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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.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas at the Eisenhower Home 

Tis the season! Eisenhower National Historic Site is happy to share that once again, we will deck the halls, throw some tinsel on the tree, and bring the Eisenhower home alive with the spirit of the Christmas season! From Thursday, December 1, 2022, through Saturday, December 31, Eisenhower home tours will resume for the holiday season.  The Christmas season was a favorite time of year for the Eisenhowers. Mamie Eisenhower celebrated all holidays, but Christmas was her time to shine with decorations and warm festivities. In this spirit, the staff and volunteers of Eisenhower National Historic Site will once again decorate the Eisenhowers’ Gettysburg home this December. Decorations will include several original Eisenhower Christmas decorations on display at the farm and the nativity scenes at the Museum and Visitor Center.  Holiday tours of the Eisenhower home are available by reservation and shuttle bus only. Shuttle buses will depart the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center at 11 am and 2 pm on Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays. On Saturdays, shuttles will depart at 11 am, 12 pm, 1 pm, and 2 pm. Note: no shuttles or house tours will run December 22-25, and only two tours, 11:30 am, and 12:30 pm, will be offered on December 31. Call 1-877-874-2478 to reserve tickets.  No home tours will be offered Mondays, Tuesdays, or Wednesdays, though the grounds of Eisenhower National Historic Site remain open 7 days a week, with limited parking on-site. Please be aware that winter weather may impact operations, so check the weather forecast and the park website and social media channels for updates to conditions before visiting. 

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.

American Battlefield Trust hopes to purchase General Pickett’s Buffet

In the first major land preservation action in the core area of the of the Gettysburg battlefield since the 2003 demolition of the Home Sweet Home Motel, the American Battlefield Trust (ABT) plans to purchase the site of General Pickett’s Buffet Restaurant located on the southern edge of Gettysburg at 571 Steinwehr Avenue. The site is also home to the Gettysburg Battlefield Theater. The ABT, formerly known as the Civil War Trust, is a charitable organization that has acquired and preserved over 50,000 acres of battlefields of the American Civil War, the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. “For generations, this half-acre property that played a major role in Pickett’s Charge has been compromised by commercial development, operating as a restaurant, theater, and gift shop known as General Pickett’s Buffet. Now, the long-time owner has decided to retire and give the Trust the opportunity to buy and restore the property,” said an announcement on the ABT website.  General Pickett’s is a longtime popular restaurant that has provided meals to untold numbers of bus tourists. But it was also one of the most intrusive commercial presences on the battlefield, plainly visible by any visitor standing at the Angle or leaving the National Cemetery from the Taneytown Rd. exit, for example. It is also land where pivotal action of Pickett’s Charge took place. The move drew high marks from historians and preservationists. “When George Pickett tried to rally his men for their charge across the field toward the Union line, he certainly said, ‘Some day, future generations will honor your courage and sacrifice on this battlefield with an all-you-can-eat buffet!’ Of course he didn’t—but that’s part of what has made General Pickett’s Buffet such a surreal part of the Gettysburg landscape,” said Chris Mackowski, author of five books on Gettysburg. “It has become such a well-known landmark, but it’s jarring in its juxtaposition. Reclaiming that part of the battlefield, in the context of the reclamation that has gone on directly across the street, will help restore the hallowed nature of the ground where this fabled story took place.” Mackowski said he was speaking as an individual. “It is hard to think of a more important parcel on the battlefield to be preserved. This is a natural follow-up to the acquisition and reclamation of the adjacent Home Sweet Home motel property two decades ago,” said licensed guide and author Ralph Siegel, who said he was speaking as an individual. It is likely that this property will be transferred to the Gettysburg National Military Park once it has been cleared and rehabilitated. Featured image from Google Maps.

Battle of the Bulge veterans tour WWII and Civil War sites

Over 150 members of the Battle of the Bulge Association (BOBA), including 10 Bulge veterans, visited Gettysburg recently for a weekend of fun, reunion, and education. The Battle of the Bulge, fought in 1944 and 1945, was the last major German offensive campaign during World War II. The veterans represented a wide range of Bulge experiences and, for men in their mid-90s and up, were surprisingly spry. After arrival, check-in and a reception on Friday, the visitors boarded buses on Saturday for tours of two of Gettysburg’s prominent WWII sites: the Eisenhower Farm and the brand new World War II American Experience. “We always enjoy hosting veterans,” said the museum’s Director of Outreach, Jodi Wilson, “but this was a particular honor for us. These guys are real heroes.” Several veterans expressed particular admiration for “Ike,” their old commander, and expressed joy at seeing vehicles they had used during the war. After a brief stop to lay a wreath at the Meade statue, a hearty dinner at General Pickett’s, and a good night’s sleep, they reboarded the buses for a battlefield tour. Besides telling the story of the battle, tour guides also pointed out some World War II sites: the German POW camp (just south of Pickett’s Buffet), the old armory (where the POWs stayed while building the camp, and the Louisiana and Mississippi monuments (carved by Don DeLue, who also created “American Youth Rising from the Waves,” the central sculpture at the Omaha Beach American Cemetery in Normandy). Andy Waskie, who led one of the battlefield tours, commented, “Our veterans appreciated more than most visitors the incredible sacrifices of the soldiers who fought here.” John Mohor, president of the association, said “It’s always been an honor attending Battle of the Bulge Association (BOBA) Reunions. We started attending reunions while my dad, Arthur B. Mohor Jr. was still living.  He died October 2015, a couple months shy of turning 92.” He was pleased with the outcome of the conference. “When we were planning the Reunion, Andy Waskie, VP of Chapters, and I thought we’d have a good reunion if 60 registered. We ended up with I believe 172. The Town of Gettysburg treated our organization great. We certainly enjoyed the tour locations, hotels, and eating establishments.” Image Credits: Group photo at the Copse of Trees [Mary Ann Smith]. Bulge veterans at statue [Betsy Rose].

Virginia Memorial gets facelift

The Virginia Memorial is receiving a protective coat of patina. A small area is heated, the sulphurated potash patina is sprayed on, then more heat. A few sprays are needed to provide the necessary protection. A clear wax will then be applied to seal the bronze. #preservation pic.twitter.com/yCobaT7YpI — Gettysburg NMP (@GettysburgNMP) October 1, 2022 Preservation work on the Virginia Memorial at Gettysburg National Military Park is expected to finish soon. The current ferric patination, applied in the early 1980’s, has failed in many areas and has left the bronze with a very flat, dull finish that provides little to no depth when viewed. National Park Service preservation professionals from the Historic Preservation Training Center (HPTC) in Frederick, Maryland are conducting this vital preservation work. This project will ensure a lasting professional patination closely approximating the original patination, in recipe, color, depth, and longevity. The existing brown patina is not original to the work. The current patina also shows areas of wear from decades of exposure to the elements. Preservation professionals from HPTC will correct these issues by removing the current sealer, patina, and corrosion. When reduced to a bare metal surface, a patina of sulphurated potash will be applied, and this surface will be sealed with clear microcrystalline paste wax. The use of a sulphurated potash patina has been historically documented on work at Gettysburg NMP and is very stable for outdoor exposure. The new patina will result in a darker finish that is historically correct and is the primary sealer in use for bronze elements throughout the park’s monument collection. The immediate grass circle around the memorial will be closed during this project. West Confederate Avenue will remain open at all times. The Virginia Memorial was dedicated in 1917.

Devil’s Den will reopen tomorrow

Gettysburg National Military Park has announced that Devil’s Den will reopen to visitors on Friday, September 30. A six-month rehabilitation project was necessary to address significant erosion along walkways and unauthorized social trails that created safety hazards. The project reestablished the features that make up this segment of the battlefield and will allow visitors to better immerse themselves into the historic landscape that is essential to understanding the three-day Battle of Gettysburg. Numerous safety measures were included in this project.• The project provided a major increase in ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) trail surface by 214%, from 700 square feet to 2,200 square feet.• The project decreased the overall hardscape (trail surface) by 70 square feet. The increase to overall greenspace, and additional water runoff mitigation efforts, will better absorb, deflect, and slow water runoff and decrease the chances for future landscape erosion.• Slip resistant granite steps replaced uneven and worn stone steps throughout the project area. The slip resistant steps provide a consistent, rough surface (even when wet) that will provide a safer walking surface for visitors throughout the year. Although the area will reopen to visitors, one central area will remain fenced to allow more time for further vegetation growth. The fencing in this area will remain until native grasses have fully established. This process may take up to two growing seasons – up to 2024. In the interim, all non-native vegetation will continue to be treated within the entire project area. For more information about this project, including project timeline, photos, and maps, please visit our website at https://go.nps.gov/DevilsDenRehab. Featured image: Devil’s Den circa 1909 [National Park Service]

World War II Weekend at Eisenhower National Historic Site

Friday, September 16 to Sunday, September 18 World War II Weekend at Eisenhower National Historic Site (NHS) starts tonight with a very special guest presentation. Susan Eisenhower, granddaughter of Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower, will discuss her grandfather’s wartime leadership at the Gettysburg National Military Park (NMP) Museum and Visitor Center. NOTE: Free tickets for this event have been distributed. However, we will live stream this event, beginning at 7 pm tonight, via the Gettysburg NMP YouTube channel.  Special Ranger-led programs in the Gettysburg National Cemetery that focus on WWII burials also begin this evening at 5 pm. On-site programs and events at Eisenhower NHS will take place from 9 am to 5 pm on Saturday, September 17 and from 9 am to 3 pm on Sunday, September 18. The full schedule can be found on the Eisenhower NHS website.

