ACHS Awarded $2 million in state funding

Adams County Historical Society will receive $2 Million RACP Grant to fund museum and history center in Gettysburg; preserve millions of irreplaceable artifacts

(Gettysburg, Pa.)Today, the Adams County Historical Society (ACHS) received a $2 million RACP award (Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program) from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Office of the Budget. These funds add to nearly $6 million already committed from other sources. ACHS preserves some of Gettysburg’s rarest treasures, and many of national significance—a program from Lincoln’s famous address, thousands of relics gathered from the battlefield, personal belongings of esteemed abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Native American projectiles, dinosaur footprints, and so much more. This commitment further ensures that these priceless, tangible links to the past survive for future generations to study and appreciate.

Adams County Historical Society Building

According to Andrew Dalton, the Society’s executive director, “This funding is another step toward fulfilling a critical goal for our community and establishing a renowned cultural and historic landmark. We are profoundly thankful to Governor Tom Wolf, the Adams County Commissioners, GMS Funding Solutions, and the hundreds of donors who have made this exciting project possible.”

The new facility – set to open by spring of 2023, is being built just north of Gettysburg near a portion of the First Day’s battlefield. The 29,000-square-foot complex will house artifact-driven exhibits that explore centuries of Gettysburg and Adams County history through the eyes of ordinary citizens of all ages and backgrounds, including that of the African Americans, women, and fruit growers who have left an indelible mark on this community. According to Dalton, “We’re going beyond the battle to tell a much larger story. This facility will embrace new perspectives, allow for new research and discoveries, and shine a light on our community’s full history for the very first time.” The museum experience will be created by Healy Kohler Design, a Washington D.C. firm best known for its work at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia.

In addition to exhibits, the new facility will feature hands-on programming, a stunning event space overlooking Barlow Knoll on the battlefield, and a K-12 classroom. It will also house a first-class archive where visitors can research topics ranging from genealogy and historic properties to broader topics related to Gettysburg and Adams County history.

ACHS launched its capital campaign one year ago in December 2020. The announcement featured endorsements from documentarian Ken Burns, actor Stephen Lang, and historical novelist Jeff Shaara, and a $1 million gift from the Adams County Commissioners.

According to Burns, whose acclaimed film on the Civil War featured materials from the society’s collection, “the history of Gettysburg and Adams County is not just local historyit’s a microcosm of United States history.”

Shaara, author of Gods and Generals, a prequel to his father Michael’s Pulitzer-winning Killer Angels, added to Burns’ sentiment: “If we all do our part and protect our cherished past, the incredible stories of Gettysburg and Adams County will continue to inspire future generations of Americans just like they inspired my father, and just like they inspired me.”

Construction of the Historical Society’s new home has already begun in Cumberland Township just north of the Gettysburg Borough limits.

To learn more about supporting the campaign, please visit www.achs-pa.org/campaign, or email info@achs-pa.org. Donations can also be mailed to the Adams County Historical Society at P.O. Box 4325, Gettysburg PA 17325. Naming and sponsorship opportunities are available for a limited time.

Charles (Chuck) Stangor is Gettysburg Connection's Owner, Publisher, and Editor in Chief. I would like to hear from you. Please contact me at cstangor@gettysburgconnection.org.

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