Public Meeting about Trail to Adams County Historical Society Facilities

The new facilities for the Adams County Historical Society (ACHS) are approximately two-tenths of a mile north of the Borough of Gettysburg, and sidewalks along Carlisle Street end at the borough line.  It is anticipated that many students from Gettysburg College and local residents will want to walk or ride a bicycle to the new facilities.  Residents and visitors throughout Gettysburg may want to ride a bicycle to the facilities.  However, there is no safe way to do this, and walking on the shoulder where the speed limit is 40 mph is not a viable option.  Consequently, Healthy Adams Bicycle/Pedestrian, Inc. (HABPI) has taken the lead in an effort to create a safe, multiuse biking and walking path from the Borough of Gettysburg to the new ACHS facilities on Route 34 (Biglerville Road).   Andrew Dalton from the ACHS is working with HABPI on this effort.  A feasibility study for the best location and design of the trail is being conducted by C.S. Davidson, Inc., the borough engineering firm.  The study is underway, and numerous meetings with stakeholders and major landowners nearby have been conducted.  The trail study is being funded by grants from the Robert C. Hoffman Endowment Trust and the South Mountain Partnership, along with funds from HABPI, which is a nonprofit organization based in Adams County whose mission is to develop safe, accessible walking and bicycling trails and paths in Adams County.   Once the feasibility study is completed, C.S. Davidson, Inc. will create a Trail Master Plan.  This plan will analyze costs and considerations for at least two possible routes.  The Master Plan will provide data that is needed to apply for grants to design and construct the trail.   A public meeting will be conducted on Wednesday, December 7, starting at 5:30 p.m. in the Charlie Sterner Building at the Gettysburg Recreation park.  The purpose of the meeting is to present the results of the feasibility study, discuss recommendations, and get public comment on the study and recommendations, especially from residents who live near the area for the proposed trail.  Questions about the study and meeting can be emailed to – habpi2012@gmail.com.  

Hi-tech research pinpoints where Lincoln stood while delivering his Gettysburg Address

Hundreds of people passing through the National Cemetery in Gettysburg at around 2:00 p.m. on Remembrance Day, 2022 (Nov.19) were curious what a small group of people were doing with a spool of red, white, and blue ribbon on both sides of the fence separating the National and Evergreen cemeteries. As one member of the group explained to a group of curious Boy Scouts, “You are the first people since the day Mr. Lincoln gave his speech to see exactly where the president stood to deliver that speech.” That insight is the result of a decade’s work by former Disney animator and Lincoln buff Christopher Oakley, his  “New Media” students at the University of North Carolina-Asheville, advanced software that allowed a fresh look at six photographs taken the day of Lincoln’s speech, a variety of high tech tools, and the street smarts of civil war, photography, and technology experts. Oakley had announced his findings the previous day at the Lincoln Forum conference at the Wyndham Hotel. Previous “guesses” about the location included the site of the present-day Henry Bush Brown Lincoln monument near the rostrum, the site of the present-day Soldiers’ National Monument, and various locations in Evergreen Cemetery. In recent years, a rough consensus emerged that the speaker’s platform was located somewhere in Evergreen Cemetery, probably near the present-day fence. Finding Lincoln’s location wasn’t the original goal of Oakley’s “Digital Lincoln Project,” which he started in 2013. His first project was to create a realistic digital Lincoln “and bring him to life reading the Gettysburg Address.” The effort to find the speaker’s platform spun out of this project. “We started with the written record and then turned our attention to the six known photos of the event,” said Oakley. “They are rich with detail and lots of information,” said Oakley. Then the team identified the exact location from which the photos were taken, to allow triangulation. Four were taken from two locations in the cemetery, one was taken from the second floor of the Evergreen Cemetery gatehouse, and the sixth was taken from the location where the Quality Inn is now located. Oakely said the research also involved 3-D modeling and some old fashioned sleuthing. Oakley’s team concluded that the platform was much larger than prior researchers had thought, was shaped like a trapezoid, and straddled the boundary between the cemeteries, with most of the seats in Evergreen but with the speakers standing in the National Cemetery. They also concluded that the people on the platform sat in a semicircle, not straight rows. Saturday’s walking expedition included myself, as well as Jennifer Schuessler, a New York Times reporter who wrote a front page article about Oakley’s announcement in her publication, an archivist from the Library of Congress, several of Oakley’s photo research collaborators, and a few conference attendees who were simply interested in the project. The group set off from the Quality Inn and stopped at each of the photo locations to view the photo(s) taken from that spot and discuss how the information helped pin down the location. They wound up at the site of the platform and used the ribbon to mark its dimensions. Along with the few curious spectators who joined them, they then took turns posing at “the spot.” When asked if it really mattered where Lincoln stood, Oakley described the experiences of his students.  “At first, almost none of them were interested in history; they joined the program for the technology. But as we got deeper into the project, they all became interested in history.” “When we came to Gettysburg to familiarize everyone with the site and take reference photos, I noticed that as we got closer to the site, all the normal horsing around stopped. By the time we got to the site it was complete silence: the kids thought they were on hallowed ground. Knowing you are standing on the spot where Lincoln actually gave the speech ignites the imagination and transports you back.” Featured image caption: Oakley (left) with Leon Reed at “the spot.”

Dedication Day ceremony celebrates 159th anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

A collection of Gettysburg royalty – Park Superintendent Steve Sims, Gettysburg College President Robert Iuliano, Gettysburg Foundation President Wayne Motts, Lincoln Fellowship President The Reverend Steve Herr, and Gettysburg Forum chair Harold Holzer – together with superstar historians John Meacham and Dr. Allen Guelzo, gathered in the National Cemetery today to celebrate the 159th anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. The annual Dedication Day ceremony is one of Gettysburg’s most durable traditions, dating back to 1938. Past speakers have included presidents (Truman and Eisenhower), Supreme Court justices (Scalia and O’Connor), authors (Carl Sandberg, Shelby Foote, Gary Gallagher), and TV and film personalities (Ken Burns, Stephen Spielberg, LeVar Burton). The ceremony began with a wreath laying at the Soldiers National Monument and then continued at the brick speaker’s stand known as the Rostrum in the National Cemetery where a crowd of several hundred people had gathered. In brief remarks, Sims commented that “national cemeteries have a protected atmosphere of peace, calm, and reflection. We ensure the dignity of the final resting place of those who gave their lives for their country.” View a slideshow of the Dedication and Remembrance Day activities “Each soldier who died here has a story and we should not ever forget those stories. . . . Their sacrifice had meaning and continues to have meaning,” said Motts. Iuliano noted with pride that the Gettysburg College community has been involved since the first day of the battle. “On July 1, 1863, our college stood in the midst of two great battles. And after the battle, our alumnus, David Wills invited the president to come make “a few appropriate remarks” and “our students and faculty walked to the square and walked with the president for the ceremony.” In his featured speech, Guelzo extolled the speech and pointed to its present day relevance. “In 272 terse and simple words, he laid out the past (‘four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth …’), present (‘now we are engaged in a great civil war …’), and future (“we here highly resolve …’), and it was a sensation from the beginning.” Guelzo went on to note that Lincoln also “laid out three fundamental elements of a democracy: consent (‘government of the people’), . . .  people’s voice in the affairs of the nation (‘by the people’), . . . and a government serves the interests of the people (‘for the people’). . . . Without these three distinctives, you have no democracy.” “Lincoln’s address was a huge consecrated essay on why the American democracy had been founded, why it was worth sacrificing to preserve, and what we could anticipate if it emerged whole from the conflict. It would be a ‘new birth of freedom,’” said Guelzo. “But we today are not sure that we are equal to the task of preserving democracy. . . . We here hold the power and bear the responsibility . . . Lincoln reminds us that it is we who must dedicate ourselves, we who must highly resolve, we who must decide if a democracy can survive the forces that despise it,” he said. In brief remarks before he recited the Gettysburg Address, Meacham observed that “Lincoln kept the American experiment in self-government alive when all seemed lost. . . . Ordinary people, black and white, sacrificed to preserve the Union. . . . Many of those are buried here. We are here to commemorate their deeds. We pray for the repose of their souls and the strength to be worthy of their sacrifices and to be worthy stewards as well of Lincoln’s ultimate vision of the nation that the Declaration of Independence must be paramount and that democracy must survive and thrive. . . . Abraham Lincoln and the honored dead of this place have shown us the way . . . making that is the  unlimitable work of our times.” An moving and traditional part of the celebration was the naturalization ceremony for 16 brand new US citizens (symbolizing Lincoln’s position as the 16th president). The new citizens were a literal United Nations, coming from Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cameroon, China, Mexico, Moldova, Peru, Philippines, and Vietnam. After the simple ceremony, administration of the oath, a recorded greeting from President Biden, and congratulatory remarks by Shelly Lowe, a proud Navajo and Chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the several hundred audience members rose together and gave an enthusiastic round of applause to greet their newest fellow Americans.

The Shared History of the Musselman Family and the Adams County Fruit Industry

Nearly everyone, it seems, has heard the name Musselman and knows it is associated with food processing. Fewer know that there were two Musselmans involved, Christian H. Musselman (1880-1944) and Ivan Z. Musselman (1886-1963). And almost no person living today has heard about the third Musselman, Christian’s father, John Musselman (1858-1931). It was John who truly pioneered fruit processing in Adams County – not once, but twice.  This unorthodox complexity will be sorted out as part of a presentation by Phil Roth, I.Z. Musselman’s grandson, to be held at 3 p.m. November 19th at the National Apple Museum in Biglerville. In any case, it is factual, beyond any doubt, Mr. Roth will state, that Christian High Musselman (C.H.), shown here with wife Emma, was the principal Musselman who powered forward the fruit processing industry in Adams County. It was C.H. who had the energy, the discipline, and the extraordinary executive ability to make it happen. His apple processing business – and, by association, the fruit growing industry – was the chief contributor to Adams County’s economy in the first half of the 20th century. At the time of his death in 1944, the C H Musselman Company was one of the largest – if not the largest – apple processing organizations in the world. Indeed, says Mr. Roth, C.H. Musselman rose to the opportunity, the right person in the right place at the right time.  Phil Roth was born and raised in Adams County, has been a fruit grower himself, and has recently been involved in providing materials and information to the Adams County Historical Society for inclusion in a tribute to the apple industry that will be part of the Historical Society’s soon-to-be-completed new building. His Apple Museum presentation will be part of a day-long open house celebration of the Biglerville Historical Preservation Society, to which all are invited.

Dedication Day and Remembrance Day events calendar

Dedication Day (ceremony in the Gettysburg National Cemetery) and Remembrance Day (parade and Illumination) events all fall on Saturday Nov. 19, 2022. All events and shuttles are free to the public. Expect substantial road closures in the area. The David Wills House will be open for free on November 18-19. November 19 schedule: 9:00 am to 5:30 pm – Shuttle from Visitor Center Lot 3 to Cemetery Parking Lot.  10:15 am to 12:00 pm – Dedication Day Ceremony in the Gettysburg National Cemetery.  November 19 marks the 159th anniversary of the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg. Full event details, including invited speakers, can be found on the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania website. 10:30 am to 4:00 pm – Road closures associated with the Remembrance Day Parade. 1:00 pm – Remembrance Day Parade. An annual parade of Civil War living history groups is held in conjunction with the Gettysburg Address anniversary. The parade will line up on Middle Street and then proceed to Baltimore Street and then turn onto Steinwehr Avenue. 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm – Remembrance Day Illumination in the Gettysburg National Cemetery. This solemn commemoration features a luminary candle on each of the 3,512 Civil War soldier’s graves. Names of the fallen soldiers will be read throughout the evening. More information here.