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

Former Pike building to transform into food hall

One of the most frequent questions in any relationship is “where do you want to eat tonight?” Husband and wife business owners Judy Morley and Steve Burton aim to cut the tension by transforming the former Pike building on Baltimore Pike, Cumberland Township, into a food hall. The couple became official owners of the property on Wednesday and will now focus on implementing plans they have been crafting for months. If the global supply chain crisis does not slow them down, an April 2023 opening is planned. SavorHood Gettysburg will include several fast casual food vendors, including Mr. G’s ice cream, Tilford’s Wood Fired Pizza, Liquid Art Brewing Company (formerly Roy Pitz), Tex’s BBQ, CJ’s Seafood, and Bender’s Potatoes. Burton and Morley are still searching for taco, gourmet grilled cheese and chicken vendors and are in discussions with a dessert vendor. “What restaurateurs are finding is one thing is their niche,” Burton said. “They do one thing and they do it well.” SavorHood customers will order food at their vendor of choice, take a seat and receive a text message when their order is ready. Burton said all orders will take about ten minutes so groups ordering from different vendors can eat together. “The idea for the look and the food is to be community-based,” Morley said. “We shy away from the words ‘food court’ because when you think of food court you think of national chains. All of the concepts need to be chef-driven, really good food with fresh ingredients.” All owners will attend SavorHood Academy so the customer experience is similar throughout the building. The class will be conducted by Morley, who earned a master’s degree in consciousness studies/leadership from Holmes Institute. “What we don’t want is people saying ‘you know, I love everything there except for that pizza guy; he’s rude,’” said Burton, who owns Tilford’s Wood Fired Pizza. Burton and Morley plan to gut the interior of the building, add garage-style doors so it can be used for indoor and outdoor seating and divide the banquet room so it can serve as one large or two smaller rooms. The common seating area will consist of large and small tables and about 200 seats to accommodate any size group. Morley said the ceiling will be exposed and wood accents and industrial lighting will be added to give the building an “industrial farmhouse design.” Two vendors, Mr. G’s and the dessert option, will have interior and exterior windows so patrons do not need to enter the building. A playground will be added to the north side of the property. Parking will be available on-site and across the highway. One of Morley and Burton’s business partners, Brian Zoeller of Chambersburg, is a contractor who will oversee construction. An advisory board consisting of Tammy Myers of Destination Gettysburg, Max Felty of Gettysburg Tours, Adams County Commissioner Marty Qually, Nicole Bucher from Mr. Ed’s Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium, Brad Shaffer from Sites Realty, and Sarah Dull of Comfort Suites will offer feedback. “They cover a wide spectrum of Gettysburg so they will be able to say how we are affecting their particular spectrum of the business world,” Burton said. “They will also be able to say as a group ‘hey, I heard a complaint about this’ or ‘you might want to improve upon this.’” Burton said he heard about The Pike’s heyday when it was used for weddings, class reunions and civic organization meetings. He hopes the community’s enthusiasm for the property returns. “We are keeping the banquet halls. With nine to ten savor stations operating out of there, a customer can put all types of packages together,” Burton said. Burton and Morley relocated to Mount Joy Township four years ago from Colorado, where they operate Tilford’s Wood Fired Pizza, which has locations in three food halls similar to SavorHood Gettysburg. This will be Burton and Morley’s first venture into food hall operation, but they hope to expand the brand in future years. “There is a need in Gettysburg for places where tourists and tour buses can get in and out quickly. There is also a need for places where families can have a lot of choices, but that’s not our sole focus,” Morley said. “We don’t cater to tourists in Denver, we cater to the local business people. We see that as being a significant piece of what we are doing here.” Burton and Morley also purchased 1015 Baltimore Pike, which connects to the Pike property. Dubbed “phase two,” they plan to eventually add steel buildings, fire pits and walking paths to enhance SavorHood Gettysburg’s seating options. Featured image caption: Mount Joy Township residents Judy Morley and Steve Burton are the new owners of the former Pike restaurant. The couple and their business partners will transform the property into a food hall expected to open spring 2023. [Alex J. Hayes]

Hollabaugh Bros. Peach Fest big boost to United Way

Plump Hollabaugh Bros. peaches made United Way of Adams County’s contributions to the community even juicier this past weekend. Thousands of people flocked to the fourth-generation family farm north of Biglerville on Aug. 13 and 14 to enjoy everything peachy – peach sundaes, peach sundaes, peach pies, peach bread, peach muffins, peach scones, peach sugar cakes and peachy pie. A team of three United Way of Adams County staff and 20 volunteers spent a cumulative 144 hours serving walking tacos and grilled sausages, hot dogs and hamburgers. Long lines on Saturday especially kept everyone hustling. The United Way supported another local business, Bucher Meats in McKnightstown, with its purchase of meat. Students from the Biglerville High School band volunteered their time to park cars in the farm market’s main lot and other makeshift lots on the farm. Local band Across the Pond entertained crowds on Saturday and Billy and the Curly Brothers traveled to Biglerville from West Virginia on Sunday. Wagon rides, yard games and face painting were also available at the family-centric affair. United Way of Adams County Executive Director Laura McMahon expressed appreciation for the Hollabaugh family, who not only allowed the United Way to operate a food stand but also placed numerous donation jars throughout the festival grounds. McMahon said an exact financial impact figure should be known next week, but initial calculations prove about $6,000 dollars will be added to the non-profit corporation’s coffers. “The United Way truly values our partnership with Hollabaugh Bros. Inc. as we wrap up our sixth consecutive year providing the food stand at the Peach Festival.  We are able to raise crucial funds to support needed services and programs in Adams County through collaborated efforts like this one and look forward to many more successful Festivals with Hollabaugh’s in the future,”  McMahon said. “Many thanks to Kay and everyone at Hollabaugh for your continued support!” The United Way serves Adams County through three focus areas: education, financial stability and health. The organization recently distributed about 340 backpacks full of donated supplies to students returning to school. United Way will delploy thousands of volunteers into the community to complete various projects during its annual Day of Caring on Sept. 10. Day of Caring kicks-off the 2022-23 Campaign, which McMahon hopes will surpass its $175,000 goal to commemorate the United Way’s 75th anniversary. It will then slide into Bag the Bounty mode, a massive food drive held in conjunction with the Gettysburg Times, ACNB Bank and Kennie’s Markets. Collection boxes will be places throughout the Adams County Community. Food will be distributed through partner agencies such as South Central Community Action Programs, Manos Unidas Hispanic American Center and Ruth’s Harvest. “I’m hoping we have a good amount of donations,” McMahon said. “I expect the need for food and necessities to be at an all-time high this time around.” Adams County residents can learn more about United Way and access an application for its Emergency Food and Shelter Program at www.uwadams.org. Photos by Alex J. Hayes Visit our photo galleries.

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]

Little Round Top will close for 18 months on Tuesday

The Gettysburg National Military Park will close Little Round Top on Tuesday. The closure affects all roads that lead to the site and will be in place for about 18 months. The closure is to allow renovations that will address crowding, accessibility, safety, erosion, and degraded vegetation. The Devil’s Den area has also been closed for rehabilitation since March 21 for erosion and safety issues. According to the park service this area is expected to reopen in September. Read more: The closure may affect tourism and businesses but there is still much for visitors to do in and around Gettysburg. Park Communication Specialist Jason Martz said a major focus of the Little Round Top project is the small parking area that has become a safety hazard for visitors. He said the work will create a safe area for people to unload from tour buses and a “space where cars and people can coexist peacefully.” The renovation will add crosswalks and create better ADA accessibility. Martz said the renovations will also enhance the visitor learning experience. “We will be adding more interpretive signs and more gathering areas for large groups. We will be giving people a better experience through all these improvements.”

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.

Gettysburg National Military Park will close West Confederate Avenue during July 4 fireworks

Gettysburg National Military Park (NMP) will close West Confederate Avenue at the intersection of West Middle Street (Rt. 116 West) at 9:00 pm on July 4, 2022. This action is intended to provide for visitor safety and natural and cultural resource protection to the battlefield in this critical corridor during a fireworks display in the Gettysburg Recreational Park. The road will reopen at the conclusion of the fireworks. 

“Return Visit” is back home

After four months of renovation at the Seward Johnson Atelier of Hamilton, NJ, the iconic sculpture “Return Visit” was reinstalled on the northeast corner of Lincoln Square today. One of the most commonly photographed tourist attractions in the borough, the work depicts “the common man” with Abraham Lincoln, illustrating the relevance of the Gettysburg Address to the present-day. The statue looks the same as it did before the work, but is noticeably brighter.  The “Common Man’s” sweater seems to have been dry cleaned. The statue, commissioned by the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania in 1991 and sculpted by J. Seward Johnson, commemorates Lincoln’s November 1863 visit to Gettysburg. The restoration was paid for by the Pennsylvania Lincoln Fellowship, the same organization that commissioned and installed it on the Square 31 years ago. Fellowship Vice President Kenneth Kime said the painted statue had been washed every year using local fire department trucks, but that it had been looking faded over the past few years. “The atelier recommended the statue be completely stripped and repainted,” he said. Kime said the statue had made an important contribution to the borough and its many tourists.  “It’s never been vandalized and never created and injuries.”  But Kime said he remembered a time during the pandemic when the “common man” was seen sporting a hospital mask. Kime said the restoration cost over $22,000, but that the sculpture should not need another cleaning for at least 25 years. In addition to maintaining “Return Visit,” the Lincoln Fellowship also sponsors the 100 Nights of Taps summer program as well as the annual Dedication Day events on Nov. 19. Featured image caption: The “common man,” President Lincoln, and Kime.

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.”

Gettys Square Art Oasis supports local talent and provides free live entertainment

When the COVID-19 pandemic restricted indoor gatherings last year, Gettysburg residents and organizations came together to provide a space for outdoor entertainment for Adams County residents and tourists. The Gettys Square Art Oasis, sponsored by the Adams County Arts Council (ACAC), provides a variety of outdoor programs ranging from musical and theater groups to live cooking and painting demonstrations. The events, which occur throughout the year, are held on the parklet on the southwest corner of Gettysburg’s Lincoln Square. “Our community is brimming with talent, and there can never be too many spaces for people to share those talents,” said ACAC Events Coordinator Kylie Stone. “The square is such a high-traffic area that it really helps to bring these local artists to light and encourages people to stop, listen, and grow those followings.” Stone said her degree in music industry studies and past experience with entertainment venues helped her as she promotes artists in the Adams County area. “Supporting local musicians, artists, and businesses has always been important to me, but even more so because of the economic impacts that the pandemic has left behind. Now that we’re starting to creep back into the idea of ‘normal,’ the best thing we can do is keep that momentum up,” she said. Stone said interested artists may reach out to the ACAC for an opportunity to perform. “All of our events are free, so it makes a great stop for people while they’re out and about shopping or getting a bite to eat,” said Stone.  “I’ve noticed that we have an even bigger group in attendance during our summer tourist months, so it’s definitely working.” Stone says she tries to pick dates and times that will have high traffic in the square, and that the borough’s noise ordinances are always followed. Stone said a favorite event of hers was “Gettysburg in Color,” presented in collaboration with the Gettysburg Historical Society last October. Photos of pre-Civil War Gettysburg and Adams County were projected onto a screen while a narrator explained the location and significance of the events. “It was amazing to see some of the pictures of downtown Gettysburg directly in the same location and get a glimpse into what it would have actually looked like at the time.  It was a great way to combine the history and art of our area for the community,” said Stone. The Gettys Square Art Oasis is free and open to the public.  A monthly schedule can be found on the ACAC’s website with additional information and updates pertaining to the events.

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.

100 Nights of Taps 2022 runs until Labor Day

Beginning on Memorial Day (Monday May 30, 2022) and running through Labor Day, the notes of “Taps” will once more fill the air in Gettysburg every evening as the famous 24-note call is sounded in honor of those who have served our nation. The Gettysburg National Military Park and the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania will be co-sponsoring the sixth year of “One Hundred Nights of Taps, Gettysburg” in partnership with Taps for Veterans. The program will run nightly at 7:00 p.m. (time subject to change) at the Soldiers’ National Monument in Gettysburg National Cemetery (location subject to change). The buglers and presenters volunteer their time and talent for this moving tribute. The buglers include active-duty military musicians, military veterans, Civil War living historians and musicians, community band members, high school and college students, and music teachers.

