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Battlefield Preservation Association purchases land, will gift to Park Service

The Gettysburg National Military Park will soon have more land thanks to the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association.

The association recently purchased 50 acres of land across the road from the Historic Daniel Lady Farm on Route 116, Hanover Road, in Straban Township. Melvin Crouse, the land’s previous owner, valued preservation over development.

“I didn’t want a strip mall or condos to be built on such beautiful land,” said Mr. Crouse. “I know Kirk (Davis, GBPA president) and the GBPA will take excellent care of the place”.

Crouse has been a longtime friend of the association and allowed it to use the land for event parking.

“We were approached with an amazing opportunity,” Davis said. “With the help of several principal people at Members 1st Credit Union, we were able to make it happen.”

Research done by GBPA shows that a large part of the property was part of the Lady Farm during the Battle of Gettysburg. The acquisition also includes Wolf Hill, a key location for the battle. Adjacent to Culp’s Hill, Wolf Hill was where Major General Edward Johnson arranged his men for battle in a ravine that continued to Benner’s Run. General Johnson used the Daniel Lady Farm as his headquarters and it was a Confederate Field Hospital during the battle.

Founded in 1959, the GBPA has contributed about 200 acres to the National Park Service.

The Daniel Lady Farm was purchased in 1999 with the intention of donating it and the 150 acres around it to the park. The GBPA spent the next several years restoring the house and barn only to find out the National Park Service could not accept it because it was not contiguous with the park’s borders.

The GBPA chose to maintain the property, giving tours and eventually holding events to pay for the necessary expenses. Under Davis, the GBPA was able to obtain the property between the Farm and Benner Hill which now makes it contiguous The purchase of the Crouse property will help complete the story of the battle at Culp’s Hill and the contribution of the Daniel Lady Farm.

“Unfortunately, the National Park cannot accept property with any encumbrances,” says Davis. “We are very grateful to re-enactors and the public who participate in our events and fundraisers. That is even more important now that we have a mortgage that needs to be paid before we can start the turnover process.”

The next large event scheduled to be held at the Lady Farm will be the 160th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg on June 30, July 1 and 2, 2023. Tickets to that event and a list of all GBPA events can be found on the Events page of gbpa.org or danielladyfarm.com. Donations can also be made online or mailed to GBPA, P O Box 4087, Gettysburg, PA, 17325.

Featured image caption: Partners stand at the former Crouse property on Route 116, Hanover Road, Straban Township.

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​Alex Hayes, Consulting Editor, has spent almost two decades in the Adams County news business. He is heavily involved in the community through his work at the YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County and volunteer roles at the Rotary Club of Gettysburg, Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church, the United Way of Adams County, and Healthy Adams County. Alex is also a freelance writer for several other publications in South Central Pennsylvania.

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