“Ticket to the Past:” A virtual reality tour about Basil Biggs

Newly opened in downtown Gettysburg at the beautifully preserved train station, the Gettysburg Foundation’s “Ticket to the Past: Unforgettable Journey” is a wonderful, mind-altering, virtual reality experience that may give visitors a glimpse into the future of museum visitors’ engagements with history. “Ticket to the Past” feels more like a series of face-to-face encounters than a traditional exhibit-to-exhibit museum visit. Gettysburg’s first virtual reality experience promises to stretch your imagination, awareness, understanding and empathy — and maybe even fire up your civic conscience, courage and involvement. There, at 35 Carlisle Street, at the same train station where President Lincoln came to town from Hanover and Hanover Junction (Seven Valleys) on the Hanover Rail Corporation line in November, 1863 to deliver the world-famous Gettysburg Address, you come-face-to-face with one of three extraordinary individuals of that era. You may choose either Basil Biggs, described as freedom fighter, facilitator for the fallen, and pursuer of unfinished work; Cornelia Hancock, soldier caregiver, hospital heroine, and dedicated social servant; or Eli Blanchard, teen volunteer, iron brigade band member, and amputation assistant. Through virtual reality goggles, your character tells you his or her story leading up to, during and following the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863. I chose Gettysburg freedman, farmer, teamster (driver of a team of animals), a self-taught horse veterinarian, disinterment/exhumation specialist, civic leader and Underground Railroad conductor Basil Biggs (1819-1906), who also has ties to Hanover; a famous, one-of-a-kind photograph; and York County. The performance by the actor portraying Mr. Biggs was intense and moving. Biggs, an illiterate freedman born of mixed race parents in a Quaker settlement in Carroll County, Maryland, lost his mother when he was only four-years-old. He was a master multi-tasker, a hard-working jack-of-all-trades. Throughout his life, Dr. Biggs, as he became known, made the best of each situation with relentless energy and perseverance. Basil and wife Mary Jackson moved their growing family from Baltimore, Maryland, a slave state, to the free state of Pennsylvania in 1858 so their children could get an education and grow up in freedom.At that time, Blacks in Maryland — whether free or enslaved — were denied public education. According to his 1906 obituary, while a tenant farmer at the Crawford Farm in Gettysburg, Biggs was an active agent in the Underground Railroad. According to historian Debra Sandoe McClausin, Biggs directed freedom seekers to Black freedman and Quaker Edward Mathews’ farm in Biglerville, Adams County. As over 6,000 Confederates invaded Pennsylvania in the summer of 1863, the Biggs family fled northeast to the town of Columbia on the banks of the Susquehanna River. When the family returned to town after the epic Battle of Gettysburg, the turning point of the Civil War, everything that Biggs owned was pilfered or destroyed except three assets: two horses and a cart. They also returned to find 45 dead Confederates buried in the fields they tended and tilled. According to the National Park Service, “the Biggs family lost eight cows, seven steers, ten hogs, eight tons of hay, ten crocks of apple butter, sixteen chairs, six beds, and ninety-two acres of crops.” After the battle, teamster Biggs’ salvaged cart, which could carry up to nine bodies at a time, came in handy as he embarked on a grisly, putrid and daunting endeavor. Working for Gettysburg merchant Samuel Weaver to disinter more than 3,000 dead Union soldiers from their initial graves and relocate and rebury them in a central spot, Biggs played a major role in the creation of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery. From October, 1863 until March, 1864, Biggs made $1.25 for each corpse brought to its final resting place, including hauling Union corpses from Hanover, 14 miles away. As a famous photo from Hanover shows. Biggs hired several Black men from Gettysburg to get the job done. Biggs used his earnings to purchase his own farm, the Peter Frey farm, which still stands on Taneytown Road, and about 120 acres of land. Some included the famous copse of trees, known as the high water mark of the Confederacy at Cemetery Ridge, a must-see visit for battlefield tourists. In 1881, Biggs sold those witness trees and the seven acres around them to the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association for $1,350. Ironically, although Biggs played a prominent role in the creation of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, he and other Blacks, including those 30 local Civil War veterans of the United States Colored Troops (organized in the summer of 1863), are not buried there. As historian D. Scott Hartwig points out, “we now know that there are five burials of African American soldiers in the Civil War section of the Soldiers’ Cemetery [in Gettysburg], but four of those soldiers were Spanish American War veterans who were buried here because it was the closest National Cemetery.” Only one Black Civil War veteran, Henry Gooden of the 126th United States Colored Troops, who died after the Civil War in Carlisle in 1876 and was not interred at Gettysburg’s Soldiers’ National Cemetery until 1884, is buried there today. A founder and prominent member of the Sons of Good Will, formed to acquire land for Black cemeteries, Basil Biggs, along with local Black Civil War veterans, is buried in the cemetery that the Sons of Good Will established in 1866. Since 1906, the year Biggs died and was buried there, it has been known as Lincoln Cemetery. It’s on the outskirts of town in Gettysburg’s third ward, where most Gettysburg African Americans in that era lived. Your “Ticket to the Past” visit winds to its finale with a view of President Abraham Lincoln’s train steaming into Gettysburg from Hanover aboard a Hanover Rail train on November 18, 1863. The next day, in Lincoln’s “few appropriate remarks” dedicating the Soldiers’ National Cemetery that Biggs helped create, the nation’s 16th commander-in-chief proclaimed a “new birth of freedom.” The narrator then ends your visit with an open-ended challenge to honor the fallen, the freedom-seekers, the healers and re-builders of that era in our lives today. “Ticket to the Past” is a bold, family-friendly, state-of-the-art, immersive, patriotic, and call-to-service visitor experience that you don’t want to miss. Warning! Don’t aim your virtual reality headset downward; your legs and feet will not be there! But if you take the tour, you are sure to be grounded in good history and a moving experience. Sources, More To Explore and Special Thanks Gettysburg Foundation’s Ticket to the Past: https:/www.gettysburgfoundation.org/exhibits-tours-events/exhibits-tours-events/ticket-to-the past%E2%80%94unforgettable-journeys National Park Service/Wills House on Basil Biggs: Wills House Virtual Identity: Basil Biggs – Gettysburg National Military Park (U.S. National Park Service) PBS’s “Finding Your Roots” Featuring Playwright Anna Deveare Smith: Wills House Virtual Identity: Basil Biggs – Gettysburg National Military Park (U.S. National Park Service) Debra Sandoe McCauslin, Reconstructing the Past: Puzzle of the Lost Community at Yellow Hill (2005) Betty Dorsey Myers, Segregation in Death (2001) D. Scott Hartwig, A Burial in the Soldiers’ National Cemetery (2012): Brandon Neely, Basil Biggs and America’s ‘Unfinished Work’: Basil Biggs and America’s “Unfinished Work” – The Gettysburg Compiler Michael E. Ruane, After 1863 Battle of Gettysburg, a grisly but noble enterprise to honor the fallen – The Washington Post (2013) Special thanks to historians Debra Sandoe McClauslin, Jim McClure, Scott Mingus, St., Samantha Dorm and Dominish Marie-Miller for reviewing earlier drafts, helping with fact-checking, and enlightening me. Thank you to friend Brian Shaffer of the Gettysburg Foundation for sparking my interest in “Ticket to the Past.” Featured Image: Basil and Mary Biggs, in center of photograph, stand along the Taneytown Road in front of their post-war home south of Gettysburg. [Adams County Historical Society]

160th anniversary reenactment of Antietam battle this weekend

This weekend’s Reenactment and Living History event will feature Dunker’s Church and West Woods, the bloodiest day on American soil, along with an extensive Living History area for an all-around, all-day educational Civil War experience for the whole family at the Historic Daniel Lady Farm! This is an all-day family event, where history comes to life before your eyes! Exciting Daily Battles Charging Cavalry Thundering Artillery Interactive Living History Demonstrations Period Kids Games Stroll Through the Military Camps Live Civil War Music Period Speakers Tour the House & Barn Museum Shop the Sutlers Period Worship Services Food and Beverage Vendors For Tickets & Event Information Visit https://www.DanielLadyFarm.com 1008 Hanover Street Gettysburg, PA 717-398-2026 GATES OPEN 8:00AM DAILY Event Schedule Subject to Change Ticket Prices Higher At Gate

It’s Back to School Time – 1896, That Is!

On Sunday, September 18 between 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., Mt. Joy Township will host a re-opening of “Mud College,” the little 1-room 153-year old red brick schoolhouse, along Baltimore Pike between Gettysburg and Littlestown. Originally one of seven one-room schoolhouses scattered throughout Mt. Joy Township, The Pleasant Grove School was built in 1869. It served the educational needs of students’ grades 1st – 8th until 1949, when one-room schoolhouses began their phased consolidation. In 1951, at public auction, the schoolhouse, complete with interior furnishings, (and exterior outhouse) was purchased by Walter Crouse for the purpose of holding alumni reunions for his own kin, friends and any and all who had ever attended this quaint, beloved little school. After nearly 50 years of reunions, family members, in 2001, donated the schoolhouse to Mt. Joy Township, with the stipulation, The School Building and its contents be preserved as an example of a one-room rural school house for the edification, use and enjoyment by this and future generations of persons living in and visiting the Township of Mount Joy, Adams County, Pennsylvania. Soon thereafter, a celebrated living history program, “A Day in A One-Room Schoolhouse” was developed based on one successfully established in Virginia. Primarily aimed at 4th and 5th graders, the curriculum, through proficient, period-clad docent teachers introduces young “scholars” during a full day’s immersion into what school was like in 1896. Each student assumes the persona of an actual classmate who attended “Mud College” which further personalizes the experience. The program has attracted not only regional participation but has seen attendance from a number of neighboring states. In 2011, the schoolhouse was named to the National Historical Register of Historic Places. At 12:30 pm there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony, followed by docent led tours of the schoolhouse. A local historian and author, Elsie Darrah Morey will offer her 2002, book, The Pleasant Grove School “Mud College” and personally sign all purchases. Throughout the schoolyard will be various displays to enjoy along with light refreshments. Live music by the” Dixie Mix” will play from 1-2 pm. Plan to come on out (4084 Baltimore Pike) with family and friends for a fun, educational “back to school” afternoon of a distant era! The event is free and expanded, directed parking will be provided. For more information call or visit mtjoytwp.us.

Local sculptor’s statue dedicated in York

PA Governor Tom Wolf and other dignitaries gathered in front of the William Goodridge Freedom Center and Underground Railroad site in York on Friday. They were there to unveil and dedicate a monument of William Goodridge, who was born in slavery but became one of York’s leading businessmen and a major leader on the Underground Railroad. It is the first statue of a black man erected in York. The statue was created by Gettysburg sculptor Gary Casteel. For Casteel, this was the culmination of a four year project. He first visited the site to discuss the project in July 2018 and developed the design concept shortly afterwards. “Creating a public monument is a big project and this went as smoothly as any. A lot of people have to buy-in and the money has to be raised,” he said. In addition to honoring one of its most distinguished citizens and attracting visitors to the museum, people who sponsored the project hope it will also promote tourism. Like his statue of Confederate General James Longstreet, located in Pitzer’s Woods along West Confederate Avenue in the Gettysburg National Military Park, Goodridge is human scale and appears at ground level. He sits invitingly on a bench, surrounded by various tools of his trades (including barber scissors and a lantern symbolizing his work with the Underground Railroad), ready to greet visitors. ”People don’t want to look at a statue on a 12 foot platform,” said Casteel. “They want to be able to interact with it, sit beside him, get a selfie.” And sure enough, the minute the ceremony ended, a line of dignitaries formed to get a photo with Mr. Goodridge. Featured image caption: Living historians (left) and politicians pose with statue [Leon Reed]

Gettysburg National Military Park Living History demonstrations continue this weekend

The Gettysburg National Military Park Living History Program continues this weekend with demonstrations at three locations. Live artillery demonstrations presented by the 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery, Battery B; Encampment and programs at Auto Tour Stop 12, the Pennsylvania Memorial and the Copse of Trees. Saturday July 16: 11:00 a.m.; 1:00 p.m.; 3:00 p.m. Sunday July 17: 11:00 a.m.; 1:00 p.m. 21st Georgia Infantry; Encampment and programs at Pitzer Woods, West Confederate Avenue. Saturday : 10:00 a.m.; 12:00 p.m. Sunday: 10:00 a.m.; 12:00 p.m. 10th Virginia Sharpshooters; Encampment and programs at Auto Tour Stop 13, Spangler Spring. Saturday: 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. Sunday: 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m.

New World War II Museum Opens in Gettysburg on Saturday

people sitting and standing on battle tank

Just a ten-minute drive from Gettysburg’s Lincoln Square lies the brand new World War II American Experience Museum, full of military vehicles, equipment, uniforms, and Gettysburg history. The museum, located on the Mummasburg Rd. at 845 Crooked Creek Rd., offers learning and entertainment for both children and adults. A soft opening this Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. will allow visitors to spend time with with local WW ll veterans, and to enjoy music, food trucks, and special exhibits. While Gettysburg is mainly known for its Civil War battle, the new museum asks visitors to reflect on Gettysburg’s involvement in World War II. Gettysburg’s role included a secret map-making center for the Navy, a secret psychological warfare training camp, a local submarine commander, and much more. “We’re not limiting our museum to the story of the soldier,” said the museum’s Director of Outreach Jody Wilson. “It’ll also be about the people back at home and what they did to support the war effort.” “The vehicles are fascinating, they all run, they’re all maintained. But having the stories of the men who depended on those vehicles really adds to the completion of the story of how the war was won,” said Wilson. While the museum is opening with a variety of exhibits, even more are planned for the future. One upcoming initiative is a Victory Garden. Wilson explained the importance of such civilian-run produce gardens during the war, and how they ensured that adequate food was being sent to soldiers.  In addition to the museum itself, learning events are scheduled. Upcoming is a “Tank Talk,” to be held on June 24 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  The museum will be hosting an Artifact Weekend on June 25 at 10:00 a.m. where community members can bring their artifacts to “share, loan, or donate.”  Wilson said the museum focused on how veterans’ experiences impacted the post-war world. “We’re really dedicating a lot of time to veterans, their stories, and their unique experiences,” she said. “The veteran involvement from the community has been amazing.”

America250PA launches programs to honor the US semiquincentennial. 

AmericaPA250, Pennsylvania’s Commission to plan and coordinate the many programs, projects and events related to the 250th anniversary of the United States to be celebrated in 2026, kicked off in Gettysburg yesterday with a ceremony including state and local leaders. The goal of the project is to recognize the many ways Pennsylvania has contributed to the United States. The kickoff event, held at the Gettysburg National Military Park Visitors Center, included visits by US Senator Bob Casey, Governor Tom Wolf, former Governor Mark Schweiker, and PA Auditor General Timothy DeFoor. The motto of the program is to “Make 2026 EPIC (Educate, Preserve, Innovate, and Celebrate).”   “July 4, 1776 is a big day and in 2026 it’s going to be a big day too,” said Wolf. “For us, as Pennsylvanians, it’s a commemoration of the many contributions of the people of our beloved Commonwealth,” said Casey.   The PA250 commission was established by the legislature and the Governor in 2018.  Adams County, including its townships and boroughs, are also making plans to participate in the celebration. Featured image: Gettysburg Mayor Rita Frealing poses with Casey (l.) and DeFoor (r.)

PA Governor Tom Wolf visits Gettysburg’s Beyond the Battle museum

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf visited the site of Gettysburg’s Beyond the Battle Museum, scheduled to open in early 2023. The museum, located at 625 Biglerville Rd,  is part of the Adams County Historical Society’s (ACHS) new 29,000 square foot, $10 million history complex. Governor Wolf and other attendees viewed some of the community’s rarest artifacts, including an original program from the Gettysburg Address, personal items belonging to the Eisenhower family, and relics from the Battle of Gettysburg, and Abraham Lincoln’s famous visit to town in November, 1863. Part of the ACHS’s collection of over one million historic items, these precious objects have been housed in an unsafe environment for decades, putting the community’s history at grave risk.  This will change next year when the new history center opens to the public and thousands of artifacts will be displayed for the first time ever. “Beyond the Battle provides a new take on the story of Gettysburg and Adams County,” said ACHS Executive Director Andrew Dalton.  “This museum isn’t just about military history – it’s about all of American history viewed through the lens of one remarkable community. Whether it’s a 16-year-old girl or our 16th president, Gettysburg is where ordinary meets extraordinary.” In a statement, Governor Wolf said of the project: “The Adams County Historical Society’s new history center will be a tremendous asset to all Pennsylvanians. Not only will this new facility save millions of irreplaceable historic artifacts, it will also provide an exciting opportunity for visitors of all ages to experience the story of Gettysburg and Adams County like never before.” Speaking about the state’s contribution to the project in the form of a Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant, Wolf said “This project will promote learning and historic preservation, tourism and economic development in Adams County and beyond, and I was proud to support it through a $2.8 million investment.” To learn more about the museum, please visit www.achs-pa.org. The Adams County Historical Society is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and donations are always appreciated.

Virtual Reality Museum opens at Gettysburg Train Station

“Ticket to the Past-Unforgettable Journeys,” a virtual reality experience at the Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad Station at 35 Carlisle St. opened today to provide visitors with a journey into the history of the station, a place with a special interest in U.S. history. Visitors travel back to July 1863 when the station became the  first army field hospital even before the Battle of Gettysburg began and November 18 of the same year, when an enthusiastic crowd gathered outside the station in hopes of catching a glimpse of President  Lincoln as he arrived in Gettysburg for the dedication of the national cemetery. Also included in the tour are insights into the citizens, medical personnel, and soldiers that made the station stop a focal point of local history. Visitors to the museum can choose to follow one  of three historic figures: Cornelia Hancock, Soldier Caregiver and Hospital Heroine. You might volunteer with 23-year-old Cornelia, who defied the odds and society norms to travel alone to Gettysburg to serve as a nurse. Eli Blanchard, Iron Brigade Soldier, Musician and Amputation Assistant. You could sign up with 18-year-old volunteer soldier and musician Eli, who quickly went from drummer for the Iron Brigade to assisting surgeons in make-shift hospitals like this station. Basil Biggs, Gettysburg Resident and Facilitator for the Fallen. You could follow Gettysburg resident Basil, a free black man, who collected supplies at the station for the unenviable task of exhuming bodies of the fallen Union soldiers for proper burial in the new national cemetery. Tickets to the museum range from $7.95 to $9.95 for the 40 minute experience and can be purchased here.