No need for tourists to “skip the trip” during battlefield renovations

“It all comes down to safety and accessibility,” said Gettysburg National Park Communication Specialist Jason Martz, speaking of the major renovations scheduled to start at the popular tourist destination Little Round Top. “Sometimes areas are loved to death from the sheer amount of people over the years, decade after decade, that push the limit to the resources that are there throughout the years,” he said. The goals of the Little Round Top renovation, which will begin sometime after July 5 and last for about 18 months, are to address crowding, accessibility, safety, erosion, and degraded vegetation. The park service said they would provide a 30-day notice before the closing. Martz said a major focus is on the small parking area that has become a safety hazard for visitors. Martz said the work will create a safe area for people to unload from tour buses and a general space where cars and people can coexist peacefully. The renovation will also add crosswalks and ADA accessibility, ensuring that disabled visitors receive a world-class experience when visiting the park. “We are not taking anything away, and we are not adding anything either. We are working on making things safer,” said Martz. The park is also dealing with the impact the overpopulated, poorly executed walking areas have created. Martz said “social trails” – places where people routinely veer off  maintained walking paths — accrue rainwater and runoff.  “The result is erosion; these social trails are impacting the ruins that exist on the property,” said Martz. “We are working to protect.” Martz said the renovations will also enhance the visitor learning experience. “We will be adding more interpretive signs and more gathering areas for large groups. We will be giving people a better experience through all these improvements.” Potential effects on Tourism Local businesses that rely on tourism are naturally concerned the park closures might negatively impact the tourism experience and reduce visitation.  But while some people might decide to “skip the trip,” local tourism marketing agency Destination Gettysburg Vice President Carl Whitehill said businesses should not be rattled. “We are all pivoting,” said Whitehill. “Private tour companies are still telling the story. Whether you are on a tour, riding horseback, or with a national park ranger, you will not miss the story.” Martz reminded visitors that the reconstruction will affect only 50 acres of the more than 6,000-acre battlefield. “You can still see Little Round Top from lots of different angles, and the base of the hill will still be open,” he said. “There are too many positives of Adams County as a whole and the historic town of Gettysburg to skip the trip,” said Martz. “We know that the battlefield is Gettysburg’s top attraction, but for years we have encouraged people to spend time in other places like the town, different components of the battlefield, and the local museums,” said Whitehill. “If you plan on coming to Gettysburg and have been cooped up for the past two years, do not let these renovations deter you. Please come, there will be a lot to see,” said Martz. Note:  The Devil’s Den area of the park is currently closed for repairs, but expected to reopen this summer. Curious about when Little Round Top will close? Keep checking the Gettysburg National Military Park website for the most up-to-date information.

New borough code officer keeps “ghost tour” groups in compliance 

Gettysburg Code Enforcement Officer Peter Griffioen, who has been in his position since December, said he has recently made patrols on Friday and Saturday evenings to study the many guided walking tours that have started up with the spring weather. Griffioen said he found many of the tour leaders to be in violation of borough codes, but that the operators were working with him to better comply. “I’ve seen a lot of improvement these last few weeks,” he said. “They needed some reminders.” “Their business is an important one – it’s incredibly popular.  People are really excited about taking a ghost tour,” he said. “It’s been great to meet the operators. A lot of them know me now.  As long as they know my expectations, we have the opportunity to talk about them.” “I’m not a police officer but I am out there making sure people are doing the right things. I’m obligated to be sure things are done safely.” Gettysburg Walking Tours/Gettysburg Ghost Tours and Gifts manager Johlene “Spooky” Riley  said she was glad Griffioen was enforcing the codes. “Most of the tour companies are in compliance and want to the job safely and in an entertaining manner,” she said.  “We’ve been here for almost 20 years, and we’re looking forward to another prosperous year.  We’ve always policed it ourselves.  It makes it better for us.” Griffioen said there were currently 18 licensed companies providing walking tours.  “Some of them have one guide; some of them have a dozen; some of them do 2 or 3 tours an evening,” he said. “Some don’t’ have a brick and mortar building, but that’s not required.” Guided walking tours are regulated by a borough code and companies must pay a $125 annual permit. Businesses must also pay the 5 percent  amusement/admissions tax collected by the borough and shared between the borough and the Gettysburg Area School District. The code limits each tour to 26 people including the guide and requires that groups remain either one block or a minimum of 50 feet apart. The ordinance says groups should not “interfere with the peace and tranquility of occupants” and that they should not interfere with vehicle or pedestrian traffic. “They are already relatively close together,” said Griffioen. “With one guide and 25 participants, how can you not block the sidewalk? It’s up to the guides to let their participants know they have to make a lane.” Another problem is that some tours use annunciators to amplify the voice of the guide while others do not.  Griffioen said most of the tours are the in Steinwehr Ave. tourist district.  “There are a lot of similarities in the tours including stopping at the Farnsworth House with its bullet holes,” he said.  Most of the evening tours are “ghost tours” that emphasize a combination of history and paranormal activities, but others focus on local churches or buildings on the Gettysburg College campus. Griffioen said he had had many conversations with operators and written some initial warnings.  “I told them if I come into contact with them again they might receive a citation.”  Gettysburg Borough plans to create a committee to investigate and potentially modify the ordinance. “I can see some room for improvement, but the ordinance is in good shape,” said Griffioen. “We’ll be getting input and advice from the tour operators.”

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 freezes its parklet program, with the exception of the one by the clock

The Gettysburg Borough Council said on Monday the temporary parklet program that was created during the pandemic to allow businesses greater access to outdoor areas had served its purpose but was no longer effective or needed. The council will no longer take applications for parklets. “I don’t think they do what we originally thought they would do,” said board member Chad-Alan Carr. “We were at a certainly at a place [where they were effective] in the pandemic when we started this, but we’re not at that place anymore,” he said.  Carr said his opinions were based on his interactions with community members. Council member Matt Moon concurred, saying “I don’t think they are accomplishing their goals. We have not seen businesses adopting them in the way we had envisioned.” Council member Chris Berger said he didn’t they the parklets were being used. “It could work during Covid, but I don’t think it’s appropriate now,” he said. The council agreed the parklet near the clock on the southwest corner of the square which is used by the Adams County Arts Council for musical and other programs was meeting its purpose and should remain.  “It’s for the public, and it’s not so much in the way,” said Carr. Main Street Gettysburg President Jill Sellers said that parklet had already been used by over 50 musical groups, as well as Gettysburg Pride weekend, the Gettysburg Christmas Festival, and for other events.

Mr Gs changes owners but customers may not notice the change

Although the popular and iconic Mr. G’s Ice Cream and Gift shop, located at 404 Baltimore St., Gettysburg, has changed owners, it will continue its offerings in much the same form as it has for the past 11 years. “I am not going to change what has been working for years,” said new owner Marc McLean, who purchased the shop from “Mr. G,” Mike Gladfelter, in February. McLean said one of the conditions that came with the purchase was that the shop continue to employ the four women who make the famous ice cream. A second was that the Mr. G’s name wouldn’t be changed. “I feel like Mike Gladfelter gave us his blessing to run Mr. G’s and for that reason I believe we will be successful,” said McLean Marc McLean was approached last September with the opportunity to buy the store when Gladfelter ran into him out at dinner one night and dropped the news that he was selling. McLean was intrigued and decided to pursue the offer. McLean is no stranger to the ice cream business – his parents have owned the Sunset Ice Cream Parlor on Steinwehr Ave since 2002 and he worked there in his youth. That experience gave Gladfelter the confidence to make the sale. “My husband is always looking for something new to do. We were very lucky with the timing of it all. When we were approached with this opportunity everything just fell into place,” said McLean’s wife and business partner Megan.  Both are Gettysburg natives and local public school teachers. The current building is situated at a prime site for local traffic and Civil War history buffs. The building is scarred with bullet holes and battle wounds from the Civil War are evident on the south side of the building. The original home was once known as Twin Sycamores, which were two trees outside of the shop that withstood the Civil War.  Astonishingly, one of the two is still standing. With over 50 total homemade flavors and 16 always available in the shop along with soft-serve there is always a flavor for your liking. When it is peach season in Gettysburg, fresh peach ice cream is the biggest seller. Some other fan-favorites are cookies and cream, cookie dough, mint-chip, and a Mike Gladfelter favorite – black cherry. McLean said he is trying out two new flavors — A breakfast ice cream that will have a base of pancake batter with syrup and bacon and a donut ice cream, Marc and Megan have been devoting many hours learning about the new business and training new workers. They currently have a full staff and are ready to take on the summer crowds. McLean said they have experienced some high-volume days this spring, and as the summer rolls in they are expecting more days like those.

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 observation towers will close briefly for inspection

Gettysburg National Military Park has announced temporary and intermittent closures of all three of the park’s observation towers for safety inspections. Structural engineers will inspect all three of the park’s observation towers from April 5 to April 8. Inspections will take place via vertical access (rappelling) and by hypsometric laser scanning. Each of the park’s three observation towers will need to close to the public during these safety inspections. The tower closure schedule will occur over the following dates:  · West Confederate Avenue Tower: April 5, 6, 7, (8 if needed)  · Culp’s Hill Tower: April 5, 6, 7, (8 if needed)  · Oak Ridge Tower: April 6, (8 if needed)  April 8 will be reserved for any weather interruptions. If inspections are able to be carried out with no weather interruptions, April 8 will not be required as a closure date.  All three towers were built between 1895 and 1896. The most recent safety inspections took place in 1999 and 2013.   We will update our website with opening and closing details as they become available during the safety inspection schedule so that our visitors may stay informed. www.nps.gov/gett  

“Return Visit” travels to New Jersey for several months of restoration

The iconic Gettysburg Square statue, “Return Visit,” was been removed from its home in front of the Wills House on Thursday and taken by truck to New Jersey for a facelift. The restoration, to be done by the Seward Johnson Atelier of Hamilton, NJ, is expected to take several months. The statue, commissioned by the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania in 1991 and sculpted by J. Seward Johnson, commemorates Lincoln’s November 1863 visit to Gettysburg. The statue, one of the most commonly photographed tourist attractions in the borough, depicts “the common man” with Abraham Lincoln, illustrating the relevance of the Gettysburg Address to the present-day.

Devil’s Den will close to visitors for 5 to 6 months starting March 21

Gettysburg National Military Park has announced that Devil’s Den will close for rehabilitation work on Monday, March 21. The rehabilitation will address significant erosion and safety issues in this highly visited area of the battlefield. Devil’s Den will be closed for approximately five to six months. The Park Service said the closure was necessary due to significant erosion along existing walkways and unauthorized social trails that have created safety hazards. The scope of the project will reestablish, preserve, and protect the features that make up this segment of the battlefield landscape. These improvements will allow visitors to better immerse themselves into the historic landscape that is essential to understanding the three-day Battle of Gettysburg. Crawford Avenue, Sickles Avenue, and the Devil’s Den parking area will remain open as much as possible for visitor use. (Adjacent battlefield locations, such as the Slaughter Pen, Devil’s Kitchen, and the Triangular Field, will all remain open.) The construction contractor will occasionally need to close all road access around the area in order to further facilitate the project. All road closure notices will be updated to our website and social media platforms with as much notice as possible at www.nps.gov/gett. This short video describes the Little Round Top rehabilitation project that will improve the cultural and natural landscape, provide better safety and accessibility, and enhance the visitor experience with new interpretive signage and trail alignments.

