on their right side. A brick walkway divides the garden into halves enticing visitors to veer off the walkway and explore its many plantings. Designed and maintained by members of the Carlisle Garden Club for over two decades, careful consideration was given during the plant selection process. Knowing that the Two Mile House is the venue for many social events ranging from showers, weddings and anniversaries to fundraisers, summer camps, and fests throughout the year, choosing plants that offer year-round interest became a priority. Colorful spring flower bulbs such as crocus, tulips, and daffodils mingle among evergreen ground covers of pachysandra, vinca vine, and ivy while the intoxicating fragrance of hyacinths wafts through the air. Come summer, vibrant annuals and perennials add a festive appearance. Mums and the jewel-tone colors of fall’s changing shrubs and deciduous trees celebrate the end of a glorious growing season. In the winter, a somber effect created by the structure of bare trees, low-lying evergreens, and the statuary at the far end of the garden reminds the visitor that the garden must rest before reblooming in full glory next spring.

The Herb Garden

To the left of the walkway leading from the parking lot to the stone house lies an herb garden. Outlined by bricks and stones, the Carlisle Garden Club members took care to plant herbs that could have been used by tavern cooks during the 1800s and beyond. In one garden, herbs such as tarragon, basil, lemon and creeping thymes, sage, dill, and rosemary surround a stand of lavender. A second circular herb garden holds a variety of mints with delicious scents such as chocolate, lemon, pineapple, banana, apple, and spearmint. Rue is its center planting. The third herb bed leans toward being an herbal flower garden with feverfew, bee balm, sweet woodruff, germander, creeping jenny, primrose, and hyssop centered by blue bachelor buttons. A tole-painted mailbox, handcrafted by a member of the Carlisle Garden Club, holds a guide to the herb garden. Walking through this herb garden will awaken one’s senses.

Prepared by R. Blaszuk, Co-President, Carlisle Garden Club, May 31, 2019