They Once Lived Here – A Hike through Gettysburg’s Forgotten History

In recognition of National Historic Preservation Month, we invite you to attend this free guided hike and explore the sites and stories of buildings that have long since vanished from the landscape. On Saturday, May 7 from 1 pm to 3 pm, join Rangers Matt Atkinson and John Hoptak of Gettysburg National Military Park, and Ranger Daniel Vermilya of Eisenhower National Historic Site on this one-mile walk, following mowed trails and paved sidewalks, that will explore over 175 years of Gettysburg history. From the long-forgotten homes of Gettysburg’s African American Community to World War II POW camps, tenant houses, and farms caught in the crossfire of battle, discover the stories of the people who once called this battlefield home. This free program begins at Auto Tour Stop 4, the North Carolina Memorial and concludes at the Gettysburg National Cemetery Parking Lot, Auto Tour Stop 16. Parking is available on West Confederate Avenue, the Gettysburg National Cemetery parking lot, and along Hancock Avenue. On all park avenues please park your vehicle on the right side of the road, unless otherwise directed, with all wheels on the pavement. Gettysburg National Military Park is a unit of the National Park Service that preserves and protects the resources associated with the Battle of Gettysburg, the Gettysburg National Cemetery and provides an understanding of the events that occurred there within the context of American history. Learn more at www.nps.gov/gett. Eisenhower National Historic Site preserves and interprets the home and farms of the Eisenhower family as a fitting and enduring memorial to the life, work, and times of General Dwight David Eisenhower, 34th president of the United States, and to the events of far-reaching importance that occurred on the property. Learn more at www.nps.gov/eise. Featured image caption: Captain Dwight D. Eisenhower stands next to a tank at Camp Colt on the Gettysburg battlefield.

Gettysburg Majestic will present first-ever Ken Burns Film Festival

Gettysburg College’s Majestic Theater announced yesterday it will host the first-ever film festival dedicated solely to the work of award-winning documentarian Ken Burns next February 10-12, 2023. More than a career retrospective, festival-goers will engage with Burns, his collaborators, historians, and Gettysburg College students in consequential conversations about the simple question Burns has explored in all his films about American history: “Who are we?” All festival events require reservations and many are free to attend, including breakout sessions with historians and filmmakers, screenings of various documentary episodes from Burns’s 40-year catalog, and a marathon presentation of all 11.5 hours of The Civil War. Special guests currently scheduled to attend include longtime Burns collaborators Geoffrey Ward, writer; Sarah Botstein, producer; and Buddy Squires, cinematographer, as well as musicians Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, and exonerated Central Park Five member Kevin Richardson. Tickets for a special Friday evening keynote program with Burns, and two thematic highlight reel presentations compiled and introduced by Burns on Saturday will be $29 per person, per event. Festival passes will be available for $75. Festival passes and single event tickets will go on sale to the general public on June 17 at the Majestic Theater Box Office, 25 Carlisle St., Gettysburg, by calling (717) 337-8200 or online at www.gettysburgmajestic.org. “Few individuals throughout our nation’s history have had a more profound impact in shaping American discourse than Ken Burns. His timeless works challenge us to see our country from new perspectives and encourage us to engage in the defining issues of our time,” said Gettysburg College President Bob Iuliano. “We are both excited and grateful for the opportunity to spotlight Ken’s artistry in this first-of-its-kind film festival.” “Gettysburg is both a place of remembering and imagining,” said Burns. “It is of course a burial ground for those who fought there – North and South – but it is also where President Lincoln imagined a new country, one where the values we associate with our country’s founding were given new meaning. Our work tries to present the past in all of its complexity, collecting individual stories into larger narratives. I’m honored and so appreciative for this opportunity to share our films as part of this festival and to join many of my colleagues in a conversation about our art form – and our country’s history.” Burns has a long connection to Gettysburg. His 1990 documentary “The Civil War” won the inaugural Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, awarded in 1991 at Gettysburg College. In 1994, he received an honorary degree from Gettysburg College, and in 2008 he returned once more to Gettysburg to speak at Soldiers’ National Cemetery on the 145th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. In 2020, he helped launch Gettysburg: Beyond the Battle, the $10 million capital campaign to build a new home for the Adams County Historical Society. The festival was inspired by a conversation Gettysburg native and local filmmaker Jake Boritt had with his friend Burns during the summer of 2020. Boritt, who serves as the festival’s director, approached Gettysburg College President Bob Iuliano and Majestic Theater Executive Director Jeffrey Gabel with the idea. “Ken Burns’s epic film The Civil War transformed Americans’ understanding of the defining event of our history, made Ken a national icon telling our story, unleashed a surge of interest in Gettysburg, and inspired me to become a documentary filmmaker,” Boritt said. “As Americans, it will be a singular experience to gather together in Gettysburg’s Majestic Theater to watch Ken Burns’s documentaries.” “Hosting the first-ever festival dedicated solely to Ken Burns’s films is a tremendous honor, as well as a testament to how historic theaters continue to contribute to the vitality of small towns across America,” said Gable. Featured image: Ken Burns [Evan Barlow]

Eisenhower Home Opens for Tours Memorial Day Weekend

Beginning Friday, May 27, the Eisenhower Home at Eisenhower National Historic Site (NHS) will reopen for public tours. The shuttle between the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center (MVC) to Eisenhower NHS will also resume on May 27 at 10:30 am. From Memorial Day Weekend to Columbus Day Weekend, the National Park Service (NPS) will offer free tours of the Eisenhower home Thursdays through Mondays, hourly from 10 am until 4 pm. Regular shuttle service will be available on days the Eisenhower Home is open for tours. Shuttles will depart the MVC once an hour starting at 9:30 am, with the last shuttle at 3:30 pm. The fee for the shuttle is $9 for adults and $5 for youth. No home tours or shuttle service will be offered on Tuesdays and Wednesdays; however, the grounds will remain open. Limited public parking is available on site. “We are looking forward to welcoming visitors to the Eisenhower home again,” said Steve Sims, Superintendent of Eisenhower NHS. “And we’re excited to share more of the Eisenhower farm story beyond the home tours. Visitors can expect more special programming and opportunities to explore the site.” In addition to the home tours, visitors will find several new opportunities at Eisenhower NHS. On Farm Fridays from noon until 4 pm in June and July, visitors will be able to explore the Show Barn and other farm buildings and learn about the 34th President’s role in agriculture in the region. At the Eisenhower barn garage, volunteers will be on hand to share stories about the Presidential limo, golf carts and other vehicles in the collection. Park staff took advantage of the two-year closure to make several significant improvements to the home and exhibits. A new heating and cooling system was installed in 2021 to replace the one originally installed in 1955. This new system will provide better protection for the almost 3,400 original items in the home. In addition to infrastructure, several items on exhibit received conservation or were reproduced. The 14 dining room chairs were conserved so that visitors may continue to enjoy them for years to come. Two reproduction West Point chairs joined the two original chairs in the den to complete the full set. On the sun porch, reproduction rugs now grace the floor. These reproduction rugs were made possible by the loan of the original rugs from Anne and Susan Eisenhower.

David Wills House Reopens for 2022

Beginning April 23, 2022, the historic David Wills House will reopen, free of charge, on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Effective June 2, 2022, operations will expand to Thursday-Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. National Park Service Rangers will staff the home with support from Main Street Gettysburg. The reopening of the David Wills House will operate consistent with CDC recommendations and capacity will be limited to meet federal facility Covid-19 standards. Additional details are available at www.nps.gov/coronavirus. The three-story brick house at 8 Lincoln Square was the home of David and Catherine Wills before, during, and after the Battle of Gettysburg. President Abraham Lincoln was one of their house guests the night before the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery. Lincoln finished composing his Gettysburg Address in the second story bedroom the evening of November 18, 1863. This historic home features two re-created rooms – Wills’ law office, and the bedroom where Lincoln spent the evening – as well as two short films, a computer interactive on the Gettysburg Address, a diorama of the two-block radius surrounding the home, and virtual identity cards to gain further insight and perspectives into the aftermath of the largest battle on American soil. “The David Wills House should be a part of any visit to Gettysburg. The National Park Service is excited to be back in the heart of downtown Gettysburg and to make this historic home free to our visitors,” said Steve Sims, superintendent of Gettysburg National Military Park. “The David Wills House exhibits provide an opportunity to learn about the Wills family and reflect on the meaning of Gettysburg, the aftermath of the battle, and the legacy of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.” The David Wills House is part of Gettysburg National Military Park. Gettysburg National Military Park is a unit of the National Park Service that preserves and protects the resources associated with the Battle of Gettysburg, the Gettysburg National Cemetery and provides an understanding of the events that occurred there within the context of American history. Visit our website for more details: https://www.nps.gov/gett/planyourvisit/david-wills-house.htm. Featured Photo: David Wills House [National Park Service]

Artwork from the Battlefield at History Meets the Arts

The Gettysburg Heritage Center is presenting three talks about artwork that was created around the Gettysburg battle on Saturday at History Meets the Arts 2022. Much of the artwork of Gettysburg is artwork about the battle, created by people living in the 20th and 21st centuries to interpret or describe what happened here. In the terms used by a historian, they are secondary sources. In general, the voices of the veterans have been silent. Yet, we are surrounded by a rich catalogue of primary sources; the regimental monuments that cover the field were created by the veterans. Most of the leading sculptors of the time worked at Gettysburg; a commission to do a Gettysburg sculpture was valued work. The combination of veterans who had something on their mind and the top sculptors of the day resulted in some outstanding works of art. Writers David Loose and Leon Reed will discuss this unique case of history meeting the arts. 1:00 p.m.: Dave Loose: The Development of Art at Gettysburg Dave Loose, author, and collector of Gettysburg memorabilia will present a program describing how the battle of Gettysburg, the battlefield of Gettysburg, and the stories about the battle were integrated into artforms throughout the first 25 years after the battle. The program will relate how the arts of the time were used to promote the battlefield and attract visitors to Gettysburg “to see where and by whom great things were suffered and done for them,” This program is designed to be an interactive conversation around period artworks and items from the Dave Loose collection; items will be available to be studied, viewed, and handled. David will discuss artforms including Photography, Illustration, Painting, Literature, & Sculpture. He will discuss several period artists, including:             Photographers: Alexander Gardner, Mathew Brady, William Tipton, Levi Mumper             Painters: James Walker, Peter Rothermel, Paul Philippoteaux             Writers: Theodore Ditterline, Michael Jacobs, John Bachelder We will also preview Dave’s new book When Veterans Marked the Field: The First 25 Monuments at Gettysburg. 2:00 p.m.: Leon Reed: The Development of Gettysburg’s Monumental Landscapes Leon Reed will build on Dave’s presentation and discuss the development of the monumental landscape at Gettysburg through the beginning of the 21st century. He will describe the distinct phases of monument building, the themes addressed by the monuments of various time periods, and the sculptors who worked here. Regimental monuments he will address tell stories of regret (149th PA), loss (86th NY), reconciliation (66th NY), lost companions (11th PA, 54th NY), nationalistic pride (74th PA), and other themes. He will also discuss the state monuments and the bronze statues of generals that came along later. Copies of his books, Stories the Monuments Tell: A Photo Tour of Gettysburg, Told by its Monuments, and The Artworks of Gettysburg Battlefield will be available. 3:00 p.m.: Leon Reed, Patriotic Envelopes Illustrate the Civil War. Patriotic envelopes were the Internet meme of the day; colorful inexpensive ways to show your support for the cause, celebrate the latest triumphs, mourn the fallen martyrs, and generally trash talk the other side. Leon will discuss some of the topics addressed by these envelopes, including the election of 1860, fallen martyrs such as Elmer Ellsworth, Fort Sumter, heroes of the moment, Benjamin Butler and contraband, and many others. Leon will also display in public for the first time a contemporary collection of correspondences, photos, and patriotic covers that were assembled in 1860-1862 by an official of the New York Militia Association. The collection has been passed down through the family and has never been seen in public. Copies of his book based on this collection, No Greater Calamity for the Country: North-South Conflict, Secession, and the Onset of Civil War, will be available. The Gettysburg Heritage Center is operated by the non-profit, The Gettysburg Nature Alliance, and is located at 297 Steinwehr Ave., Gettysburg, PA. For additional information, visit www.GettysburgMuseum.com or call 717-334-6245.

Thaddeus Stevens statue unveiled in Gettysburg

After many years of fundraising and an extensive search for an appropriate location, a statue of former U.S. Congressman and civil rights advocate Thaddeus Stevens (1792-1868) was unveiled today in front of the Adams County Courthouse. Hundreds of people filled the sidewalk and spilled into Baltimore St. during the unveiling ceremony on a sunny spring day. “Stevens lived in Gettysburg between 1816 and 1842,” said Thaddeus Stevens Society president Ross Hetrick in a television interview filmed after the ceremony. “He had a profound effect on Gettysburg. He helped establish Gettysburg College.” Stevens encouraged President Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation and helped pass the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which outlawed slavery. Stevens is known as the “Father of the 14″ Amendment,” which granted citizenship and equal civil and legal rights to African Americans, and was a powerful advocate for education. The event was designed in part to celebrate Steven’s 230th birthday. The ceremony included music from the Civil War Reenactors of the 46th Pennsylvania Brass Band, and speeches by Gettysburg Borough Council President Wes Heyser, Gettysburg Major Rita Frealing, and Adams County Commissioner Randy Phiel. The statue was commissioned by the Thaddeus Stevens Society. A major financial contributor to the statue, Michael Charney, gave a rousing address about the contributions of Stevens to civil rights in the U.S. Statue sculptor and multidisciplinary artist Alex Paul Loza drove from Tennessee with his family to be part of the ceremony. Loza is originally from Lima, Peru, and attended the American Academy of Art in Chicago. Loza said he was impressed by how Stevens used his knowledge and influence to move the country toward equality. Loza said he depicted Stevens leaning forward with his whole weight on his weaker club foot. “I was trying to illustrate that nothing could stop him,” he said. Loza said when he learned he had won the contract for the statue he visited Gettysburg to learn more about the Stevens. “I was inspired not only in capturing the likeness but also his essence.” Please click here to learn more about the Thaddeus Stevens Society and here to read a story about Stevens written by Gettysburg Council President Wesley Heyser. Featured image: Alex Loza (2nd from right) and Mayor Frealing (3rd from right) with Lorza’s family [Gettysburg Connection]

GNMP Winter Programs Continue

Gettysburg National Military Park winter programs will continue through Sunday, March 12, 2022. Park staff and invited historians will once again offer the Winter Lecture Series as well as the popular Reading Adventures program for children ages 4 to 10 and their families. These free programs are presented at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center. The 2022 Winter Reading Adventures theme is: “True Tales & Trailblazers from American History” with a new children’s book featured each week (with pages on the big screen) ranging in subject and time period from Thomas Jefferson to Lin-Manuel Miranda, from Abigail Adams to Lucille Ball, and more! Each featured book and person (and one historic dog!) are true stories about individuals blazing new trails, both literally and figuratively. Short activities or family adventure instructions will follow each book. “Our Winter Reading Adventures programs are for kids who are learning to read or love to read and want to spend time traveling back and forth between all eras of our history — from the 18th century right up to last Friday!” explained Education Ranger, John Hoptak.  Additionally, we will continue to offer the popular Winter Lecture Series. Featuring National Park Service rangers and historians from across the region, the 10-week series of hour-long presentations will examine pivotal individuals, events, and locations from the American Civil War era. From the Compromise of 1850, the Battle of Stones River, and the Lincoln – Douglas Debates, to the legacy of George Meade, these moments and individuals mark significant epochs in the course of the conflict. The Winter Lecture Series is held at 1:30 pm on weekends in the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center from January 8 through March 12, 2022. All programs will be conducted consistent with CDC recommendations. Masks are required for all attendees and capacity may be reduced. Additional details are available at www.nps.gov/coronavirus. Seating is available on a first come – first serve basis. Free tickets are available the day of each presentation at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center. Schedule is subject to change. For more information, and a full listing of all programs and events, visit the park website at https://www.nps.gov/gett/planyourvisit/interpretation.htm. Gettysburg National Military Park is a unit of the National Park Service that preserves and protects the resources associated with the Battle of Gettysburg and the Gettysburg National Cemetery and provides an understanding of the events that occurred there within the context of American history. Featured image courtesy of Gettysburg National Military Park