Thaddeus Stevens celebration scheduled

The Thaddeus Stevens Society has planned three days of celebrations, including the installation of a statue in front of the Adams County Courthouse, on April 1, 2, and 3, 2022. Some more information about Stevens is here. Steven’s statesmanship and patriotism, and especially his dogged determination and intelligence, led him to take actions to advance equality for all during pivotal times in our nation’s history, during the 1800s. Without his many wise and heartfelt contributions, our country would have looked very different after the Civil War ended. His actions continue to inspire us. Why is Thaddeus Stevens important to Gettysburg? Find the answer in this informative tribute on the Gettysburg Borough website:https://www.gettysburgpa.gov/home/news/thaddeus-stevens-gettysburgs-most-prominent-resident. Will you join us?•       Make the trip to Lancaster for events on Friday, April 1st.•       Attend the Gettysburg activities on Saturday, April 2nd.•       And venture to Caledonia on Sunday, April 3rd. These events, presented by the Thaddeus Stevens Society and led by the group’s president, Ross Hetrick, are guaranteed to expand your knowledge and appreciation of “The Great Commoner.” Stevens was a renowned congressman, attorney, and educator. He’s remembered as our most prominent Gettysburg citizen . . . and very soon now, an impressive statue in our town will depict him delivering the guarantees of the 14th Amendment to all Americans! For details, and to register, see the updated schedule at this website:https://www.thaddeusstevenssociety.com/birthday. For information on banquet tickets and package deals, email Ross at:info@thaddeusstevenssociety.com. The unveiling of Thad’s statue, and the celebration of his birthday, remind us of what just one person can do, to influence the future of our country, for the better. I hope to see you there!

After Dark Investigations explores Gettysburg’s haunted side

Gettysburg is known not only as one of the country’s most historical towns, but also one of the most haunted. Susan Barton and Grayson Stuber have experienced many instances of local paranormal activity first-hand over the past decade. Barton is a co-founder and Stuber is the manager of After Dark Investigations, a paranormal investigation team that offers a variety of haunted tours to the public. Barton grew up primarily in New Jersey and Virginia. As a child, she remembers seeing her grandmother after she had already passed. “I saw her from the corner of my eye, so that instilled something in me,” Barton said. Before moving to Gettysburg, Barton visited the town and went to a haunted tour but left unsatisfied. The rise in popularity of ghost hunting shows at the time served as an inspiration in making her next move. “I wanted to see a ghost. I wanted to hear a ghost. I was frustrated, so I went back and started looking at these TV shows and said ‘I could do that.’ So I moved [to Gettysburg] and I did it,” Barton said. In 2011, Barton helped found After Dark Investigations. Over the past eleven years, both Barton and Stuber have spent a significant amount of time building up the team’s reputation within the community. Each tour involves at least one location in Gettysburg. Guests can enjoy the freedom to look around and to also use many of the tools common in paranormal investigating. “People with us get to explore. They get to have things happen to them,” Stuber said. “My favorite thing to say is ‘I’m not here to put on a dog and pony show.’ I’m going to let the spirits do what they want and whatever happens, happens.” Although each location on a tour is special in its own way, Stuber said the historic John Eisenhower Bridge has been the home to many memorable experiences, not only to guests but for Barton and Stuber as well. “A lot of people are afraid even to go there because it’s so unexpected and unpredictable,” Barton said. Barton spoke of a time where she and others witnessed a soul on their equipment that was being lifted into a tree. Prayers were being said among pleas to go to the light and to Heaven. Suddenly a beam of light came down from the sky around that area. “This man standing next to me said ‘Oh my God. I think he’s being saved,’ and we all had the same impression,” Barton said. “It was like God came and grabbed him and took him up.” Stuber said he feels connected to the bridge and that the spirits there know him. “I would go there and would start crying. Like full tears and I’m like, ‘this isn’t my emotion, it’s just being played through me,’” Stuber said. Stuber, also the team’s equipment specialist, was at the bridge one night using a Panabox, a piece of equipment that allows humans and spirits to communicate. He asked into it if there was anything that could be done for the spirit. The response was a male voice telling Stuber to take his cancer away. “It just floored me. I was on the investigation like, ‘Guys I can’t continue on after that.’ I had to go home,” Stuber said. “After hearing someone pleading for you to take their cancer away, it shut me down.” Every location After Dark Investigations visits has something to offer. Barton described hearing an Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP), where she asked who was the president and got several different answers. Some said Obama, the president at the time, and others said Lincoln, the president during the battle of Gettysburg. “I asked one time, ‘How’d you get killed?’ ‘Shotgun.’ Just right away, you know? Just intelligent conversation,” Barton said. Stuber’s scariest experience involved a family on a tour that had a service dog with them. The dog was trained and not known to act out in any way. The tour was progressing as normal. After trying to reach out to a relative, the dog started jumping up and howling, very scared of seemingly nothing. After a couple minutes the group shone a light on the dog’s back and saw three dusty fingerprints. “We asked on the Spirit Box, ‘Did you just touch this dog?’ and clear as day ‘Yes,’” Stuber said. “It was just astounding how reactive this dog was.” These experiences are just a sample of what might be in store for any guest that is interested in a paranormal encounter. After Dark Investigations offers six types of tours ranging from thirty to eighty-five dollars per person. All equipment will be provided and guests must bring their cars to each tour. “There are some people that are there to kind of just quell that first experience and for that I would definitely say just take the evening investigation, see what it’s about,” Stuber said. The evening investigation is forty dollars per person on weekdays and forty-five on weekends. Different start times are available as they last around three hours where guests will visit two or three locations. “Then we have people like us that are like, ‘We’re dead set on this. We want to do this by ourselves.’ And that’s when we’d recommend something like the private tour or the Devil’s Hour tour,” Stuber said. The private tour is eighty-five dollars per person and guests must call to book their session. The Devil’s Hour tour costs sixty dollars per person and runs from midnight to three in the morning. Barton and Stuber have both achieved significant success since After Dark Investigations started. Both have appeared on television with Barton appearing on season two, episode six of Terror in the Woods and Stuber appearing on season one, episode eight of Paranormal Nightshift. After Dark Investigations has become so successful that they decided to extend their brand to St. Augustine, Florida. Like Gettysburg, St. Augustine is a town known for its paranormal activity. Barton and Stuber opened their Florida location for the first time on February 9th. The Sunshine State is where the two currently reside. “We came down initially just to start the business and come back up, but we liked [Florida] so much we moved here,” Barton said. There are plans to expand After Dark Investigations to other places if Barton and Stuber can get trustworthy staff at their new location. The Gettysburg location is still running with an experienced staff, and the pair fly up often to Gettysburg to oversee it. Last year, After Dark Investigations was a recipient of the Trip Advisor Travelers’ Choice Award, an award given to businesses that put quality and customer service first. Many guests gave rave reviews which helped the team get recognized. “It was just so amazing how so many people have been supportive of us and how many people have taken the time to write about their experiences,” Stuber said. Barton and Stuber made it clear that the investigation team cares about being genuine and authentic when it comes to their tours. Passion for paranormal investigating seems to be a very big element within the team. “I always thought that getting on TV and everything like that was the goal, but at the end of the day it’s not the same. I care more about the investigations back home than I do about anything like that,” Stuber said. “We’re here to give you a genuine experience the best that we can.” Tours are available to book every day. For more information about After Dark Investigations, the offered tours and to book a session, visit afterdarkinvestigations.com.

GNMP begins tree cutting on Little Round Top

The Gettysburg National Military Park has announced that select tree cutting on Little Round Top will begin today . A maximum of 63 trees will be removed along both sides of Sykes Avenue. The removal of these trees will allow for improvements to Little Round Top focused on visitor safety, resource protection, and accessibility for all visitors. For the safety of visitors and contractors, Little Round Top and Sykes Avenue will be closed on the following days: Wednesday, February 9 through Friday, February 11 Monday, February 14 through Wednesday, February 16 Little Round Top and Sykes Avenue will reopen for the weekend of Saturday, February 12 and Sunday, February 13. The timing of the select tree cutting must occur prior to the roosting and breeding season of the northern long-eared and Indiana bats that have the potential to roost in trees and forests surrounding Little Round Top. Both species of bat are on the federal endangered species list and the select tree cutting project must be completed before their anticipated arrival in early spring when nesting activities typically begin. The select tree cutting project is the first phase of a larger rehabilitation of the Little Round Top area. The rehabilitation of Little Round Top will address overwhelmed parking areas, poor accessibility and related safety hazards, significant erosion, and degraded vegetation. The scope of the project will reestablish, preserve, and protect the features that make up this segment of the battlefield landscape. This project will also enhance the visitor experience with improved interpretive signage, new accessible trail alignments, and gathering areas. These improvements will allow visitors to better immerse themselves into the historic landscape that is essential to understanding the three-day Battle of Gettysburg. Once rehabilitation efforts begin, later in Spring ’22, all of Little Round Top will be closed for 12 to 18 months. More information will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead and full details will be posted to our website at go.nps.gov/LittleRoundTopRehab.     

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

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]

Pennsylvania revises Confederate markers, recasts forces as “enemy” soldiers

By Colin Deppen of Spotlight PA Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters. After removing a trio of Confederate historical markers an hour west of Gettysburg, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has replaced two with significant revisions that view Confederate milestones through a more critical lens. The McConnellsburg, Fulton County, markers and plaques commemorate the first deaths of Confederate soldiers in Pennsylvania and the site of the Southern army’s last encampment here. The state removed them in September of 2020, capping a review initiated by the state historical commission and Gov. Tom Wolf’s office following deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va., three years prior. Two of the items have been revised to position the Union army more centrally in the historical narrative and to depict the Confederates as a destructive invading force. The items were reinstalled in May, said Howard Pollman of the commission, which oversees the state’s historical marker program. The third item — a bronze plaque dedicated by a neo-Confederate group before the commission gained oversight — will not be replaced. “The administration recognizes that some markers may contain outdated cultural references that must be addressed,” Wolf’s office explained in an email to Spotlight PA, adding, “These decisions are not made lightly or hastily.” The McConnellsburg changes are as follows: A plaque commemorating the final Confederate encampment in Pennsylvania will no longer be displayed by the state, having been “accessioned into PHMC’s collection for interpretive purposes.” The plaque was dedicated by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, a neo-Confederate group widely known for venerating the Southern army and whitewashing Civil War history. A historical marker with similar text and the same subject has been updated to include mention of the Union “routing” that followed for “the last Confederates to camp on Pennsylvania soil.” A historical marker commemorating the first Confederate deaths in Pennsylvania has been edited to emphasize Confederate raids and property thefts. It also now mentions the Confederate Army’s “invasion of Pennsylvania” and describes the Confederates as “enemy” soldiers. A prior version mentioned only a neutral-sounding “skirmish.” The marker’s title has been changed from “Confederate Dead” to “Gettysburg Campaign.” (A six-foot-tall roadside monument to the Confederate dead — erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy nearby — is not property of the state historical commission and was not part of the commission’s review, Pollman said.) Source: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh, the commission took down a United Daughters of the Confederacy-backed plaque it inherited, the removal coming roughly 90 years after the piece was first erected. The plaque recognized a 19th-century penitentiary that housed the city’s “only Confederate prisoners of war.” The Incline reported the plaque was placed by the united daughters in 1931 and later surrounded by the National Aviary. It spent its final years in a cage with a bald eagle, a symbol of the United States since 1787 and one adopted by Union troops. Pollman said the Aviary asked that the plaque be removed “due to continual public inquiries expressing concern.” The state historical commission plans to relocate it to a nearby park with updated text. Some critics questioned the sensitivity around what is at face value a neutral historical acknowledgement, but Kirk Savage, a University of Pittsburgh art history professor and expert on Confederate monuments, told The Incline: “If the UDC is behind it, they thought of it as honorific.” The commission review of the state’s aging historical markers and plaques overlapped with a roiling national debate about the need for careful framing of Civil War and Confederate history. In an open letter published earlier this year, state Rep. Parke Wentling (R., Crawford), a commission appointee, said revisions and removals of state historical markers, such as those in McConnellsburg and Pittsburgh, were being “driven by woke cancel culture,” adding: “Not all history needs to be celebrated, but it needs to be remembered.” Wentling continued: “The problem dates back to 2018 when PHMC began an effort to instill Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access (DEIA) efforts into the internal operations of the commission, which bled over into a revisionist historical review of markers through the ideological DEIA lens, rather than one dedicated merely to historical significance.” Wentling’s office referred back to the letter when reached for additional comment by Spotlight PA. In 2017, weeks after the planned removal of a towering monument to Confederate General Robert E. Lee touched off the deadly far-right rally in Charlottesville, Va., the Public Opinion newspaper in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, talked to area residents and found little to no clamor over the markers or the Confederate monument in Fulton County. Three years later, the commission’s announced review prompted an impassioned July 2020 town hall with local residents and lawmakers. “We’re working very hard to make sure that these monuments are staying right where they’re supposed to stay and that’s right here,” Republican state Sen. Judy Ward, whose district includes McConnellsburg, told the crowd. State Rep. Jesse Topper (R., Bedford) was also in attendance, and offered similar assurances. Reached by Spotlight PA, Topper called the state’s review of historical markers a solution in search of a problem. Topper said he appreciated that local input was involved in the process but added he was disappointed in the end result. “I just get concerned when bureaucracies step in and decide that they’re going to be the ultimate determinant of what is and what is not acceptable in terms of presenting history,” he explained by phone. Topper said he doesn’t take issue with the accuracy of the marker updates but rather that the updates are happening at all. Ward’s office declined comment. A search of Pennsylvania’s historical marker database shows dozens of markers with references to the Confederacy. According to Pollman, none of the others are being considered for retirement or replacement at this time. WHILE YOU’RE HERE… If you learned something from this story, pay it forward and become a member of Spotlight PA so someone else can in the future at spotlightpa.org/donate. Spotlight PA is funded by foundationsand readers like you who are committed to accountability journalism that gets results.

