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Adams County Historical Society to Build new $5 Million Complex in Cumberland Township

Adams County Historical Society (ACHS) has launched a $5-million-dollar capital campaign to fund a new 29,000 square foot exhibition complex, scheduled to open by Fall 2022, to be built just north of Gettysburg at 625 Biglerville Rd. The new building will house an exhibit gallery, archives, and an education center.

The society has already raised $4 million in gifts and pledges including a $1 million contribution from Adams County.

“For more than 80 years we’ve amassed a collection that tells the story of one of America’s most famous communities,” said ACHS executive director Andrew Dalton. “Without the historical society, the memory and legacy of this incredible place would gradually fade away. 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 society has outgrown its current home, an aging Victorian house on Springs Avenue in Gettysburg.

“Our current facility lacks important temperature and humidity controls, and there is no fire suppression system,” said ACHS Capital Campaign Chair Jacqueline White. “We worry every day that these incredible resources—the very soul of Gettysburg and Adams County—could deteriorate further or be lost if we don’t act now.”  

The 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.

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 First Lady Mamie Eisenhower, Native American projectiles, dinosaur footprints,and so much more.

In addition to exhibits, the new facility will feature hands-on programming, a stunning event space overlooking Barlow Knoll on the battlefield, and ample parking. 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’s history.

To learn more about supporting the project, 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.

Since 1888, the Adams County Historical Society (368 Springs Ave., Gettysburg, Pa.) has preserved over three centuries of remarkable local history. With over one million historic items in its care, ACHS inspires people of all ages to discover the fascinating and largely untold story of one of America’s most famous communities. Learn more at www.achs-pa.org

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Charles Stangor is Gettysburg Connection's Publisher and Editor in Chief.

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