Oak Lawn Memorial Gardens to become nonprofit

After many years of neglect, the Adams County supervisors have developed a plan to provide assurance for the people who are buried in Oak Lawn Cemetery and their families. The cemetery, located at 1380 Chambersburg St. West of Gettysburg has been in poor repair since at least 2015. “It turned into a bit of a blight for Cumberland Township and people who had family members buried there,” said County Solicitor Molly Mudd, because “most of the funds to care for the facility had been pulled out.” Mudd said the perpetual care fund designed to care for the cemetery had been “looted” and that the county district attorney had started criminal action against the former owners. “There was no money to do the basic maintenance. There was no one to dig graves for families. It was a tough situation all around,” said Mudd. Mudd said that when no buyers for the cemetery came forward Cumberland Township initiated a condemnation procedure and took possession of the property. Cumberland then transferred the property to Adams County which also purchased a parcel at the corner of Routed 30 and Kinsey Drive in a bankruptcy proceeding. “This the best option to turn it into a functional burying place,” said County Commissioner Marty Qually. “The County felt that although Cumberland was doing a lot of work, they didn’t have the resources.”  Mudd said the county is working to transfer the cemetery to a nonprofit 501(c)(13) cemetery company. “Having us in a temporary spot provides some support,” she said. “The county is hoping to get support from the community to provide enough funding to keep it going.” The corner parcel on 30 and Kinsey that was purchased by the county for $25,000 could be sold to raise money to replenish the perpetual maintenance funds. Qually said cemeteries are overseen by state board of real estate and that most are owned by church groups or nonprofits. “Only 1 percent are privately owned,” he said. Qually said the county would continue to place flags on the graves of veterans buried in the cemetery every year.

Gettysburg will dedicate Thaddeus Stevens statue at courthouse on April 2

A statue of Thaddeus Stevens, the most powerful congressman during and after the Civil War, will be dedicated in front of the Adams county courthouse on Baltimore Street in Gettysburg on April 2 at 2:00 p.m. It will be only the second statue of Stevens to be erected despite his importance to American history. The dedication is part of a three-day celebration of Stevens’s 230th birthday, which will take place on April 1, 2 and 3 in Lancaster, Gettysburg and Caledonia State Park near Chambersburg. The complete schedule can be found at this webpage: https://www.thaddeusstevenssociety.com/calendar For information on banquet tickets and package deals, email info@thaddeusstevenssociety.com  The statue is being paid for by the Thaddeus Stevens Society, a 22-year old nonprofit dedicated to promoting Stevens legacy. The sculptor is Alex Paul Loza of Chattanooga, TN. Immortalized in the movie Lincoln, by Steven Spielberg, Stevens was a fearless champion of freedom and equality. During his lifetime, Stevens’s fame rivaled that of Abraham Lincoln and when he died in 1868, his body laid in state in the Capitol Rotunda — an honor previously given only to Lincoln and Sen. Henry Clay. 20,000 people attended Stevens’s funeral in Lancaster, PA. He was the Father of the 14th Amendment — the single most important amendment to the Constitution– and savior of public education in Pennsylvania. He also helped persuade Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, developed reconstruction policies, spearheaded the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson, and participated in the Underground Railroad. When he died in 1868, it was widely anticipated that there would be numerous statues erected to Stevens. “Monuments will be reared to perpetuate his name on the earth,” said Horace Maynard, a Tennessee congressman on the floor of the House of Representatives in 1868. “Art will be busy with her chisel and her pencil to preserve his features and the image of his mortal frame. All will be done that brass and marble and painted canvas admit of being done.” Yet, 154 years after his death, there is only one Stevens statue and that only went up in 2008 at the Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology in Lancaster.  There are many reasons why Stevens was not remembered in brass and marble. A big reason was that admirers did not vigorously pursue efforts to honor him. But a larger reason is that his enemies — the people who wanted to destroy the country and preserve slavery — were more determined to demonize Stevens as part of the “Lost Cause” propaganda effort to distort the historic record of the Civil War and Reconstruction. There have been a few other efforts to erect Stevens statues, but they all failed. The first one was in 1900 by Vinnie Ream, a famous sculptress who did the Lincoln statue that stands in the U.S. Capitol. She had a close relation with Stevens and even did a bust of him, which unfortunately has been lost. That possible statue, which was to be in Lancaster, was never done.  Another statue was proposed in 1909 when a group wanted to erect a monument in Harrisburg to public education. It would have included the figure  of Thaddeus Stevens, who is known as the Savior of Public Education in Pennsylvania for a speech he made in 1835 that turned back a repeal effort of the fledgling state school system. Once again, the effort faded away. And even in recent years, a statue was supposed to be erected at the historic Thaddeus Stevens school in Washington, D.C. as part of a renovation project, only to be scuttled by the city’s bureaucracy. Finally, in 2015, the Thaddeus Stevens Society decided to start a fundraising effort for a statue in Gettysburg, where Stevens lived from 1816 to 1842. The fundraising went on for years and in 2018, the effort received a major contribution from Michael Charney of Ohio and the effort reached the goal of  $55,000. The Society then did a nationwide search for a sculptor and selected Alex Loza of Chattanooga, TN.  Featured image: The statue at Inferno Art Foundry in Atlanta, GA.

Gettysburg Licensed Town Guides offers tours of Gettysburg’s rich African American history this weekend

In honor of Martin Luther King Weekend, the Gettysburg Licensed Town Guides are offering one-hour walking tours of Gettysburg’s rich African American history. The tours are on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. “Here are some of the site that may be included in the tour: We know little about Rev. Alexander Dobbins, but we do know he owned two slaves. Next time you visit the Dobbins House, give homage to those men who built the large home without compensation for their work. James Gettys, the “father” of Gettysburg, also owned a slave– Sidney O’Brien. She was freed after Gettys died in the early 1800’s. Her home in Gettysburg is gone and Franklin Street probably runs over the site of it.  During the time of the Civil War, Basil Biggs was considered to be the wealthiest African American in Gettysburg. He was a teamster, a veterinarian, and he played a major in interring the dead Union soldiers to be reburied in the National Cemetery. You can see his house at 155 S. Washington Street.  Half a block south of the Biggs’ house is the Jack Hopkins house (219 S. Washington Street). Jack was a very popular janitor at Pennsylvania (Gettysburg) College, who may have also taken an active role in the Underground Railroad. Confederate soldiers ransacked the home during their stay in Gettysburg. Born into slavery in Maryland, Owen Robinson was freed and moved to Gettysburg, where he owned a store that sold candy and oysters. His house still stands at 124 W. High Street. The parking lot next to his home once was the site of his store. The home of Lloyd Watts, who fought in the Civil War and later became an educator, no longer stands, but a visit to the Lincoln Cemetery (on Long Lane) carries his legacy, as he helped create it in 1867. Mag Palm worked as a domestic in Gettysburg prior to the Civil War. Her story tells of the dangers of being a Black Gettysburg resident during this period. Slave catchers from Maryland routinely visited the town and one day in 1858, Mag was returning home after a long day’s work when three men attempted a kidnapping to take her back into Maryland. They failed and we now know how dangerous Gettysburg could be to people of color. The alley where she beat off her attackers is between the King James Gallery and the Christmas Haus. We know little about Aunt Liz, but legend has it that she was unable to escape from the Rebels who came into town, so she hid in the Christ Lutheran Church cupola.  Daniel Alexander Payne was the most highly educated of the group. Progressive Rev. Samuel Schmucker believed in equality for all and accepted African Americans into his Seminary on Seminary Ridge. Payne was his first student and went on to a noteworthy career, including founding Wilberforce University in Ohio. His plaque can be found next to 239 N. Washington Street. Finally, William Johnson never lived in Gettysburg, but he played an important role in Lincoln’s visit. Johnson was a barber who because a friend of Lincoln as he rode the circuit as an attorney. Once elected to the Presidency, Lincoln invited Johnson to come to Washington to work for him. He accompanied Lincoln to Gettysburg and stayed with him in David Wills’ second floor bedroom. As a result, he was probably to first to hear the immortal Gettysburg Address. When you look up at the window from Lincoln Square, imagine not only Lincoln there, but his good friend and aide, William Johnson. There are many more African Americans who helped shape Gettysburg’s history, and I encourage you to read James M. Paradis’ “African Americans and the Gettysburg Campaign.” I hope you will walk the streets of Gettysburg and visit these sites, or better yet, book a Black History Tour from the Gettysburg Licensed Town Guides. Join the tour by calling calling (717) 253-5737 or by email at tours@gbltg.com. The rates are $15 per person, but children under 8 are free. Reservations must be made at least an hour before the scheduled tour. Featured Image Caption: Rev. Daniel Alexander Payne [Library of Congress]

Gettysburg 64th Annual Dedication Day Weekend

This weekend marked the anniversary of the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg. The Gettysburg National Cemetery is famous throughout the world today as the site of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, delivered at the cemetery’s dedication ceremonies four and a half months after the battle. Numerous events take place each year to commemorate this monumental anniversary.   Friday’s dedication ceremony featured a rendition of the Gettysburg Address by Author Stephen Lang. Lang’s rendition followed a presentation by Gary William Gallagher, an American historian who specializes in the history of the American Civil War. Gallagher is currently the John L. Nau III Professor in the History of the American Civil War at the University of Virginia. Saturday’s parade honored the soldiers and civilians of the American Civil War. The Remembrance Day illumination featured a luminary candle on each of the 3,512 Civil War soldier’s graves. Names of the fallen soldiers were read throughout the evening.  These events are sponsored by the Gettysburg Battlefield Trust, the Gettysburg National Military Park, the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania, the Gettysburg Foundation, and Gettysburg College.  

Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address: An Immortal Speech That Almost Didn’t Happen

This month, we celebrate a speech that was almost not given. We all know that Abraham Lincoln ventured to Gettysburg on the evening of November 18, 1863 to give “a few appropriate words” the following day, but his presence was fraught with difficulties and almost didn’t happen. David Wills, Gettysburg attorney, and Pennsylvania Agent appointed by Governor Andrew Curtin, invited Lincoln to attend the ceremony and make a short presentation on November 14. His presence was not a foregone conclusion, as presidents rarely left Washington during that period. He had visited the Antietam battlefield the year before, but that was an exception to the rule. Lincoln was mired in myriad tasks, including his annual message to Congress which was due on December 8 and a variety of other paperwork and proclamations. He met with the newly reelected governor of Pennsylvania, Andrew Curtin, who urged him to attend, and he probably agreed to do so the following day. Curtin was a strong ally and one the Lincoln could not afford to alienate, especially since his re-election campaign would soon kick off.  But there were other, more important reasons for Lincoln to attend. The war was entering a new phase where the losses promised to be even more horrific, and Lincoln sought a platform to explain why the sacrifice was so important. It was also a way to honor the fallen and explain that their last full measure of devotion was not in vain. Lincoln met with William Saunders, the designer of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery on November 17, the day before he was to leave for Gettysburg, probably to gain some inspiration as he penned his remarks. He was set to leave Washington on November 18, probably with the first page of his remarks already written, when his youngest son, Tad, came down with a mild form of smallpox, called Variola. He had already lost two sons, Edward, almost four years old, in 1850 and 11-year old Willie, who died the year before. Now, with Tad gravely ill, Mary Lincoln pleaded with her husband not to leave their son’s bedside. The pull to attend the ceremony was so strong that Lincoln put her objections aside and vowed to make the trip. The trip was not an easy one, as the journey involved three separate railroad lines, and mechanical breakdowns and derailments because of wayward cows, was not unusual. But the trip went off without a hitch and Lincoln arrived in Gettysburg at about 6:00 p.m. on November 18. He quickly made his way to the Wills house, where he would spend the night. A telegram arrived a few hours later bringing the welcome news of his son’s condition improving, allowing Lincoln to breathe a sigh of relief. The ceremony went off as scheduled the following day and we are now blessed with Lincoln’s seminal remarks…a speech that almost never happened.

Adams County Arts Council to Feature Warren Tracy Davis, Marti Yeager and Diana Llauget Artwork at AECenter

The Adams County Arts Council will celebrate the exhibitions of Warren Tracy Davis, Marti Yeager and Diana Llauget with an opening reception on Friday, November 5, 5-7:30 p.m., at the Arts Education Center, located at 125 S. Washington Street, Gettysburg. The reception is free and open to the public. Due to the increase of CO-VID 19 cases, and the effort to maintain safety, we are requesting masks to be worn. Peeps, As in People, is a collection of acrylic painting portraits by Warren Tracy Davis and is the featured show in the Gallery. Warren started painting portraits in 2016. Warren says, “In this world, people are starving for a serving of art culture to free themselves from the craziness of this current culture.” Warren describes himself as an emotional painter, with each stroke of paint, trying to press the buttons of others with love and respect. He continues, “When I pick up a brush, my soul sings.” Warren’s unique and memorable style of portrait painting is on display year-round at Roots Country Market Artisan Mill, where he is a resident artist. Dreaming in Color: Paintings by Marti Griffin Yeager featured in the Reception Hall, includes oils, acrylics, pastels, watercolor, drawing media and printmaking paintings both old and new, with a wide range in style. Yeager has been painting full time for over twenty years and enjoys sharing her passion for art with other through teaching. Mindful, a collection of mixed media artworks by Diana Llauget, will be featured in the Studio. Diana has been painting on canvas for four years. Her work incorporates acrylic paint and mixed media and her compositions come from her daydreams. She credits her dad for her artistic ability and is inspired to paint the ideas that pop up in her mind. She uses her intuitive skills to paint what the canvas shows her to paint and believes that everyone has artistic abilities. For more information about the artwork of Marti Yeager, Warren Tracy Davis, Diana Llauget and other upcoming Arts Council exhibitions, or art classes at the Arts Council’s Arts Education Center, visit www.adamsarts.org or call (717) 334-5006.