ACHS Awarded $2 million in state funding

Adams County Historical Society will receive $2 Million RACP Grant to fund museum and history center in Gettysburg; preserve millions of irreplaceable artifacts (Gettysburg, Pa.) — Today, the Adams County Historical Society (ACHS) received a $2 million RACP award (Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program) from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Office of the Budget. These funds add to nearly $6 million already committed from other sources. ACHS preserves some of Gettysburg’s rarest treasures, and many of national significance—a program from Lincoln’s famous address, thousands of relics gathered from the battlefield, personal belongings of esteemed abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Native American projectiles, dinosaur footprints, and so much more. This commitment further ensures that these priceless, tangible links to the past survive for future generations to study and appreciate. According to Andrew Dalton, the Society’s executive director, “This funding is another step toward fulfilling a critical goal for our community and establishing a renowned cultural and historic landmark. We are profoundly thankful to Governor Tom Wolf, the Adams County Commissioners, GMS Funding Solutions, and the hundreds of donors who have made this exciting project possible.” The new facility – set to open by spring of 2023, is being built just north of Gettysburg near a portion of the First Day’s battlefield. The 29,000-square-foot complex will house artifact-driven exhibits that explore centuries of Gettysburg and Adams County history through the eyes of ordinary citizens of all ages and backgrounds, including that of the African Americans, women, and fruit growers who have left an indelible mark on this community. According to Dalton, “We’re going beyond the battle to tell a much larger story. This facility will embrace new perspectives, allow for new research and discoveries, and shine a light on our community’s full history for the very first time.” The museum experience will be created by Healy Kohler Design, a Washington D.C. firm best known for its work at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. In addition to exhibits, the new facility will feature hands-on programming, a stunning event space overlooking Barlow Knoll on the battlefield, and a K-12 classroom. It will also house a first-class archive where visitors can research topics ranging from genealogy and historic properties to broader topics related to Gettysburg and Adams County history. ACHS launched its capital campaign one year ago in December 2020. The announcement featured endorsements from documentarian Ken Burns, actor Stephen Lang, and historical novelist Jeff Shaara, and a $1 million gift from the Adams County Commissioners. According to Burns, whose acclaimed film on the Civil War featured materials from the society’s collection, “the history of Gettysburg and Adams County is not just local history—it’s a microcosm of United States history.” Shaara, author of Gods and Generals, a prequel to his father Michael’s Pulitzer-winning Killer Angels, added to Burns’ sentiment: “If we all do our part and protect our cherished past, the incredible stories of Gettysburg and Adams County will continue to inspire future generations of Americans just like they inspired my father, and just like they inspired me.” Construction of the Historical Society’s new home has already begun in Cumberland Township just north of the Gettysburg Borough limits. To learn more about supporting the campaign, please visit www.achs-pa.org/campaign, or email info@achs-pa.org. Donations can also be mailed to the Adams County Historical Society at P.O. Box 4325, Gettysburg PA 17325. Naming and sponsorship opportunities are available for a limited time.

Main Street Gettysburg Sponsors the 2021 Christmas Festival [Episode 58]

The annual Gettysburg Christmas Festival will be held over the next two weekends. There will be dozens of activities and hundreds of people to enjoy them. The festival is sponsored by Main Street Gettysburg and created by dozens of local volunteers with the cooperation of local businesses. In this episode I talk with Main Street’s President and Chief Executive Officer Jill Sellers about the Christmas Festival as well as about the many other projects her organization is involved in. The conversation about the Christmas Festival begins at about the 12 minute mark of the podcast. If you enjoy the podcast, please take a few seconds to support us by signing up for our weekly mailing list. The site is completely free of charge, but we do ask your help in sharing our content with other people in the community. Our podcasts are always free, but we could use your support to keep them coming. Our memberships start at just $4.99 per month, about the price of a cup of coffee at one of our local cofee shops.  It takes 5 minutes to become a Gettysburg Connection member.  Would you help out? Please, like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram. Musical Introduction by Thane Pittman.

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.  

Surprise! – Join Adams County Farmers Market for Two Pop-Up Holiday Markets in December!

The Adams County Farmers Market has a special gift for all the great farmers market fans. Join Adams County Farmers Market the first two Saturdays in December – December 4th & 11th – for two festive pop-up markets, complete with a big cast of farmers market vendors as well as many new faces, too! These pop-up markets will be in the same location as the normal farmers market, at 108 N. Stratton Street. Mark your calendars, then come out to do some Christmas and holiday shopping at your favorite farmers market! If you’re a vendor and interested in signing up for this event, you can learn more HERE. A Gettysburg Christmas Festival The two holiday pop-up markets will be happening in conjunction with Main Street Gettysburg’s A Gettysburg Christmas Festival! There will be tons and tons of holiday-themed activities all around town, so after you visit our Holiday Pop-Up Markets be sure to go see all that Gettysburg has to offer. You can see the complete event schedule with the link below, or by clicking HERE.  DID YOU MISSADAMS COUNTY’S BIGGEST DAY OF GIVING? That’s okay! The Giving Spree may be over, but you can still help support the farmers market. Consider a contribution to the “Friends of Adams County Farmers Market Designated Endowment” – you can make a donation HERE, anytime!  VENDOR NEWS & UPDATES: – Happy birthday to our friends from LocaFlora! LocaFlora will be celebrating a full year at their location at 102 Carlisle Street on Nov. 27 – 28. You can learn more about the two day birthday bash HERE. In addition to all the exciting birthday activities, the great guys at Ziggy Donutz will be serving up snacks on Day 1, then Macs By Ceci will be offering some sweet refreshments on Day 2. Stop by both days to show our friends from LocaFlora your support! – Stop by Boyer Nurseries & Orchards for their Holiday Open House on Dec. 4-5 and 11-12. Stop in for great gifts, fresh cider, festive wreaths, many varieties of apples, and a visit with Santa! Use the ad below to collect a free bag of apples and $1.00 off a bottle of wine or hard cider during the Holiday Open House event. – The DaddyBoy Bake Shop team has quite a few pop-ups of their own scheduled during the off-season this year. If you’ve fallen in love with their products the way we have, follow along with them on social media HEREso you know where to find them! – It’s never too early to start planning for next year’s bounty. Consider getting in early and reserving a 2022 CSA share from Mud College Farm! You can also gift a CSA share to a friend or loved one as a holiday gift – that way they’ll think of you all season long! Email farmer@mudcollege.com to learn more. – Hilltop Farm Market is taking dessert orders for your family’s Thanksgiving get together. You can also stop by to make your own wreath, grab a fruit basket, and pick up some great gifts as well. Use the contact info below to learn more. – Congratulations to our friend The Kombucha Lady! You can now snag her great kombucha teas at EC3 Natural Foods in Gettysburg. The kegerator is installed and ready for business!

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.

Gettysburg College eases mask requirements

Saying it had closely monitored many indicators including the “consistently low” campus positivity rate, and based on the favorable trends observed and guidance of medical experts, Gettysburg College has loosened its mask guidance. The new policy states that for vaccinated students, employees, and visitors, masks will only be required In classes, official meetings and events, Musselman Library, and in public administrative office areas. Those meeting in private offices may choose to remove their mask if all occupants agree and are vaccinated. The college said that if conditions warrant a shift back to a community-wide indoor masking policy at any point it would respond accordingly. The college also noted that COVID-19 vaccinations within Adams County remain lower than state averages, and the current county risk of infections remains high, and encouraged all community members to stay patient and to take the necessary precautions when in the borough of Gettysburg.

Adams Commissioners approve vaccine incentive and violence-awareness proclamations

On a split vote the Adams County Commissioners voted to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the county and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, District Council 89, (AFSMCE) regarding the County’s COVID-19 Vaccine Incentive. The incentive states in part that “in an effort to reduce the public health risk of disease while maintaining respect for individual choice [the county] will extend to all employees within the AFSCME bargaining unit who provide the county with proof of full COVID-19 vaccination status one (1) extra paid time-off day.” Commissioners Phiel and Qually voted to approve the MOU, but Commissioner Martin voted against it.  Qually passionately promoted the motion, saying “We have 200 people who have died. This is a voluntary incentive program. We all know someone that is high risk. My wife is high risk. I don’t know what I would do if I brought this home and killed my wife.” Phiel said “Our Paramount responsibility is to help the welfare and safety of our residents. I agree that this is showing leadership, this is not a mandate. This is a step to enhance public safety without mandating.” Martin said he thought the vaccine could cause adverse reactions in those that have natural immunity before voting against it. The commissioners also proclaimed October 17 to 23, 2021 as the “YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County Week without Violence”. This week is designed to bring awareness to physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse against women. According to the proclamation, one in four women experience domestic violence, more than three women are murdered each day by their current or former partner across the country, every 90 seconds another American is sexually assaulted, and immigrant women, women of Color, women with disabilities, and LGBTQ communities face heightened risk of violence and greater barriers to legal remedies. The YWCA has advocated for this week for over 20 years. The commissioners also joined with a long-standing national violence awareness movement by proclaiming August the “YWCA Hanover Safe Home – Adams County Domestic Violence Awareness Month.” The proclamation states in part that “We, the Commissioners of Adams County…are calling on our citizens, churches, human services organizations, schools, and businesses to educate themselves and others, and to become involved in efforts to prevent and respond to domestic violence in our community.”  Other Approved Recommendations: Court Administration-$15.00 per report for mandated credit checks for law enforcement officers to KlinkCheck Background Services. Children & Youth Services Purchase of Service Agreement with Pressley Ridge and Alternative Rehabilitation Communities.  Business Associate Agreement with Community Specialist Corporation and Summit School. Agricultural Land Preservation: $220,440.87 for 110.83 acres for county only conservation easement for Wayne Mummert, 693 Peepytown Road East Berlin PA. Tax Services: Six personal tax exemption requests approved Two Veterans Real Property Tax Exemptions approved. $1,059.00 with Print-O-Stat Inc. full service maintenance for one year Human Resources- $2,016.00 for 3 year term for online training courses on Bloodborne Pathogens, Hazardous Materials, Proper Lifting Techniques and Slips, Trips, and Falls. Adams County Adult Correctional Complex: decrease the calling rate charged to inmates from $0.24 cents a minute to $0.21 cents per minute. Commissioner’s Office: The Adams County Water Tower Repainting Contract is held with Corrosion Control Corporation as a result of being the lowest bidder.

