The Adams County Historical Society (ACHS) has officially broken ground for a first phase of construction at the site of its new home – 625 Biglerville Road, in Cumberland Township. On Saturday, a small gathering and ceremonial groundbreaking took place at the site with remarks from members of the board, staff, and capital campaign committee.
“I’m so proud of the work that we’ve done over this past year,” said ACHS executive director Andrew Dalton, “during a global health crisis and some of the most polarizing times in modern history, we’ve demonstrated the strength of this community.”
The Society’s new home will ensure that millions of Adams County’s most precious historic items – documents, images, and artifacts – will be safely preserved in climate-controlled, fire-resistant conditions. The current ACHS headquarters at 368 Springs Avenue – the Wolf House – is an aging Victorian structure unsuitable for the organization’s vast archives and artifact collection.
The new facility – set to open in late 2022 – will house a 5,000-square-foot museum gallery, classroom, research facilities, and a large education center overlooking a portion of the Gettysburg Battlefield. At roughly 29,000 square feet, the two-building complex will provide ample room for the Society’s collections, exhibits, and educational programming.
Capital Campaign Chair Jackie White offered additional remarks at the ceremony: “This building will reach out to Adams County citizens and friends, especially the young ones, and will welcome them to explore, to have fun, to trigger their curiosity to want to know more, and to appreciate who they are and what they can become.”
ACHS Board Chair Clinton Eppleman also stressed the educational value of the new home: “These meaningful experiences will help strengthen our community as it grows and inspire future generations to look to history for ways to create a better tomorrow.”
Work at the site will begin within weeks, and the first building – an Artifact Storage Center – is to be finished by late summer. ACHS has contracted with C.E. Williams, Sons, Inc. for site work, and Morton Buildings for construction of the Storage Center. Work on the larger Museum, Archives & Education Center is set to begin later this year.
According to Dalton, “Once built, this new home will represent so much more than a safe place for millions of historic artifacts. It will be the beating heart of Gettysburg and Adams County.”
To learn more about the Society’s Capital Campaign, “A Home for YOUR History,” please visit www.achs-pa.org/campaign. Donations to the project are welcome, and can be made online or by mail to P.O. Box 4325, Gettysburg PA 17325. Recognition and sponsorship opportunities are also available upon request. Please email Andrew Dalton, firstname.lastname@example.org, to learn more.