Historical Society presents inaugural “Photo Projection” on the Gettysburg Square

Dozens of people lined the Gettysburg Square last night to view an outdoor “projection” of historic photographs in front of the wall of the ACNB Bank Building in the square. Adams County Historical Society (ACHS) Executive Director Andrew Dalton and historian Tim Smith narrated the program, featuring rare images of the town taken throughout its long and storied history. Many of the views were shown – for the first time ever – in color, utilizing cutting-edge technology from the genealogy company MyHeritage. Dalton said ACHS, which is moving into a new home north of the borough, had millions of artifacts and tens of thousands of photographs in its collection. “We are thrilled that so many people came out to see this first-of-its-kind program in the square. We hope to do this again next year, as it seemed to be well received,” said Dalton. In his presentation Smith showed images of many of the most important buildings in Gettysburg and scenes of the residents of the town as captured by early cameras. One of the more poignant of the images displays the first test of the borough’s steam fire engine in 1886. Dalton said the engine is an 1886 Silsby built in Seneca Falls, NY and was named the “General Meade.” “I believe the engine cost was around $3,500 at the time. I’m pretty sure the photo was taken during the first public display of the engine to the citizens. Pumping capacity was around 500 gallons per minute, based on the water stream volume in the photo I believe they may be pumping near capacity,” said Dalton.

Veterans Day at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center

Gettysburg, Pa. (Oct. 21, 2021)—The Gettysburg Foundation announces a special discount and programming at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center to honor our veterans, on Veterans Day, Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. The Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center is currently open daily, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. The Gettysburg Foundation invites all U.S. military veterans to enjoy the special Veterans Day discount and programming offered on Thursday, Nov. 11. Veterans can enjoy free admission to the Film, Cyclorama & Museum Experience at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center. Ticket holders also have the unique opportunity to see the historic Gettysburg Cyclorama painting in a different light. Different from the traditional experience of the light and sound show in which visitors experience Pickett’s Charge depicted in the Cyclorama painting, the special ‘lights up’ program will feature an introductory talk while in full light of the painting. Visitors can see a very different view of the historic painting with the lights up and gain an understanding of the history and scenes depicted in the painting with the opportunity for questions and answers. “We hold our military service members in high esteem, and we thank them for their service to our country. We are pleased to offer Veterans Day specials for all U.S. military veterans,” said Wayne E. Motts, president and CEO of the Gettysburg Foundation. “While U.S. military active-duty personnel receive free admission to the Film, Cyclorama & Museum Experience on a daily basis, we are pleased to offer free admission to the experience for our veterans to enjoy as well on this special day,” added Motts. U.S. military veterans should be prepared to show proof of veteran status to obtain tickets. Veterans are encouraged to arrive early. Guests will start with a film presentation of A New Birth of Freedom, immediately followed by the ‘lights up’ program on the Cyclorama painting of Pickett’s Charge completed in 1884. Visitors can then explore the 12- gallery Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War at their leisure throughout the day. The Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center is located at 1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, Pa. Veterans Day hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The last film and cyclorama show will begin at 4 p.m.

SCCAP Launches Million Reasons to Give Endowment Campaign

ADAMS AND FRANKLIN COUNTY, PA: At SCCAP there really are a Million Reasons to Give!  David, an elderly veteran had nowhere to go. He was sleeping in his car. SCCAP staff were able to secure a safe place for him to sleep and then began working on all the connections he would need to be secure and stable so he would never have to sleep in his car again.  Alice, in her 70s a retired nurse, lost her spouse to COVID and was now at risk of losing her housing. How much grief could one person handle? We paid her rent and helped her secure more affordable housing and supports to help her heal.  Olivia, a single mom with two children and a waitress was out of work for nearly six months – everything was behind. We were able to help her with utilities and rent and when her car was at risk for being repossessed, we were able to get that caught up as well – how could she get to work without a car. She is now back to work and stable.  Rob and Mandi had both always worked but COVID changed that. They had lived a safe middle-class life. With their kids out of school due to COVID, Mandi had to stay home. They filled the gap with credit cards but that only made it worse. We were able to help them with rent, utilities and child care that was safe for their children so Mandi could go back to work. They wrote saying “Things are great thanks to you and your staff – we don’t know what we would have done without you.”  Agnes’ house was cold and drafty, she didn’t know if she could make it through another winter. She was in her late 70s and the cold bothered her – but where could she go? First Energy referred her to our Weatherization program and we were able to seal up her home. She wrote to say she is warm and comfortable now and not worried about the winter.  Jenna and Jason were having a baby. They were young but they wanted to give the baby the best they could. Jenna met with our WIC staff who not only helped with food items that ensured she had the best nutrition but prepared her with knowledge and support for their baby’s arrival. A breast-feeding peer counselor and WIC staff helped her along the way. She shared that this support helped them give their baby a healthy and safe start to her little life.  Doris didn’t have a lot of money, but she knew how to make it go a long way. She grew up surrounded by farms and learned how to can and freeze for the winter. Now living on a fixed income those skills were even more important. SCCAP’s Gleaning project, which, with the assistance of hundreds of volunteers, harvests donated produce and makes it available to folks like Doris. She was able to come every week, commenting on the beautiful produce, taking what she needs and said she now feels healthier and secure for the winter. Donald lives in New Oxford and frequently walked to Gettysburg. We met him on a cold day in Match on one of the early trips with the Gettysburg Hanover Connection, a new Rabbit Transit Bus Line that came about by the efforts of @Home in Adams County, a community engagement initiative funded by the Adams County Community Foundation and administered by SCCAP. He was going to rent a car because he had a specialist appointment in Philadelphia. He was so relieved to have “a way to get back and forth – a way to remain independent”.  Karen came to Circles living on the edge but wanting more. She had always worked. Having peers that understood what it was like to live in poverty, appropriate support and protected time and space to create and work on goals changed everything for her. Now in her own home, something she didn’t know was possible for her, she knows she has changed the future for her children.  SCCAP has launched a campaign to raise a million dollars for their endowment. “An Endowment allows us to have unrestricted dollars coming in every year – forever,” says Megan Shreve, CEO of SCCAP. “Many of the stories above happened because we had flexible funding that allowed us to meet individual or community needs. Having a pool of unrestricted funds coming in each year allows us to innovate more, to build a better infrastructure, to work more at the system level, all leading to an increased ability to change more local lives and to help build a stronger community.”  SCCAP serves 17,000 families each year in Franklin and Adams Counties. The Million Reasons to Give Campaign runs through December 31. SCCAP has formed Million Dollar Committees in both Franklin and Adams Counties to assist in raising the million dollars. Donors can give directly through SCCAP and they also have a unique opportunity to give during the Adams County Community Foundation’s annual Giving Spree – which runs through November 5. SCCAP is 1 of only 2 organizations in Franklin County currently participating in the Adams County Community Foundation’s Giving Spree. The second Franklin County nonprofit participating in the Giving Spree is Totem Pole Playhouse. Both organizations encourage gifts through the Giving Spree because they will receive a percentage of “stretch pool” dollars and that number will increase with increased donations. Donors can find out more about the Giving Spree by visiting www.accfgivingspree.org  To read about more of the Million Reason’s to Give and see the Many Faces of SCCAP or to find out how to support the Million Reason’s to Give campaign, please visit www.sccap.org or email our Resource Development Director, Cheryl Brown at cbrown@sccap.org.  SCCAP has been serving Franklin and Adams Counties since 1965 and is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible.

Teas of the First Ladies Presentation at the Gettysburg Public Library

The Gettysburg chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution invites the public to attend their October 15, 2021 gathering in the Eisenhower Room at the Adams County Library at 1:00 PM.  A wonderful program is planned. Drink and listen to surprising, funny, and poignant stories about First Ladies serving tea at the “First Ladies’ Tea.” This “First Ladies’ Tea” features Ruthmary McIlhenny who is well-known for her delightful presentations at the Adam Country Arts Council, Eisenhower National Historical Site, and HACC’s Community Education Days.  In the spirit of the program, tea and light refreshments will be available. Please RSVP to Regent Edy Sarnoff at edyasarn@gmail.com if you plan to attend.  Please note that masks are encouraged inside the library as an attendee moves to/from the Eisenhower Room, though once inside the room, masks are optional.

Remembrance Day Illumination: Sponsor a Luminary Candle In Honor or Memory of a Loved One

Gettysburg, Pa. (Oct. 6, 2021)—The Gettysburg Foundation presents the 19th Annual Remembrance Day Illumination on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, from 5:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. in the Gettysburg National Cemetery. The event is subject to weather conditions, health and safety. The commemoration features a luminary candle on all 3,512 Civil War soldiers’ graves. The fallen soldiers’ names are read throughout the evening. Guests may enter the cemetery through the gate at Taneytown Road or the gate at Baltimore Street. This non-ticketed event is free of charge and open to the public. Support the Gettysburg Foundation with a heartfelt donation for the 2021 Remembrance Day Illumination by sponsoring a candle in honor or memory of a loved one. A candle sponsorship is $18.63. Sponsorships will be accepted through Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021. Volunteer opportunities include setting up, greeting guests, reading the names of Civil War soldiers and cleaning up. To sponsor a candle or request a volunteer assignment, call 717-339-2150 or email epearce@gettysburgfoundation.org. #### GETTYSBURG FOUNDATION Gettysburg Foundation is a 501(c)(3), non-profit philanthropic, educational organization operating in partnership with the National Park Service to preserve Gettysburg National Military Park and the Eisenhower National Historic Site, and to educate the public about their significance. The Foundation operates the Museum & Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park, as well as the George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital, the Children of Gettysburg 1863 and the Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad StationTM. For information about visiting Gettysburg, or how you can become a Friend of Gettysburg, visit GettysburgFoundation.org or call 877-874-2478. MEDIA CONTACT:  Trini M. Nye, Vice President of Sales & Marketing Gettysburg Foundation tnye@gettysburgfoundation.org

The 2021 World War II Weekend at Eisenhower National Historic Site will be a hybrid event

The 2021 World War II Weekend at Eisenhower National Historic Site will be a hybrid event that will include in-person and virtual programming. These programs will take place from Friday, September 17 through Sunday, September 19. Due to safety measures during the ongoing Covid-19 global pandemic, we will not host our traditional living history encampment on the grounds of Eisenhower National Historic Site. The Eisenhower home will not be open for tours, but park grounds will be open for on-site vehicle access. Visitors are welcome to drive to the site (250 Eisenhower Farm Lane) and follow signs to the temporary parking lot. The virtual component of the event will feature 12 pre-recorded virtual programs that will be posted on the Eisenhower National Historic Site Facebook page throughout the three-day event. These programs will explore stories of the Homefront during World War II, accounts of some of the over 500 World War II burials in the Gettysburg National Cemetery, as well as recorded interviews with NPS staff at other World War II NPS sites. Park staff will also conduct in-person, outdoor programming at the Eisenhower National Historic Site and Gettysburg National Military Park, covering connections between Gettysburg and the Second World War. September 17Walking Tours of the Eisenhower Farm—11 am and 2 pm (1 hour) Explore the grounds of the only home that Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower ever owned. The Eisenhowers used their Gettysburg farm for relaxation and diplomacy during their time in the White House, and it served as their primary residence during their retirement in the 1960s.  Meet in front of the Eisenhower home. Park in the temporary on-site parking area. WWII in the National Cemetery: Adams County in WWII—5 pm (1 hour)       Over 100 servicemen from Adams County, Pennsylvania were killed in action or died of their wounds during World War II. Some were ultimately brought back for final burial in the Gettysburg National Cemetery. Join a park ranger for this walking tour focusing exclusively on the stories of young men from Gettysburg and Adams County who made the ultimate sacrifice during WWII.Meet at the Taneytown Road entrance to the Gettysburg National Cemetery. Park in the National Cemetery parking lot.  September 18WWII Leaders at the Eisenhower Farm—11 am and 3 pm (1 hour) During President Eisenhower’s administration, he used his Gettysburg Farm to host numerous world leaders for diplomatic visits. Many of these world leaders played major roles during the Second World War, including Winston Churchill, Charles DeGaulle, Bernard Montgomery, and Nikita Khrushchev. Join a park ranger to learn the stories of these WWII leaders who later visited the Eisenhower farm in Gettysburg.  Meet in front of the Eisenhower home. Park in the temporary on-site parking area. On-site parking is limited.  Gettysburg During World War II—1 pm (1 hour)  Gettysburg National Military Park was far from the front lines of WWII, but was still impacted, nonetheless. From a German POW camp to a U.S. Army training center, Gettysburg was an active part of the Homefront during the Second World War. This ranger guided walking tour will discuss this important chapter in Gettysburg’s history. Meet at Auto Tour Stop 4, the North Carolina Memorial, on West Confederate Avenue. Please keep all four tires on the paved roadway when parking.   WWII in the National Cemetery: The War in the European Theater—5 pm (1 hour) Follow the Allied advance through the European Theater during World War II as seen through the stories of men who were killed in action and later buried in the Gettysburg National Cemetery. From North Africa and Sicily through the Battle of the Bulge, this walking tour will explore the lives of the soldiers, sailors, and airmen who took part in the Great Crusade with General Eisenhower. Their sacrifices helped make Victory in Europe possible.  Meet at the Taneytown Road entrance to the Gettysburg National Cemetery. Park in the National Cemetery parking lot.  September 19WWII Leaders at the Eisenhower Farm—11 am and 3 pm (1 hour) During President Eisenhower’s administration, he used his Gettysburg Farm to host numerous world leaders for diplomatic visits. Many of these world leaders played major roles during the Second World War, including Winston Churchill, Charles DeGaulle, Bernard Montgomery, and Nikita Khrushchev. Join a park ranger to learn the stories of these WWII leaders who later visited the Eisenhower farm in Gettysburg.  Meet in front of the Eisenhower home. Park in the temporary on-site parking area. On-site parking is limited.  Gettysburg During World War II—1 pm (1 hour)  Gettysburg National Military Park was far from the front lines of WWII, but was still impacted, nonetheless. From a German POW camp to a U.S. Army training center, Gettysburg was an active part of the Homefront during the Second World War. This ranger guided walking tour will discuss this important chapter in Gettysburg’s history. Meet at Auto Tour Stop 4, the North Carolina Memorial, on West Confederate Avenue. Please keep all four tires on the paved roadway when parking.   WWII in the National Cemetery: The War in the Pacific—5 pm (1 hour)    Explore the War in the Pacific—from Pearl Harbor through Okinawa—as seen through the stories of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who were killed in action during World War II and later buried in the Gettysburg National Cemetery. From 15-year-old Marines to Gettysburg natives who fought in the Philippines, these stories will trace the arduous road to Allied victory in the Pacific by following the stories of those who sacrificed everything to make it possible.   Meet at the Taneytown Road entrance to the Gettysburg National Cemetery. Park in the National Cemetery parking lot. 