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.

Gettysburg Athletics Leads It’s On Us Campaign

General 10/8/2021 4:03:00 PM Gettysburg College’s It’s On Us campaign jumped out of the gates with a roar thanks to the support and engagement of each varsity athletic team on campus. More than 1,000 students and staff across Gettysburg’s campus signed the It’s On Us Pledge to prevent sexual assault. The majority of those signatures came from the 600-plus student-athletes making up the College’s 24 intercollegiate varsity athletic programs.    “The It’s On Us Campaign is all about bringing the campus together to recognize that everyone plays a role in preventing any type of interpersonal violence,” said Title IX Director Amanda Blaugher. “It was amazing to see all of our athletic teams coming together to sign the pledge and commit to their role in preventing sexual misconduct and relationship violence.” The initiative was powered by the Student-Athlete Impact Leader (SAIL) program, which is made up of passionate and dedicated student-athletes from across the breadth of the athletics department who want to invest in the education of their peers and help them grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially in and out of the competitive environment. SAIL members spread the message to get involved to their teammates and helped ensure a successful opening week as the institution engages in Domestic Violence Awareness Month. “It was on SAIL to bring all the athletes together to take part in this initiative,” said senior baseball player Shane Manieri (Harleysville, Pa./La Salle College Prep), who serves on SAIL’s Executive Committee. “I think that goes to show that SAIL has a really big impact on our campus and that it has the potential to reach out to each and every student, regardless if they’re a student-athlete or not, and come together for a good cause.” Founded in 2014, the mission of It’s On Us is to build the movement to combat campus sexual assault by engaging all students, including young men, and activating the largest student organizing program of its kind in grassroots awareness and prevention education programs. More than 452,000 people across 275 campuses have signed the pledge. Earlier this year, Gettysburg College became one of 37 institutions to receive the It’s On Us PA Grant, which provides $30,000 to be used through May 2022 to increase educational efforts on campus for awareness and prevention programming. The funding paved the way for increased activities across campus and free giveaways to students, including Nalgene bottles and t-shirts with the Gettysburg-branded “It’s On Us” logo. Additionally, athletics staff worked closely with the Title IX Office to procure speaker Kyle Richard, a former SUNY Cortland football player who was shot while trying to prevent an incident of sexual violence. Richard has spoken to campuses across the country about his experience and the importance of being active bystanders against interpersonal violence. He has received a multitude of awards for his actions, including the Football Writers Association Orange Bowl Courage Award, The Institute for Sport and Social Justice Courageous Student Athlete Award, and Joe Biden’s Its On Us Courage Award. Richard presented his story to about 70 representatives from the athletic department in an intimate setting inside the Atrium Thursday afternoon. The former linebacker, who noted Gettysburg as one of his initial college choices, recounted his tale battling physical and mental abuse, dealing with the trauma surrounding his incident of gun violence, and eventually getting the help he needed to overcome his trauma and become a leading activist against sexual violence on college campuses. “I definitely think that sitting here with everyone in SAIL, it was really exciting to hear his story and hear what he was talking about,” said senior swimmer Megan Wojnar (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan). “It’s a way to get these topics like sexual assault, sexual violence, gun violence, domestic violence out in the open. Otherwise it’s a little hard and uncomfortable to bring up. It’s better to bring in someone who’s experienced it first-hand come in. That gives captains or seniors on teams an outlet and way to bring their own teammates into this entire discussion and make sure we’re all really fully understanding these topics.” For Richard, who presented his story to more than 400 members of the community Thursday evening, seeing the engagement and research already being done on the Gettysburg campus by members of SAIL was a revelation. At the beginning of the meeting, leaders from each of SAIL’s four well-being dimensions – Physical, Social/Emotional, Professional, Community – presented research and methods for engaging in sexual violence prevention. “I’ve been speaking to a lot of schools and a lot of athletes across the country and today, I was really able to see what it looks like when people get together and do the research on sexual violence,” stated Richard. “It’s such a hard topic, especially when you’re a college-age kid. It’s a scary topic. The fact that I came in here today and the first thing I’m hearing is about community and the physical traumas you deal with, just to get that out there and out in the open to the leaders on campus is unbelievable. I’ve never seen anything like that.” The It’s On Us Pledge and presentation by Richard marks just the start of Gettysburg’s on-going initiatives as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Additional events include a presentation on “Intersectionality and Restorative Justice” on Oct. 26 (7 p.m.), Safe Home Domestic Violence Tabling on Oct. 13, 21, 29 (11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.), Purple Thursday on Oct. 21, Red Flag Display from Oct. 13-18, Clothesline Project on Oct. 13-19, and Empty Chair Display on Oct. 25-29. The members of SAIL and their teammates will continue to be active participants in the upcoming events and beyond as part of the effort to build a more informed and committed campus community. “It is certainly my hope that campus community sees the commitment that our student athletes are taking in taking such a large role in violence prevention on campus,” said Blaugher. “With all of the other work that SAIL and our student athletes are doing to engage with the programs and events that we have on campus, I am hopeful that the goals of the campaign become embedded in the student-athlete experience here on campus.”

Pennsylvania liquor store clerk sues former union over dues

(By Christen Smith – The Center Square) – A Pennsylvania liquor store clerk sued his former union in federal court this week for nearly two years of dues he alleges were collected from his paycheck unconstitutionally.  Allen Knabb resigned from United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1776 Keystone State (UFCW) in January 2020, but says the organization continued deducting membership dues from his pay. This, despite his inability to attend meetings, vote or rely on the union for any kind of support. When he pressed the issue, the UFCW pointed to a clause in a membership agreement Knabb signed in 2013 that indicated he could only stop the paycheck deductions during a 15-day window between Dec. 9 and Dec. 24 each year.https://445e4303bc35d592159bf035c70d49b5.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html When asked why Knabb didn’t resubmit his request during the designated time frame last year, Danielle Acker Susanj vice president and senior litigation counsel for the Fairness Center – a legal advocacy group representing Knabb – said insisting on a notice in this window is “arbitrary.” “But they’ve already received notice twice over the last year and a half, yet keep taking money from his paychecks,” she said. “It’s clear that this is not about notice, it’s about forcing him to pay more to the union.” Acker Susanj said UFCW takes roughly $30 from each of Knabb’s paychecks – no matter how many hours he works. She clarified that he’s semiretired and only works part time. “Like all public employees, Mr. Knabb has the constitutional right not to financially support a union,” said Nathan McGrath, president of the Fairness Center. “But it appears union officials are more concerned with taking our client’s money than they are with respecting his constitutional rights.” The Fairness Center routinely pursues cases against public sector unions that are alleged to have violated workers’ rights through collective bargaining agreement clauses that make it challenging to halt paycheck-deducted membership dues. The organization has represented at least 10 other public workers in similar cases and received reimbursement, plus interest, for the illegal practice. The cases follow a 2018 Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME, which overturned decades of precedent that required nonmembers to pay unions an “agency fee” or “fair share fee” for the costs of collective bargaining. 

Pennsylvania House approves voucher expansion for economically disadvantaged schools

(By Christen Smith – The Center Square) – House lawmakers passed a measure Tuesday that expands the size and scope of tuition vouchers for Pennsylvania’s economically disadvantaged schools.  Three Democrats joined all of the chamber’s Republicans in approving House Bill 1642, which lowers the threshold for schools to qualify as economically disadvantaged under the law. Currently, schools with 75% or more of students receiving tuition assistance through the Opportunity Tax Credit Scholarship (OSTC) program qualify for an additional $1,000 credit. Under the provisions of the bill, sponsored by Philadelphia Republican Rep. Martina White, schools with 51% of students receiving the OSTC would qualify for the economically disadvantaged scholarship. Credit amounts would increase to $2,000 for elementary and middle school students and $4,000 for high school students to better reflect the gap between families’ ability to pay and the cost to educate, White said. “We must find ways to reach more students trapped in underperforming schools,” she said. “While the Economically Disadvantaged Schools program has had a positive impact for some families in Pennsylvania, changes are needed to fine tune the program and to meet increased demand.”  Schools that qualify for the program report state test scores that rank in the bottom 15%. Students in these districts can use the program, OSTC and the Educational Improvement Tax Credit scholarship to afford tuition at a private school or attend a different public school. “This is a rare government program that creates win-win-win situations,” White said. “School districts and taxpayers win by saving money.” Democrats remain skeptical of boosting state funding for programs that they say funnel money out of the public school system and into private and religious institutions. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

Gettysburg Fire Department holds open house; seeks volunteers

Gettysburg Fire Department welcomed the community for a day of education and involvement during its annual station open house Saturday.   The event at 35 North Stratton Street was a “Passport to Safety” where participants were encouraged to visit stations to learn about aspects of fire prevention with a chance to win prizes. Stations included bucket brigades, Columbia Gas, Hazmat Safety, Disaster Preparedness, a visit from the WellFlight Helicopter, demonstrations of department equipment, tours of vehicles, and more. The fire department’s museum was also open for a glimpse into over 200 years of local firefighting history and hearing about it through the members carrying the decades of traditions themselves. After the pandemic slammed the brakes on social gatherings and canceled multiple fundraising events including bingos, BBQs, and annual carnivals, many volunteer fire departments have had to get creative in order to continue to keep the lights on. Gettysburg Fire has implemented an online raffle every Thursday, found on its website and Facebook page. Now more than ever local fire departments need community support in order to continue their service to the community. Gettysburg Fire is always looking for members and fighting fires is not the only aspect of volunteering. Support is always needed in fundraising and other behind the scenes duties to keep the station up and running. Other aspects of the fire department include fire police, EMS, fire prevention, as well as the junior firefighting program.  No experience is necessary, and Gettysburg Fire will gladly accept any time and provide training for any help that can be provided. Gettysburg’s volunteer fire department has been dedicated since 1808 and new, sustaining members are essential to In order to maintain the quality of service and operations. Tours of the station must be arranged in advance by contacting fireprevention@gettysburgfd.com. For more information about Gettysburg Fire Department, visit https://www.gettysburgfd.com/, call Business Manager Loir Fuhrman’s office at 717-334-7548 or email Gfdbmanager@gettysburgfd.com.