#MoreHistory will engage historians and public in Civil War Era conversations on Saturday

Gettysburg National Military Park is pleased to partner with the Journal of the Civil War Era and Gettysburg College on a series of special events to be held in the park on Saturday, September 18. From 12 pm to 2 pm, join National Park Service rangers, historians, and volunteers at select sites throughout the battlefield for a special look at some of the forgotten or neglected layers of history at Gettysburg including the experiences of Gettysburg black citizens, the development of the battlefield as a memorial park, and the complicated and controversial history of many of its monuments and memorials. “We are excited to be able to work alongside the Journal of the Civil War Era and our partners at Gettysburg College to continue the critical conversations around history and memory on the Gettysburg battlefield,” said Superintendent Steve Sims. “This is an excellent opportunity to expand the stories we tell and highlight the ongoing work being done at Gettysburg.” #MoreHistory is a national effort sponsored by the Journal of the Civil War Era to connect academic and public historians in the important work of engaging the public in critical conversations at historic sites. Held near the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, #MoreHistory 2021 aims to transform historic places like Gettysburg into outdoor classrooms where educators and visitors can explore the past together. “#MoreHistory aims to link history educators across institutional boundaries, to illuminate aspects of Civil War Era history that are often neglected or misunderstood,” said Gregory P. Downs and Kate Masur, editors of the journal. Additional information on #MoreHistory can be found at: www.journalofthecivilwarera.org. September 18, 2021 Schedule  History, Monuments, & Memory: Auto Tour Stop 6, Pitzer WoodsInterpretive Station open from 12 pm to 2 pm Stop by and chat with National Park Service rangers and historians. How did Gettysburg become a National Park? When were the monuments at Gettysburg placed and how have they shaped the memory of the Battle of Gettysburg, the Civil War, and the issues that precipitated the war? Park along West Confederate Avenue. Do not park on Millerstown Road. Keep all wheels on pavement. The James Warfield HomeOpen to the Public from 12 pm to 2 pm Occupied at the time of the battle by members of Gettysburg’s African American community, the historic James Warfield home was recently rehabilitated by staff at Gettysburg National Military Park. Step inside this modest home and discover the often-forgotten story of Gettysburg’s black citizens and the challenges they faced during the summer of 1863.Park along West Confederate Avenue. Do not park on Millerstown Road. Keep all wheels on pavement. The Abraham Brian Farm Open to the Public from 12 pm to 2 pm Visitors can explore the home of Abraham Brian and his family. A member of Gettysburg’s African American Community, he fled Gettysburg with his family only to return to find his home in ruins.Park in the National Cemetery Parking Lot or on Hancock Avenue. Keep all wheels on pavement. #MoreHistory Evening Campfire Talk with Dr. Hilary N. Green This special campfire program is co-sponsored by Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg College, and the Journal of the Civil War Era. Held at 7 pm at the Park Amphitheater on West Confederate Avenue. This program is free and open to the public.  Remembering Gettysburg: Joseph Winters, Songs and Civil War Memory Focusing on a Black Chambersburg songwriter, this lecture explores how Joseph Winters contributed to African American memory of the Gettysburg campaign through songwriting. By documenting the African American experience during the Gettysburg campaign, Green will show how Winters continued to draw on this local memory for USCT recruitment and securing Black men’s vote in the 1880 Presidential campaign.Dr. Hilary N. Green is an Associate Professor in the Department of Gender and Race Studies at The University of Alabama. She earned her M.A. in History from Tufts University and her Ph.D. in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the author of Educational Reconstruction: African American Schools in the Urban South, 1865-1890 (Fordham University Press, 2016) as well as articles, book chapters and other scholarly publications. In addition to several short publications, she is currently at work on a second book manuscript examining how everyday African Americans remembered and commemorated the Civil War. She is also at work on a National Park Service & Organization of American Historians Historic Resource Study of African American Schools in the South, 1865-1900 and co-editing a volume exploring the Civil War Era and the Summer of 2020 with Andrew L. Slap. All events are free and open to the public. All programs will be conducted consistent with CDC recommendations. People who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces. Masks are required for everyone on all forms of public transportation. Additional details are available at www.nps.gov/coronavirus. Gettysburg College is a residential, undergraduate college of the liberal arts and sciences that prepares students from across the nation and around the globe to pursue lives of personal and professional fulfillment and to engage the complex questions of our time through effective leadership and socially responsible citizenship. The Journal of the Civil War Era is published by UNC Press in association with the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center. It publishes the most creative new work on the many issues raised by slavery, the sectional crisis, war, emancipation, Reconstruction, and memory of the country’s signal conflict, while bringing fresh understanding to the struggles that defined the period, and by extension, the course of American history in the nineteenth century. Gettysburg National Military Park is a unit of the National Park Service that preserves and protects the resources associated with the Battle of Gettysburg and the Gettysburg National Cemetery and provides an understanding of the events that occurred there within the context of American history. For a complete listing of all of the free summer ranger programs, please visit our website at www.nps.gov/gett for additional information.

Explore Flohr’s Church Cemetery with the Adams County Historical Society

With burials dating to the 1790s, Flohr’s Church is one of the earliest German Lutheran congregations in the area. Still active, this Franklin Township graveyard contains some 3,000 known burials and countless unmarked graves. Join Adams County Historical Society historian Timothy H. Smith on Tuesday, September 7th from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. on a walk back through time to explore the lives and legacies of western Adams County’s most prominent citizens. The tour will begin at at the parking lot of the church, 595 Flohr’s Church Road, McKnightstown. Tickets are limited and are free to current ACHS members. For non-members, tickets cost $10 each. You can join or renew your membership with ACHS by clicking here.

HGAC Barn Tour on Sep. 18

The Historic Gettysburg-Adams County Preservation Society (HGAC) will hold a tour of historic barns in the Gettysburg area on Saturday, September 18 from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm. Proceeds from this Historic Barns Tour will benefit the award-winning HGAC Barn Preservation Project and Grant Program. HGAC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit focused on historic preservation in the Gettysburg-Adams County, PA area.

New York developer Tim Harrison purchases the Gettysburg Station Site for $1 million

Another chapter in the long history of the so-called REDDI or Gettysburg Station property, situated in Gettysburg between North Stratton and Carlisle streets near the historic railroad station, was written this summer when Staten Island developer Tim Harrison purchased the 2.4-acre property from the Adams County Industrial Development Authority (ACIDA) for $1 million. The property, which has been under development since 2001, had previously been home to an antique market, a gas station, parking lots, as well as a variety of community programs including South Central Community Action Programs, the Literacy Council, a jobs office, and a homeless shelter before it was razed for commercial development. The sale was made possible by ACIDA which made use of a $1 million grant from the state.  ACIDA is a subsidiary of the Adams Economic Authority (AEA), which was created in 1998 by Adams County with the goal of submitting financing applications on behalf of business entities. The property was purchased in 2006 by the Gettysburg Economic Development Corporation (GEDC), an entity created by the Gettysburg Borough Council. GEDC attempted to find a buyer, but ended up in bankruptcy, resulting in an ongoing legal battle over costs and fees. The property was to be auctioned at a sheriff’s sale in 2010 but there were no bidders and it reverted to ACNB Bank before being purchased by ACIDA for $1.3 million with the goal of finding an appropriate developer.  ACIDA was helped in the project by a loan guarantee from the county and a $1 million grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.. “This is one of the last parcels in the borough that could be developed to get an expanded tax base, said AEA Chair Robin Fitzpatrick. “We wanted it to be mixed use and taxable.” Fitzpatrick said the mission of the ACIDA was to find a buyer for the borough.  The organization began by making $600,000 of site improvements including demolishing the existing buildings and conducting structural and environmental tests. “We got it build-ready,” said Fitzpatrick. “That’s what a development company does — that’s our role,” said Fitzpatrick.  “We were there to help the borough. There was no possibility of private development.” Fitzpatrick said ACIDA had reviewed 5 or 6 proposals since 2013 but that each of the prior developers had ended up backing out.  Fitzpatrick said the organization worked with each potential developer individually before moving on to the next one. “That’s why it took so long. We don’t have competitions.  Why would someone put money and time into a plan if they might not get it? They need to know that if they are spending money it can be theirs.” During the past years the property was made potentially more valuable for development through a controversial decision of the borough council to allow an increase in the allowed heights of buildings on the property. “They realized this was a designated development area and they wanted to get the most out of it,” said Fitzpatrick. “They wanted to make it more attractive.” Going forward, any plans for the project must be approved by the Historical Area Review Board, the planning commission, and the borough council. “The developer knows what is allowable and what he’s going to put into it,” said Fitzpatrick.  “He’s done a marketing study.” In terms of whether the developer might allow the Adams County Farmers Market to continue using the site and whether HABPI might be allowed to put bike lane through the property, Fitzpatrick said “he has no obligations, but I’m certain if he can fit those things in there he’ll do so.  He’s very community oriented.”

HGAC Historic Barns Tour of Gettysburg and Adams County: Saturday, September 18 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Travel back in time and enjoy this rare opportunity to visit inside seven historic barns near Gettysburg.  The Historic Gettysburg-Adams County Preservation Society (HGAC) presents the “Historic Barns Tour of Gettysburg and Adams County” on Saturday, September 18 from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm.  The Tour starts at the historic Round Barn near Cashtown where guests will receive a map showing the location of the barns featured on the Tour along with a booklet describing the barns and the various activities that will be offered at each barn. There will be animals to see and pet!  Check-in time to start the Tour is from 10:00 am until noon at the Round Barn.  Admission is $35 per adult in advance and $40 on the day of the Tour. Youth under age 18 are free. Children must be accompanied by an adult. “We are hoping that parents and grandparents will bring their kids to see these great old barns. Photographers, bring your cameras!” said event chair, Bob McIlhenny.  After checking in and exploring the Round Barn and the market, guests can drive to the other six barns in any order and stay as long as they like. There will be a scavenger hunt called “Barn Quest” for middle-schooler’s to identify architectural details on Adams County barns.  Proceeds from this rain or shine event will benefit the award-winning HGAC Barn Preservation Project and Grant Program. Since 2015, HGAC has provided matching grant funding to owners of historic barns within Adams County to make needed repairs. In 2020 the HGAC Barn Preservation Project was selected by Preservation Pennsylvania to receive the “Henry A. Jordan Award” for outstanding historic preservation efforts at the local level.  Learn about these icons of Adams County’s vernacular architecture. All the barns on the Tour (other than the Round Barn) are of a construction style known as the Pennsylvania Barn. They all share two distinctive features: 1. there is an entrance to the second floor of the barn for wagons by means of a ramp or bank of built-up earth and 2. the front of the barn has a cantilevered forebay that is an extension of the upper floor that overhangs and shelters the entrance to the livestock stables on the lower level.  Each barn on this unique tour will feature activities that are fun and educational. The Rice Fruit Company will be offering several varieties of their locally grown apples for tasting and eating. There will be a timber framing demonstration and fresh pressed apple juice to taste. Other activities will include plein air artists at work, and demonstrations of tatting and lace making by the Panera Tatters and of quilt making.  Living historians will discuss mid-19th century Quaker culture in Upper Adams County and their work to help freedom seekers. There will be a horseback riding demonstration and explanations of Civil War era medical practices by living historians at the George Spangler Farm through the courtesy of the Gettysburg Foundation. Local cider producers, Ploughman Cider and Good Intent Cider will offer cider tastings. Special guest, Chloe Plesic of CP Rabbitry will be on hand to charm everyone with her blue ribbon-winning rabbits. To purchase registrations for the “Historic Barns Tour” by credit card or personal check, visit the HGAC website at www.HGAConline.org  Pre-tour registration ends Sept.11. Event Sponsorships are also available on line.  Registrations will be available on the day of the Tour for $40 per adult. Cash or check preferred.  For additional information, contact event chair, Bob Mcilhenny at (717) 420-6500 or RMcilhenny@comcast.net  After the Barn Tour, participants, volunteer event staff, barn owners and friends are invited to an informal happy hour “Gathering” at the Thirsty Farmer located just across the road from the Historic Round Barn.

Gettysburg Heritage Center to host numerous authors as part of the 158th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg

The 158th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg will bring several authors to the Gettysburg Heritage Center for presentations and book signings.  Notable authors, such as Dr. Bradley Gottfried, Tom McMillan, Kent Masterson Brown, Jim Hessler, Jared Frederick & Erik Dorr will be among those in attendance. Book talks followed by signings will take place Friday, July 2nd.  Additional book signings will take place throughout the July 1-6, 2021, Anniversary weekend. Many of the authors attending have newly released books, and this will be one of the first opportunities for guests to purchase a copy and get it personalized by the author. Tom McMillan’s book, “Armistead and Hancock: Behind the Gettysburg Legend of Two Friends at the Turning Point of the Civil War”, is due to be released on July 15th, but copies will be available at the Heritage Center. In this deeply researched book, Tom sets the record straight. In a war of brother versus brother, theirs has become the most famous broken friendship: Union general Winfield Scott Hancock and Confederate general Lewis Armistead. Even if their relationship was not as close as the legend has it, Hancock and Armistead knew each other well before the Civil War. Newly released, “Meade at Gettysburg: A Study in Command”, by Kent Masterson Brown, looks at Meade’s leadership during the Battle, and highlights how Meade’s rapid advance of the army to Gettysburg on July 1, his tactical control and coordination of the army in the desperate fighting on July 2, and his determination to hold his positions on July 3 insured victory. Book talks will take place on Friday, July 2nd beginning at 2 pm. Presentations will take place each hour until 6 pm with signings following immediately after each presentation. CSPAN will cover the talks and will air at a later date. All book presentations are free and open to the public, and due to limited capacity, seating is on a first come, first serve basis. Orders for books can be placed by visiting www.GettysburgMuseum.com/events, or by calling 717-334-6245. A complete, up-to-date schedule of events can be found by visiting the Gettysburg Heritage Center online at www.GettysburgMuseum.com. The Gettysburg Heritage Center is operated by the non-profit, The Gettysburg Nature Alliance, and is located at 297 Steinwehr Ave., Gettysburg, PA. For additional information, visit www.GettysburgMuseum.com or call 717-334-6245. Schedule of Events: Presentations:   Book Signings To Occur Immediately Following Presentations Friday, July 2nd ·         2:00:  Dr Bradley Gottfried The Maps of the Cavalry at Gettysburg: An Atlas of Mounted Operations from Brandy Station Through Falling Waters, June 9 – July 14, 1863    ·         3:00:  Tom McMillan “Armistead and Hancock: Behind the Gettysburg Legend.” Armistead and Hancock: Behind the Gettysburg Legend of Two Friends at the Turning Point of the Civil War ·         4:00:  Erik Dorr & Jared Frederick (WWII Topic – not Civil War presentation)  Hang Tough: The WWII Letters and Artifacts of Major Dick Winters   ·         5:00:  James Hessler  “Neutral Ground: Sickle, Meade & Gettysburg’s Peach Orchard.”  ·         6:00:  Kent Masterson Brown  Meade at Gettysburg: A Study in Command (Civil War America)   Book Signings Thursday, July 1 ·         12:00 – 2:45: Leon Reed ·         1:00 – 5:30: Marie LaPres Friday, July 2nd ·         9:00 – 11:45: Linda Clark ·         9:00 – 11:45: James Rada Saturday, July 3rd ·         9:00 – 11:45: Linda Clark ·         9:00 – 11:45: Adam Shefts ·         9:00 – 11:45: James & Suzanne Gindlesperger ·         12:00 – 2:45: James Rada ·         12:00 – 2:45: James Fritz ·         3:00 – 5:45: Mark Snell ·         4:00 – 8:00: Marie LaPres Sunday, July 4th ·         12:00 – 2:45: James Fritz ·         4:00 – 7:00: Marie LaPres Monday, July 5th ·         12:00 – 5:00: James Knights Tuesday, July 6th ·         10:00 – 4:00:  James Knights

Veterans Remembered at Gettysburg Memorial Day Parade and Presentation

As other families picnicked and visited, thousands of veterans, families with children of all ages, and other patriots lined Baltimore Avenue in Gettysburg on a sunny Memorial Day afternoon to watch an enthusiastic parade.  A smaller crowd stayed on to hear presentations at the Soldiers’ National Cemetery. The parade included representatives of the guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg including Commanding Officer Megan Thomas, as well as Gettysburg Mayor Ted Streeter, State Representative Dan Moul, State Senator Doug Mastriano, and Gettysburg National Military Park Superintendent Steven Sims. Also in the lineup were representatives of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the PA National Guard, the Gettysburg Army Jr. ROTC, and the Young Marines. The parade was complemented by a Vietnam-era helicopter, a Lincoln impersonator, two Rosie the Riveters, and dozens of restored military vehicles. But there was no music – the normally-present high school bands did not appear this year. At the Rostrum in the cemetery a somber and emotional gathering attended the presentation moderated by Moul. In their addresses, Sims thanked the workers at the Park Service and Mastriano enumerated the sacrifices made by many U.S. Military veterans.  Saying he was there as a retired Army Colonel, Mastriano said “this last year reminded us how fragile our freedoms are.” In her address Thomas noted how the shield of the USS Gettysburg depicted many aspects of the Gettysburg Battlefield.  Thomas said she and the members of her crew that were with her “continue to be overwhelmed by this community’s generosity and hospitality.” Thomas noted the sacrifices of the many who had “lost in their moment but not in their purpose. We owe them a debt we can never repay.” Quoting President Ronald Reagan, she said “ All we can do is remember them and why they had to be brave for us.” Thomas said it took her many years to fully understand the importance of Memorial Day.                                                                             Cindy Tatum, 2020-21 National President of American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. spoke of the loss of her veteran son who died in 2007 and made a moving tribute to all veterans before receiving a thank-you award from the parade organizers. Gettysburg Resident Wayne Hill sang the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “O God our Help in Ages Past.” The New Oxford Chamber Brass Ensemble played several pieces. The ceremony concluded with the of laying wreaths, a 21-gun salute, and a rendition of Taps.