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

Annual Halloween Costume Party with the Adams County Arts Council

The Adams County Arts Council is hosting their annual Halloween Costume Party at the Herr Ridge Barn, 900 Chambersburg Road, Gettysburg, PA 17325 on Friday, October 22 from 7-11pm. Tickets are now on sale to the public. This popular event was recently recognized by Celebrate Gettysburg as #5 on the Top Ten Fall Festivities List! If you have never attended this adult only event, we invite you to join us.  This year’s theme is TV Land. The event includes entertainment from ProForm DJ. Live mannequins in costumes from 229 Vintage Wares will entertain us throughout the evening while they showcase some of TV’s best characters throughout the decades. Ticket includes hot hors d’oeuvre stations; however, additional food and beverages can be purchased either in advance or during the event. Gift baskets from local businesses will be part of a raffle ticket experience- and all in attendance are welcome to purchase votes for next years theme. Come with your dollars to participate. An outdoor fire pit will be part of the evening fun. For everyone’s safety, enhanced measures will be in place to protect our guests, details are on our website.  The event, known for its coveted theme related costume prizes is waiting to see you showcase your own creativity as an individual, couple or group. Prize categories include Scariest, Best Couple, Best Group, Most in Character, and Best of Show. Reserved seats at tables are limited. Walk-ins are welcome with standing room only for indoor-outdoor. Tickets to this highly anticipated party of the year can be purchased through our website at https://www.adamsarts.org/portfolio-item/halloween-costume-party or by calling 717-334-5006.

New Oxford Harvest Hunt Kicks Off on Saturday, October 9

Harvest Hunt, A Free, Family-Friendly Event, Features Scavenger Hunt and Decorating Contest NEW OXFORD, PA – The New Oxford Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that the 2nd Annual New Oxford Harvest Hunt will kick off this Saturday, October 9 and run through Sunday, October 24. Introduced in 2020, Harvest Hunt will now serve as a lead in to the Harvest Day Festival and Parade scheduled for Saturday, October 23. Harvest Hunt, presented by the New Oxford Chamber and Members 1st Federal Credit Union, will feature a free scavenger hunt as well as a scarecrow decorating contest with both business and residential divisions. The deadline to register to submit an entry for the residential scarecrow decorating contest is Friday, October 8 at 4:30 p.m. Entries can be emailed to info@newoxford.org. Entrants should reside in New Oxford or the surrounding area. Prizes will be awarded for scavenger hunt participants as well as business and decorating contest winners. Harvest Hunt booklets will be available at participating businesses starting on Saturday, October 9. For a full list of participating businesses or additional event information, please visit www.newoxford.org/harvest-hunt. About the New Oxford Area Chamber of Commerce: The New Oxford Area Chamber of Commerce is a membership-based association serving businesses, organizations and individuals in New Oxford, PA and surrounding communities. In addition to its annual events, the Chamber provides services including marketing, networking and business resources to its members.

Eligible for a COVID-19 booster? Here’s how to get one in Pa.

Jamie Martines of Spotlight PA Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters. Anywhere from one to two million Pennsylvania adults are now eligible for a COVID-19 booster, and state officials say it should be easier to track down the third dose than it was to secure initial shots earlier this year. People 65 and older, those with certain medical conditions, and workers in high-risk jobs who received a second Pfizer dose more than six months ago are now eligible to receive a booster. (Get more eligibility details from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention here.) If you received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines, you’ll have to wait for guidance. Vaccines are now widely available, and it’s not likely providers will experience the same backups and shortages seen across the state when eligibility first opened up to all adults in April, state officials have said. Many retail pharmacies, like Rite-Aid or CVS, along with grocery stores and independent pharmacies, now have same-day and walk-in appointments for first, second, and booster shots available. Health systems like UPMC, Allegheny Health Network, Penn State Health, and Geisinger are also administering boosters, along with other local health clinics and doctors’ offices. You do not have to return to the same location where you received your first or second booster shots for your third dose. Search for locations offering COVID-19 vaccines near you, or anywhere in the country, on the CDC’s website at vaccines.gov. Most nursing homes will handle boosters through existing relationships with local vaccine providers, a state health department spokesperson said. The health department will assist any nursing home that is not yet connected with a local vaccine provider or pharmacy secure booster shots. Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam ordered vaccine providers on Sept. 21 to not only provide online scheduling for booster appointments, but also to provide a telephone number that connects callers to a live agent to assist with scheduling. Vaccine providers were also ordered to offer walk-in appointments. Local Area Agencies on Aging, along with Medical Assistance Managed Care Organizations, were ordered to help schedule eligible adults and people who can’t leave their homes — a role those organizations took up earlier this year, as many older adults and others who had trouble navigating the competitive vaccine sign-up system struggled to find appointments. State officials recommend that anyone who has questions about whether they are eligible for a booster shot consult with their doctor before making an appointment. Anyone receiving a booster should bring their vaccine card to the booster appointment. The provider will check to make sure that it has been at least six months since you’ve received your second shot, and that you previously received the Pfizer vaccine. WHILE YOU’RE HERE… If you learned something from this story, pay it forward and become a member of Spotlight PA so someone else can in the future at spotlightpa.org/donate. Spotlight PA is funded by foundationsand readers like you who are committed to accountability journalism that gets results.

CFY will host family fall & farm fun event on Friday

The countdown begins until Collaborating for Youth’s Family Friday Fall & Farm Fun event! See the Flyers in English and Spanish below. To start the countdown the Youth Coalition would like to announce the Pie-Eating Contest! In one week these six community members will compete to eat the most pie at our Fall & Farm Fun Event, October 8 from 5 to 7:30 with the Pie-Eating Contest beginning at 6:30 p.m.  Who will win???? Vote for your favorite by donating through PayPal – $1 equals one vote! Make sure you note the person you are voting for by visiting https://www.cfygettysburg.com/donate The purpose of this event is for the Youth Coalition to raise awareness and a little money to have a messaging campaign geared to area youth around hope, decreasing depressive symptoms, and community support.

Expanding Gettysburg rec park pump track seeks builders and riders

It’s hard to believe our 100% volunteer built and maintained pump track has already been open for a year! During its past year, the track has been enjoyed by many people, both old and young, looking to get outside and unplug from electronics.  As GARA celebrates the one-year anniversary of the bicycle pump track, it is time to make some exciting announcements.  We are excited to announce that we will be adding a new technical dirt section, so advanced or more adventurous riders can “catch some air”.  We are planning on modifying and adjusting some sections of the current track layout as well. GARA will also be adding several mountain bike obstacles which will test and help improve rider’s balance and skills. The obstacles will consist of a slightly raised balance beam, jump(s) made out of logs for riders to balance and maneuver over, and other obstacles to test riders’ skills. GARA will also be accepting monetary donations from local businesses as well as individuals who would like to help out the track to purchase a cycle rescue station. The station is an all-weather, outdoor bike repair stand that contains phillips and standard screwdrivers, tire levers, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8 mm allen wrenches, 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, and 32 mm box wrenches, and an air pump. The tools are attached securely by retractable braided stainless-steel cable. The rescue station will be mounted/concreted in the track area, so cyclists both enjoying the track and riding on the Biser Fitness trail can utilize it. The total cost of the station is $1,675. Donations can be dropped off at the Charlie Sterner Building during regular business hours. Our 2nd annual Track or Treat event will take place on October 16th from 3pm – 6pm. Riders are encouraged to dress up in costumes and ride the track and obstacles while Halloween music is playing. Goodie bags with candy will be given to all riders. Feel free to bring a chair or blanket if you’d like to relax. Along with Track or Treat, there will also be tables set up from local organizations handing out candy. If you would like to set up a table or donate candy, please contact the rec park. CDC guidelines will be followed at the event. Since the bicycle track is 100% volunteer,  build days play a huge role in the existence and continuation of the track. Upcoming volunteer track build days will be on Sunday October 3rd and Friday October 8th starting at 9 am. This is a great opportunity to help out the community and also provides students the chance to earn service hours. Any help is greatly appreciated. Please follow the GARA pump track via its Facebook page for track information and updates.

Pennsylvania not immune to national school bus driver shortage

(By Christen Smith – The Center Square) – State officials took an unusual step Thursday and reached out to more 375,000 commercially licensed drivers in hopes of covering a growing school bus driver shortage. Kurt Myers, deputy secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), told reporters the pool of qualified bus drivers has shrunk to 42,000, the lowest level seen in five years. “We urge CDL licensees who are seeking work or supplemental employment to obtain a school bus endorsement – taking advantage of the additional hours for CDL testing – to help transport students safely,” Myers said. Acting Education Secretary Noe Ortega said the state remains aware of the ongoing transportation challenges and expressed hope a creative solution could be found. “I know it can be frustrating to our students, and our parents, and school leaders are working incredibly hard to address these needs,” Ortega said. “The need for bus drivers isn’t something we can fix overnight … [but] I believe we can make progress on this.”  The situation forced several school districts across the state to delay school opening until after Labor Day, including Pittsburgh Public Schools. The driver shortage, locally and nationally, is the result of low wages, limited hours and minimal health benefits that hurt recruitment efforts, Pittsburgh Public Schools said. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the problem. Drivers also must go through rigorous training that often is unpaid and receive multiple clearances, Mort Snider, who works for Beckwith Buses in Centre County, said during an interview with the Altoona Mirror in August. “We have had people we have turned down,” Snider said. “If you have a DUI, you are done. You need a clean driving record and need to take a drug test. We do random testing four times a year.” The Pennsylvania School Bus Association, in an effort to drum up interest, launched a recruitment campaign in July to match potential drivers with job openings. The salaries range from $15 an hour to $25 an hour with benefits.

Farming in the Gettysburg National Military Park

Gettysburg has been a hub for agriculture even before it was on the map. Fertile soil and a temperate climate attracted hard-working settlers willing to live off the land. But the quiet rural life was suddenly jeopardized as soldiers marched into town in late June 1863. When it became clear that a bloody battle loomed, farmers fled town or hunkered down. Those who returned found their homes burned and their crops trampled. Luckily, the story of farming in Gettysburg does not end there. As the land around Gettysburg transformed into a National Military Park, so too did the farms that suffered such an unfortunate fate. The National Park Service now ensures that visitors experience the well-known Spangler, Trostle, and Rose farms as they were at the time of the battle. What is less known to many people is that about 2,000 acres in the battlefield still operate as active farms. The Park Service calls it the agriculture program, or “ag program” for short. This program allows farmers to rent land from the park to grow their crops or raise their cattle. The farmers save the Park Service time and money by maintaining the area as an open landscape. Without the farmers, the Park Service would dedicate more resources to mowing fields and setting prescribed fires. “It’s a continual struggle to keep it in an open condition,” says Zach Bolitho, Chief of Resource Management for Gettysburg National Military Park. How It Works Before each growing season, the Park Service publishes an advertisement indicating that land is available for rent. Interested candidates then complete an application for a special use permit. Park rangers review the applications to determine who would partner well with the park. There are 15 pre-determined parcels of land for rent each year, with returning permit holders and new candidates alike applying for them. Once selected, the farmers pay their rental fees. Row crop and hay farmers pay a rate per acre while cattle and horse owners pay a rate per animal. All of the farmers must adhere to the park’s guidelines and restrictions. This includes asking permission to use certain herbicides and only mowing their property at designated times. What the farmers do with their crops is their choice. The Gettysburg Foundation, which leases the apple orchard next to the Spangler Farm, turns their apples into hard cider. Its partner, Good Intent Cider Company, makes and sells the cider while giving a portion of the proceeds back to the Foundation. Leftover apples are donated to community organizations, such as South Central Community Action Programs (SCAAP). Not all crops in the battlefield are part of the ag program. The Park Service currently manages 180 acres of orchards in the park, including the peach orchard. This might soon change, however, as the Park Service is looking to lease those parcels as well. While it is also true that there are private holdings in the park, they are small in size. Conservation Recreating history is not the only goal when it comes to land management in the park. “We could get really purist about things, but we’re not,” says Bolitho. The Park Service also views the battlefields as habitats worthy of conservation. Instead of abiding by old property blueprints, the Park Service evaluates what is sustainable for the landscape. For example, the Park Service grows soybeans because it puts nutrients into the soil, not because it was grown during the battle. Seasonal grasses grow to resemble crops but mainly serve as breeding grounds for grasslands nesting birds. This could be the last summer for cattle in the park due to water quality and sedimentation concerns. Farming is just one method of conservation in the battlefields. The Park Service also manages forest monitoring plots to study the evolving composition of the forest. Rangers take monthly water samples for a water quality index as per National Park Service guidelines. A new habitat rehabilitation project will help reintroduce the regal fritillary butterfly to the area. All conservation projects follow the park’s General Management Plan. It doesn’t take a public lands expert to appreciate the rural beauty of the battlefields. Still, knowing the intricacies of what goes on in the Park can help us appreciate it that much more.