George Spangler Farm and Field Hospital will open its summer season Friday June 11

Ticketholders at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center have the opportunity to experience the George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital throughout the 2021 summer season. The historic site is open for visitors Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and on the Battle Anniversary, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., Friday, June 11 through Sunday, Aug 15. In July 1863, George Spangler’s thriving family farm was transformed into a field hospital for more than 1,900 wounded Confederate and Union soldiers. A strategic location on the Gettysburg battlefield, the site also served as an artillery reserve, ammunition reserve, provost guard and a temporary cemetery for both Union and Confederate soldiers. Today, the George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital stands as one of the best surviving examples of a corps-level field hospital used during the Battle of Gettysburg. Meticulously renovated and restored, the historic site features original buildings from the battle for visitors to explore. Visitors to the historic site have the opportunity to interact with living historians and learn about Civil War medicine, medical techniques, the role of surgeons and caregivers, soldiers’ experiences, the humanity of citizens, the Spangler family and the role of civilians during and after the battle. “The summer is an excellent opportunity to visit and explore the farm with a variety of living history groups planned for the season,” said Paul Semanek, Spangler Farm Site Coordinator. “We’re pleased to offer guests the opportunity to visit this historic site, learn history, and see the best surviving field hospital from the Gettysburg battle,” added Semanek. Docents are available for questions. Civil War era encampments are on-site. Living historians from across the U.S. camp at the farm and provide visitors a glimpse of what happened there in 1863. June 2021 Living History Schedule: June 11-13      2nd Corps Field Hospital CSA: Confederate field hospital with portrayal of Confederate surgeon, Hunter McGuire.                          The Healing: Conversations Between Nurses North and South: A unique portrayal of women who pioneered professional nursing and served during the War Between the States. June 18-20      Blue & Gray Hospital Association: Civil War living history organization teaches Civil War medicine: caregivers, medical staff, orderlies, ambulance corpsman, and the civilians nurses and field relief roles. Patriot Daughters of Lancaster: Ladies aid society from Lancaster, formed after the firing on Fort Sumter, to provide money, food, clothing, bandages and supplies for soldiers serving in local companies of Pennsylvania regiments. The ladies cared for the wounded at Christ Lutheran Church and the Lutheran Seminary in Gettysburg, and held sanitary fairs and bazaars to raise money. June 25-27      17th Corps Field Hospital: Exhibits and demonstrations of Union Civil War medicine includes pill making, nursing, nutrition, medicines, medical instruments including a pocket and capital amputation kit, and daily sick call illnesses. “The outdoor experience transports visitors back to 1863 as they walk in the footsteps of those who experienced the disruption and carnage of the battle,” said Brian Klinzing, Gettysburg Foundation’s Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships. “Docents are available for questions, and we encourage visitors to interact with our living historians to hear authentic accounts and gain insights into the importance of this site in the battle,” added Klinzing. Admission to the site is included with the purchase of a ticket to the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center programs. Those with a Friends of Gettysburg membership receive complimentary admission to the site during regular summer weekends. Guests may drive directly to the property where on-site parking is available. The living history schedules for July and August will be released throughout the summer. For tickets and announcements, visit GettysburgFoundation.org. Visit GettysburgFoundation.org or call 877-874-2478 for information and tickets for tours, events and programs offered by the Gettysburg Foundation.

Gettysburg National Military Park & Gettysburg Foundation Partnership Project: Culp’s Hill Rehabilitation

Gettysburg National Military Park and the Gettysburg Foundation are partnering on a Culp’s Hill rehabilitation project. The project will improve the cultural and natural landscape of 18-acres of Culp’s Hill where key battle action occurred on July 2-3, 1863. Work will include the removal of brush and select understory (trees five inches or less in diameter) along the east side of Union earthworks from the Spangler’s Spring area to the summit of Culp’s Hill. Select larger diameter trees growing within the earthworks will be felled in place. In addition to the increased visibility within the woodlot, additional interpretive signage and improved visitor access will be provided to historically significant features along the battlelines. Rehabilitation work is scheduled to start in early February and complete at the end of June with the help of the American Conservation Experience (ACE). ACE is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing rewarding environmental service opportunities for youth of all backgrounds to explore and improve public lands. The ACE crew will treat invasive woody trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants on all earthworks stretching from Spangler’s Spring to the summit of Culp’s Hill. ACE will also construct a new trail from near the 150th New York Infantry monument to Forbes Rock, a prominent landmark on the 1863 battlefield named after the artist and war correspondent, Edwin Forbes. The Culp’s Hill project is made possible through the philanthropic partnership between the National Park Service and The Gettysburg Foundation and will include an endowment to cover the future cost of vegetation and trail maintenance needs. More information about the project funding is available on the Gettysburg Foundation’s website at: https://www.gettysburgfoundation.org/. “We are honored and excited to work with Gettysburg National Military Park on this historic rehabilitation project,” said David Malgee, interim president of the Gettysburg Foundation. “The Culp’s Hill project will transform the visitor experience and open this historic ground to fresh interpretation and understanding. We are forever grateful to Cliff Bream, a longtime Friend of Gettysburg and member of the Gettysburg Foundation Board of Directors, for his vision and lead philanthropic gift that made this project possible,” added Malgee. “Thanks to the work of our partners at the Gettysburg Foundation, we will be able to better interpret the actions of the soldiers who fought on this hallowed ground in a new and exciting way. Visitors will be able to better understand the actions of Union soldiers as they held off multiple Confederate assaults; assaults that took place over very steep and rough terrain that has been all but hidden in plain sight,” said Steven D. Sims, Superintendent of Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site. No roads are expected to be closed during this project but all visitors to the area will be required to remain a safe distance from the work area. Project updates will be posted on our Culp’s Hil page.

GNP Visitor Center Returns to Normal Daily Hours for Visitors

The Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center, home of the Gettysburg Cyclorama and the Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War, announces new hours of operation throughout the summer starting Saturday, May 1, 2021. The Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center had offered visitors reduced hours since reopening its doors June 25, 2020, and again Jan. 7, 2021, after two temporary closure periods for precautionary measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus, consistent with federal and state officials’ COVID-19 protective mitigation measures and guidelines. Beginning May 1, 2021, the new hours of operation will provide visitors access to the Museum & Visitor Center, seven days a week from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. throughout the summer months, June through September. The health and well-being of our visitors and community come first, and we look forward to continuing to welcome guests to the Museum & Visitor Center daily. Prior to visiting the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center, visitors are encouraged to read about our health and safety protocols. To assist with contactless payment, visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance either online at GettysburgFoundation.org or via phone at 877-874-2478. Visitors wishing to book a Licensed Battlefield Guide tour may do so in advance via phone by calling 877-874-2478. GETTYSBURG NATIONAL MILITARY PARK Gettysburg National Military Park preserves, protects and interprets for this and future generations the resources associated with the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War, the Gettysburg National Cemetery and their commemorations. To learn more about Gettysburg National Military Park, visit nps.gov/gett. GETTYSBURG FOUNDATION Gettysburg Foundation is a 501(c)(3), non-profit philanthropic, educational organization operating in partnership with the National Park Service to preserve Gettysburg National Military Park and the Eisenhower National Historic Site, and to educate the public about their significance. The Foundation operates the Museum & Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park, as well as the George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital, the Rupp House History Center and the Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad StationTM. For information about visiting Gettysburg, or how you can become a member of the Friends of Gettysburg, visit GettysburgFoundation.org or call 877-874-2478.

Gettysburg Foundation Names New President

The Board of Directors of the Gettysburg Foundation has appointed Wayne E. Motts as the Foundation’s new president to lead the operations of the national preservation and education organization.  The Gettysburg Foundation owns and operates the LEED Gold-certified Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center in partnership with Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site. The Foundation has a robust preservation and education mission that includes land and artifact preservation, educational events and programs. It also owns and operates the Rupp House History Center, the George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital and the Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad StationTM.   Motts most recently served as CEO of The National Civil War Museum located in Harrisburg, Pa., successfully leading the institution for nine years. Previously, Motts served as Executive Director of the Adams County Historical Society, located in Gettysburg, Pa., and was named its Director Emeritus in 2019. “I am honored to be named the next president of the Gettysburg Foundation,” said Motts. “I look forward to working with the Foundation’s board, staff, volunteers and key partners— especially Gettysburg National Military Park and the Eisenhower National Historic Site—in advancing the Foundation’s mission. As a small boy dreaming of one day living and working in Gettysburg, my life now comes full circle with this wonderful opportunity.”    A long-time resident of Adams County, Pa., Motts has been a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg National Military Park for 33 years and now holds the title of Guide Emeritus. “We are proud to have Wayne lead our operations into the future,” said Barbara Finfrock, co-chair of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. “Wayne has been a champion of Gettysburg for many years, and we are confident in his vast knowledge of history, leadership experience and talents as our new president.” Motts received his Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Military History from The Ohio State University and holds a Master of Arts in American History from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. He is an accomplished author, publishing books and articles about the Civil War including, Trust in God and Fear Nothing: General Lewis A. Armistead and Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg: A Guide to the Most Famous Attack in American History, which he co-authored. An expert in the field, Motts has appeared on numerous television documentaries and videos produced by the History Channel, American Heroes Channel, TNT Network and A&E Channel. “We are thrilled to welcome Wayne to our team, especially during this critical time as we emerge from the impact of the pandemic,” said Craig Bashein, co-chair of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. “His enthusiasm and passion for sharing the importance of the Battle of Gettysburg in the greater context of the American Civil War and our country’s history, combined with his keen understanding of museum and nonprofit operations makes him an ideal candidate to join us as our new president.”  Motts will assume the responsibilities as the Foundation’s new president May 24, 2021.

Underground Railroad Tours Are Back!

Walking tours of Gettysburg’s only Underground Railroad (UGRR) Site recognized by the National Park Service’s “Network to Freedom” will begin on Saturday, May 1st at 11:00 a.m and everyone is invited to attend. The McAllister’s Mill UGRR Tours were cancelled last year due to the COVID pandemic, but all of the tour guides have received their COVID vaccinations and the tours will be conducted out of doors in the open air with social distancing being encouraged. Curt Musselman, the McAllister’s Mill Underground Railroad Tour Coordinator of the Historic Preservation Society of Gettysburg – Adams County (HGAC), announced today that one-hour tours will be given by professional guides every Saturday morning at 11:00 a.m, from May through August. Tours leave from the historical marker at the south end of the former Mulligan MacDuffer Adventure Golf parking lot at 1360 Baltimore Pike in Gettysburg, PA. The parking lot is at the intersection of the Baltimore Pike and the McAllister Mill Road. It is not necessary to make a reservation for the tour. Just show up for the tour and enjoy an informative, enlightening walk in the woods. The site, now a ruin with foundations and waterways still visible, was most probably one of the first stops made in Adams County by people seeking freedom on their flight north from slavery in the South. About two miles south of Gettysburg, PA and six miles north of the Mason-Dixon Line, McAllister’s Mill provided shelter to hundreds of freedom seekers during the years leading up to the Civil War. After receiving assistance at the late 18th century grist mill, the formerly enslaved were guided north through Gettysburg into Upper Adams County to the homes of free African Americans and Quaker Abolitionists, forming critical links in one of the earliest regional networks of the Underground Railroad in the nation. The property now includes remnants of the mill building and related mill structures, all set amid large boulders that line Rock Creek in a densely wooded area where the mill once stood. On July 4, 1836, McAllister’s Mill was the site of an early and significant gathering of Abolitionists in Pennsylvania.  Chaired by mill owner and farmer James McAllister, Jr., the group agreed to publish bold anti-slavery principles, which were reportedly ghostwritten by Gettysburg attorney and later U.S. Congressman Thaddeus Stevens. This meeting led to the formation of the Adams County Anti-Slavery Society. In 2011, the McAllister’s Mill site was accepted into the National Park Service National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom (UGRR NTF) which is a nationwide collection of sites that have a verifiable association to the Underground Railroad. For more information on the Network to Freedom, please consult the NPS website at www.nps.gov/history/ugrr/. The first tours of the site were given by HGAC during the summer of 2011 and since then, hundreds of visitors have taken advantage of the unique opportunity to visit a rarely seen part of the battlefield. The walk to the mill from the historical marker at the parking lot is a somewhat strenuous, approximately one-half mile round trip. Suggested donations for the tour are $5 for students and $10 for adults. Everyone who comes on the tour will receive an NPS Underground Railroad brochure in addition to a souvenir brochure for the McAllister’s Mill Site that was created exclusively for HGAC and that is generously illustrated with a map, photographs and the art of historical artist Bradley Schmehl. Junior Ranger booklets and badges are available for students who participate in the tour. Donations made to HGAC will support HGAC’s preservation activities including maintenance of the beautifully restored GAR Hall at 53 East Middle Street in Gettysburg. The McAllister’s Mill site is privately owned and is not open to the public.  However, persons interested in the story of the Underground Railroad at the site will be able to join these tours that are conducted as fund-raisers by HGAC. For more information about the weekly tours, or to make special arrangements, please call McAllister’s Mill UGRR Tours at 717-659-8827.

ACHS Breaks Ground and Selects Museum Design Firm

As site work begins at the future home of the future Adams County Historical Museum on the Biglerville road just north of Gettysburg, the Adams County Historical Society has chosen an architect for the building. The museum planning process has been entrusted to HealyKohler Design, an award-winning firm based in Washington, D.C. HealyKohler is known for other museum projects including the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning, and a changing gallery at the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington. Crews have started clearing the site in preparation for the first of two new buildings – an artifact storage center that will house thousands of artifacts currently packed into storage crates at a warehouse. The new museum will be custom-built to excite and inspire visitors of all ages and interest levels.

The Black Influence – Series 2: 1847 to 1864

In 1847, John “Jack” Hopkins was a custodian at the Gettysburg College. He was hired making only $15 a month. This was the normal wage for a free Black man in Pennsylvania. He was held in high esteem by the faculty and students. It is said that he helped freedom seekers during their passage in the underground railroad.  Hopkins went on to purchase a home on South Washington Street from Abraham Brian in 1857. Abraham bought a farm on Cemetery Ridge that ended up being a major point of battle during the war a few years later. The Hopkins home and two of the Cemetery Ridge buildings were reconstructed by the U.S. National Park Service. Jack and his wife, Julie Ann Hopkins, moved to a home on the college campus but kept their home on South Washington Street. The same year, 1860, the couple hosted the “Grand Fancy Dress Ball”. The Ball was most likely held at the home on South Washington Street. The Star and Sentinel is quoted saying the ball was “attended by all the colored aristocracy of the town, with specially invited guests from York, Harrisburg, Columbia, and Chambersburg.” In 1858, Margaret Devitt, later known as Mag Palm, was attacked by a group of men. They attempted to kidnap her. She fought with her hands bound and it is rumored she bit off the thumb of one of her assailants. She eluded the kidnapping. The picture on this page shows Mag Palm presenting how her hands were bound during the attempted kidnapping. Her strength and pride illuminates in her smirk. While reviewing this article, Jane Nutter, Present of Gettysburg’s Black History Museum added, “I often heard of the Mag Palm story by elder members in my family. Also interesting to me is the story about the wagons. I have heard ghost stories about the wagons on Washington Street.”  Basil & Mary J. Biggs moved to Adams County in 1858 so their children could be educated. In 1863, when the confederates were invading Gettysburg, Basil sent his family away. When they returned, his farm was ruined. He put in a claim to the state for the damages. He was awarded over $1,300 but he never received payment.  Basil earned money by exhuming soldiers’ bodies and burying them in the National Cemetery. He went on to buy land on Cemetery Ridge and inherited the Frey Farm. He also bought a home on the corner of South Washington and High Street. He was well known for his veterinarian skills and was a respected community member. One might say his greatest accomplishment was aiding freedom seekers in the underground railroad. He also helped found and build the Asbury ME Church in Gettysburg. In 1861, John Edward, son of John “Jack” Hopkins, served in Company F of the 25th US Colored Troop where he became a sergeant. Returning after the war, Edward suffered from a service-related illness that affected him for the remainder of his life. He lived with his wife and children at the home on S. Washington St. he inherited from his father. With warning of the Confederates entrance in Gettysburg in 1863, most Black people left Gettysburg fearing the war and possible re-enslavement. Lydia Hamilton Smith left with a different story. She was an interracial woman who married a free Black man named Jacob Smith. They had two sons but they separated and she raised the boys on her own in Adams County until an acquaintance, Thaddeus Stevens, offered her a housekeeping position. Thaddeus was a known antislavery advocate and attorney. Lydia accepted the position and took her two children with her. She accompanied Thaddeus on his travels after he was elected to Congress. It is believed Smith and Stevens participated in the underground railroad at his home in Maryland.  Since Pennsylvania bordered slave states, kidnappings of African Americans were common. The number significantly increased as Confederates made their way to Gettysburg. Black people were categorized as either free, emancipated, or runaways called “contraband.” The Rebels kidnapped African Americans from each group without care to their status. The number of kidnapped African Americans from Gettysburg is not known, but newspapers, personal journals, and letters mention raids of Black people being taken away. Most were women and children. They were bound and herded out of the town. The kidnappings in Gettysburg were by guerillas, acting alone, as well as Confederate soldiers in General Lee’s army. Although it cannot be proved that General Lee gave the orders for his troops to “collect contraband,” the following passages suggest that the ranks knew of and possibly encouraged the cruel practices. (from the book, African Americans and the Gettysburg Campaign, by James Paradis): References Vermilyea, Peter C. (2005). “Jack Hopkins’ Civil War”. Volume 11, Article 3. Available at:   https://cupola.gettysburg.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1082&context=ach Christ, Elwood W. (1999). “On the Trail of Sidney O’Brien: An Inquiry into Her Family and Status – Was She a Slave or Servant of the Gettys Family in Gettysburg? Was Her Daughter, Getty Ann, a Descendant of James Gettys?,” Adams County History: Vol. 5 , Article 4. Available at: https://cupola.gettysburg.edu/ach/vol5/iss1/4 Lee, Deborah A. (2009). “Honoring Their Paths – African American Contributions along the Journey Through Hallowed Ground”. (pgs 7-46) www-hallowedground-org.myshopify.com/products/honoring-their-paths-african-american-contributions-along-the-journey-through-hallowed-ground McCauslin-Sandoe, Debra. (2007). For the Cause – Gettysburg History. http://www.gettysburghistories.com Paradis, James M. (2005). “African Americans and the Gettysburg Campaign”. www.books.google.com/books/about/African_Americans_and_the_Gettysburg_Cam.html?id=9IbaTYAFGKIC

Fifth Annual Absolutionists Day Event Scheduled for April 10

The fifth annual Abolitionists Day will be held as a Zoom event on April 10 at 4 p.m. To be put on a list to get an invitation to tis event, please send an email to info@thaddeusstevenssociety.com Abolitionists Day has been held annually since 2017, showcasing abolitionists who helped to free the enslaved and destroy one of the world’s worst slave empires. This year a video collage of scenes from past Abolitionists Day reenactments will be presented. There will be a question and answer session via Zoom following the video. All are welcome. Dr. Scott hancock of Gettysburg College and Ross Hetrick of the Thaddeus Stevens Society will be present to put the vignettes into historicall context. Abolitionists featured include Harriet Tubman, Thaddeus Stevens, William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth va Lew, Mary Bowser, James McAllister, William Reynolds, Daniel Alexander Payne, Sojourner Truth and Anna Dickinson. Website: https://www.thaddeusstevenssociety.com/ Email: info@thaddeusstevenssociety.com Support Gettysburg Connection: Sign up for our newsletter!

Adams County Historical Society Breaks Ground on New Building

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, director@achs-pa.org, to learn more.

The Black Influence – Series 1: 1780 to 1850

In 1780, Pennsylvania lawmakers passed “An Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery.” The Act stated people born into slavery in 1780 and after, would be freed when they turned 28 years old. However, people born into slavery before 1780 were still enslaved for life. For the time, this was a progressive step, but don’t let this cloud the view of the Black reality. Local people still owned slaves, those that were free lived restricted, segregated lives, and very few slave owners were willing to give them up, even when they turned 28. Slavery did not end in Adams County until the 1840s. Known as the first African American resident of Gettysburg, Sydney O’Brien was freed from slavery in 1833. She purchased a home on South Washington Street. She was born the slave of Isabelle & James Gettys Sr., the founder of the Borough of Gettysburg. Sydney is recorded as being “mulatto”, but her parentage is not traceable. It’s rumored she could be the child of James Gettys Sr. and his wife’s slave “Old Doll”. It is also rumored that her daughter, Getty Ann, could have been the child of James Gettys Jr. With limited records, the truth is not known. *Important note: do not romanticize a relationship between slave owners and their slaves. Most mixed race children born to female slaves were the result of rape and abuse of power by the slave owner.* Although it is recorded that African American children in Gettysburg attended schools as early as 1824, the Pennsylvania Free School Act required schools for African Americans. The 5th school in Gettysburg was designated as the Colored school, on the corner of South Washington and High Street. Descriptions of the school depict broken equipment and limited supplies. The school was moved to the AME Church until a new school was built in 1883/84. In 1835, Daniel Alexander Payne (February 24, 1811 – November 2, 1893) made his way to Adams County after his hometown of Charlestown, SC made it illegal to operate schools teaching African Americans. Payne attended the Lutheran Theological Seminary. Working closely with Gettysburg College, Payne started a school for Black children in an open Gettysburg College building. “The colored people of Gettysburg have more means for mental and moral improvement than any community of colored people with which I am acquainted  … the professors in the College and the Seminary, and also the students of both institutions stand ready to counsel, assist and instruct them, both night and day.” Unfortunately, few students took the opportunity for reasons of family migration, young children needing to work, and religious differences. Payne went on to become a bishop at the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in 1852. Although Black residents were permitted to attend White churches, they were offset to specific pews and limited in their prayer and membership. In 1838, the African American community founded the first Black Church of Gettysburg, the Wesleyan Methodist Episcopal Church. It was located on Franklin Street and the first pastor was Rev. Abraham Cole. Shortly after the start, the church changed positions and became the St. Paul AME Church. A location to worship was given to them by Thaddeus Stevens, a local antislavery advocate. Throughout the years, the AME Church advocated for abolition of slavery and participated in the underground railroad. Today, the AME Church is located on the corner of South Washington Street and Breckenridge Street.  During this time, the Black community was thriving. There was work for African American adults and education for their children. When Virginia resident Mary Maddox’s husband died, she manumitted their slave, Catherine “Kitty” Payne in 1843. Kitty took her four children to Adams County. Sadly, her youngest child, and infant of only a few months, died shortly after their travels. In an act of despair from severe debt, Mary’s nephew, Samuel Maddox Jr., went to Adams County to regain his uncle’s property. Samuel Jr. and several other men viciously kidnapped Kitty and her three children and took them to Virginia. One assailant was caught but Kitty and her children were not released back to Pennsylvania. Rappahannock County kept her and her children prisoner for over a year. They called it “safekeeping.” *Notice these are more words to ease the guilt of history. Kitty was violently kidnapped and held as a prisoner by the state. That does not sound like safekeeping, it sounds like conspiracy.* She was eventually released and made her way back to Adams County. Resources This article was reviewed for accuracy by local historian Debra Sandoe McCauslin. Christ, Elwood W. (1999). “On the Trail of Sidney O’Brien: An Inquiry into Her Family and Status – Was She a Slave or Servant of the Gettys Family in Gettysburg? Was Her Daughter, Getty Ann, a Descendant of James Gettys?,” Adams County History: Vol. 5 , Article 4. Available at: https://cupola.gettysburg.edu/ach/vol5/iss1/4 Lee, Deborah A. (2009). “Honoring Their Paths – African American Contributions along the Journey Through Hallowed Ground”. (pgs 7-46) www-hallowedground-org.myshopify.com/products/honoring-their-paths-african-american-contributions-along-the-journey-through-hallowed-ground McCauslin-Sandoe, Debra. (2007). For the Cause – Gettysburg History. http://www.gettysburghistories.com Paradis, James M. (2005). “African Americans and the Gettysburg Campaign”. www.books.google.com/books/about/African_Americans_and_the_Gettysburg_Cam.html?id=9IbaTYAFGKIC

ACHS Announces Partnership with Gettysburg Black History Museum

The Adams County Historical Society (ACHS) is thrilled to announce the formalization of a key partnership with Gettysburg Black History Museum, Inc. This grassroots organization was established to preserve and promote Black history and culture in our community. Like ACHS, GBHM holds precious archival materials that are key to understanding the story of Gettysburg and Adams County. Set to coincide with the grand opening of the new headquarters in 2022, ACHS and GBHM will collaborate on exhibits throughout its new museum space. The two organizations are also working together on an inaugural exhibit –Black Voices of Adams County – that will be free and open to the public. The partnership with GBHM will also ensure that the historic collections of both organizations are properly cared for in secure, environmentally-regulated archives where visiting researchers can access many of these incredible resources for the very first time. Finally, ACHS will support the mission of GBHM to tell these critical stories within the walls of the Society’s new classroom and Battlefield Overlook Education Center. Through this collaboration, ACHS and GBNM can educate visitors and area residents of all ages about the significant contributions made by Black citizens in our community.

Rediscover Gettysburg in February: Adams County Free Days at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center

To welcome Adams County residents back to the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center, Gettysburg National Military Park and the Gettysburg Foundation invite them to Rediscover Gettysburg each Thursday during the month of February 2021. Adams County residents can enjoy free admission to the Film, Cyclorama & Museum Experience at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center on Thursdays, Feb. 4, 11, 18 and 25, 2021. Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center Offers Adams County Residents Free Admission to A New Birth of Freedom Film, the Gettysburg Cyclorama Painting with Sound and Light Effects and the 12-Gallery Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War. Guests will start with the film presentation of A New Birth of Freedom, immediately followed by the sound and light show on the spectacular 377-foot Gettysburg Cyclorama painting of Pickett’s Charge completed in 1884. Then explore the 12-gallery Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War. These exclusive resources and experiences introduce guests to the Battle of Gettysburg and prepare them for their tour of the battlefield. Our Adams County guests to the Museum & Visitor Center on Thursdays in February will find special Adams County treasures and highlights throughout their experiences: Unique artifacts directly related to Adams County, included in the numerous rare artifacts on display in the Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War, will be spotlighted for Adams County residents to see and learn more about the stories and lessons of Gettysburg and Adams County, Pennsylvania. Adams County adult complimentary ticketholders on Thursdays in February have the opportunity to enter into a drawing to win a Battlefield Car Tour, a personalized three-hour experience (for up to six visitors) with a Licensed Battlefield Guide. Details of the offer will be provided to adult ticketholders upon entering the drawing. The winner will be announced and contacted on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. The Gettysburg Museum Bookstore is featuring books written by Adams County authors in addition to numerous Civil War and Gettysburg books for all ages, souvenirs, gifts and merchandise found in store and online. The Battlegrounds Café is introducing a new Apple Adams CounTEA and offering an Adams County Thursday lunch special along with their daily local favorites of Adams County apple dumplings and Mr. G’s ice cream. “Gettysburg is a high-priority travel destination on individual bucket lists all over the world. Gettysburg and Adams County residents are fortunate to have history available to us in our own ‘backyard,’” said David Malgee, interim president of the Gettysburg Foundation. “Winter is a wonderful time to visit the Museum & Visitor Center and view the iconic landmarks on the battlefield when the vistas provide a much clearer view with the leaves off the trees for a unique perspective of troop positions and movements in July 1863,” added Malgee. Malgee points out, “Winter is an excellent time to enjoy the Museum & Visitor Center programs and is a great time of year to explore the Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War at a leisurely pace during the off-peak season.” Residents all over Adams County are encouraged to rediscover Gettysburg National Military Park and take advantage of the unique opportunity this winter to visit and enjoy, free of charge on Thursdays in February 2021, some of the attractions the LEED-Gold Certified Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center has to offer. Local visitors should be prepared to present proof of Adams County residence, e.g., a driver’s license, at the Ticket Counter inside the Museum & Visitor Center to obtain their free admission tickets. The Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center is located at 1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Winter hours in February: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.―The last film and cyclorama show will begin at 3 p.m.