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.

Entertainment legend Rich Little to perform at Majestic Theater Oct. 15

Gettysburg, PA (September 9, 2021) – Master mimic and show business legend Rich Little will make his Gettysburg debut live at the Majestic Theater on October 15 at 7:30 p.m.  Nicknamed “The Man of a Thousand Voices,” Rich Little has entertained millions with his uncanny characterizations for nearly seven decades. With a repertoire of more than 200 voices, he has appeared on television variety shows such as Johnny Carson, Ed Sullivan, Laugh-In, and Hollywood Squares. A professed classic movie buff, Little is fond of doing Jimmy Stewart, Jack Lemmon, Alfred Hitchcock, John Wayne and Humphrey Bogart, but he also has characters such as Kermit the Frog, and Dr. Phil.  Little continues to delight audiences several times per week at the Laugh Factory at the Tropicana in Las Vegas. In May 2021, he reflected on his career, and his voices, and the friendships he’s made along the way on CBS Sunday Morning, and revealed he would appear in Trial on the Potomac Off-Broadway in New York this summer.  “The Majestic is honored to present one of the living legends of show business,” enthused Jeffrey Gabel, the Majestic’s founding executive director. “Anyone who saw his appearance on CBS Sunday Morning could easily see he’s still at the top of his game. And we all certainly need a good laugh these days.”  Little’s October 15 performance is funded by the Majestic Theater Centennial Endowment Fund. Tickets start at $42 and are available online at www.gettysburgmajestic.org, by calling (717) 337-8200, or by stopping by the Box Office at 25 Carlisle St., Gettysburg. The Box Office is open Monday through Saturday, 12-7:30 p.m., and Sunday, 1-5 p.m. Free parking and roundtrip shuttle service for each show is available from Gettysburg College’s Constitution Parking Lot. Shuttle starts one hour before each performance and is ADA accessible. Metered parking is available at the Gettysburg Borough Parking Garage in Race Horse Alley as well as along Carlisle Street. Masks are required at all times while visiting the Majestic Theater, regardless of vaccination status.  The Majestic Theater at the Jennifer and David LeVan Performing Arts Center is owned and operated by Gettysburg College as a cultural celebration for its campus and community.

Work by Central PA Artist Robert Patierno on Display at Majestic Theater Art Gallery

“A Moveable Feast,” a wide-ranging selection of wood block prints, charcoal drawings, and watercolor paintings by Central Pennsylvania artist Robert Patierno is on display daily at the Majestic Theater’s art gallery now through the end of November. The gallery is open daily during Majestic business hours.  “Art making is my attempt to make order of chaos, so in this sense my work is observational in nature,” explains Patierno. “What I perceive must be simplified, readjusted, and then the personal image surfaces, disinterested to a large degree. I think any subject looked at with a careful mind’s eye, becomes significant. The Art object itself is not as important to me as the resulting conversations that occur with my audience.”  Patierno is an internationally renowned printmaker, painter and draftsman with work in the permanent collections of museums across the world, including in Belgium, the Erie Art Museum, Lancaster Museum of Art, Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, and the U.S. Department of State Art Bank. His multi-decade career has included numerous exhibitions in the United States and in Europe. A founder of the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, Patierno developed the Fine Arts Department for two decades until 2003. He continues to teach as an adjunct assistant professor in art and art history at Gettysburg College. Past shows in Gettysburg include a major exhibition at Gettysburg College’s Musselman Library.  “The Majestic is honored to share Mr. Patierno’s wonderful artwork with our patrons and the community at large,” said Jeffrey Gabel, Majestic Theater Founding Executive Director.  The exhibit is open to the public daily during regular box office hours, Monday through Saturday, 12 – 7 p.m. and Sunday, 1 – 5 p.m. Admission is free. The Majestic Theater is located at 25 Carlisle St., Gettysburg. Metered parking is available at the Gettysburg Borough Parking Garage in Race Horse Alley as well as along Carlisle Street.  The Majestic Theater at the Jennifer and David LeVan Performing Arts Center is owned and operated by Gettysburg College as a cultural celebration for its campus and community.

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.

Organization Spotlight: Gettysburg Nature Alliance connects habitat with heritage

The Gettysburg Nature Alliance, founded in 2017 to educate about and preserve Gettysburg’s habitat and heritage, is emerging from the pandemic stronger than before. The organization spent its pre-pandemic years sorting out the logistics that all fledgling organizations deal with. Now, with a recent $50,000 donation from New Leaf Paper Inc. and a new project underway, the Nature Alliance is ready to fulfill its “one habitat, one heritage” mission. “We are kind of in a restart mode. We’ve talked about huge things for the future,” says President Dru Anne Neil. The organization’s first post-pandemic project is constructing a learning barn and restoring the creek bed near Sachs Bridge. The barn will accommodate school groups and host public programs for the Nature Alliance. It will also serve as a satellite location for one of the Nature Alliance’s partners, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Another one of its partners, the American Chestnut Foundation, will plant trees on the property. The learning barn represents the Nature Alliance’s continued emphasis on education. The organization merged with the Heritage Center on Steinwehr Avenue in 2019, and as the headquarters of the Nature Alliance, the Heritage Center’s exhibits educate visitors about the importance of preserving both habitat and heritage. Neil says the Nature Alliance is the only organization in the area that connects habitat with heritage. “We want people to know they can help preserve both those things. They’re not mutually exclusive,” she said. In the era of climate change, making people aware of that connection has become increasingly important. However, getting Gettysburg’s history lovers to also love their habitat is no easy task. “Sometimes there’s a disconnect, people don’t want to hear about it.” To bridge the gap, the organization focuses on how climate change will affect local tourism. For example, Alliance is gathering statistics on how many battlefield carriage rides and ranger programs must be canceled due to excessive heat. “We are not preaching at you, we are just giving you the facts,” she says. Those facts will also be incorporated into the organization’s new line-up of educational public programs for the fall. One program will focus on the natural environment during and after the battle of Gettysburg. The programs will take place at both the Heritage Center and the learning barn. More information about upcoming programs will be posted on the organization’s Facebook page. The momentum from the Sachs Bridge project will propel the Nature Alliance to accomplish a laundry list of future projects. It is looking to work with the National Park Service on a project about agriculture on the Eisenhower Farm, right behind the Sachs Bridge property. In the Heritage Center, look out for membership opportunities and new exhibits. Other conservation projects include testing water quality, removing invasive species, helping pollinators, and building nature trails. To accomplish these goals, the Nature Alliance will start a capital campaign this fall. And while they are still reigning in their ideas for their next project, it will surely have an impact on both habitat and heritage. “We try to focus on what we can control. It’s not going to solve the entire problem, but it’s a start, and maybe it’ll inspire other people to get involved,” says Neil.

Grand Opening: Children of Gettysburg 1863

Gettysburg visitors and residents will soon have a new, family-friendly attraction to explore when the Gettysburg Foundation opens the Children of Gettysburg 1863 on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, at the former Rupp House History Center. The interactive adventure for young historians, Children of Gettysburg 1863 provides young visitors with a hands-on history experience in Gettysburg through the stories of the children, teens and young adults who lived here during and after the Battle of Gettysburg. “We are excited to introduce the region and visitors to the Children of Gettysburg 1863 experience,” said Gettysburg Foundation President and CEO Wayne Motts. “It is truly a family attraction and one we are proud to unveil in promoting life-long learning and love for history.” Designed for families and children (grades K-5), the interactive adventure takes families on a journey through galleries such as Growing Up in Gettysburg, The Soldiers are Coming, Surviving the Battle and Remembering Gettysburg. The interactive exhibits and experiences provide a history-based setting for creativity, discovery and learning. “This new experience is not your typical museum,” said Bethany Yingling, Children of Gettysburg 1863 Manager. “It is an engaging, interactive adventure where young visitors can play the drum, find a place to hide during the battle, lift the soldier’s equipment to feel the weight of the pack they carried and deliver the Gettysburg Address. It’s a fun, history-based experience, and of course, there is still a scavenger hunt,” added Yingling. Located at 451 Baltimore Street in downtown Gettysburg, Children of Gettysburg 1863 opens following a complete interior renovation of the ground floor. The home of John and Caroline Rupp and their six children during the battle, the house previously provided visitors with a look at civilian life during the battle. The building will now be the permanent home of Children of Gettysburg 1863. Children of Gettysburg 1863 – Grand Opening, Sept. 4, 2021 A ribbon cutting will be held on Saturday, Sept. 4, at 9 a.m. in the side yard of Children of Gettysburg 1863 prior to opening its doors for visitors, 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Young visitors to Children of Gettysburg 1863 can participate in the story scavenger hunt. The Carlisle Brass Band will be on-site in the side yard performing Civil War era music. Guests will have the opportunity to interact with living historians from Officers for The Union and Ladies for The Union in the side yard from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and again for a special Courtyard Chat at 8 p.m. A brass band extension of the Carlisle Town Band, the Carlisle Brass Band consists of members of all ages, extending the 19th century brass band tradition into the 21st century. A living history organization, Officers for The Union portray officers who commanded and fought in the Battle of Gettysburg. Together in a ‘ladies salon’ setting, Ladies for The Union demonstrate various home craft skills of the era, including bobbin lace, hand sewing, quilting, the making of band boxes, home medical remedies and procedures, and children’s toys. Ladies for The Union discuss the importance of the ‘home front’ during the Civil War – giving and sending support and aid to the soldiers, as well as how the war affected families and communities. Officers for The Union present an informal talk on their roles prior to, during and after the battle in the evening’s Courtyard Chat. From audience driven questions, each officer will discuss his life and career during the Civil War and elements of his personal life prior to and after the war. The new adventure will be open daily 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. beginning Saturday, Sept. 4 through Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021 (Remembrance Day weekend). From Friday, Nov. 26, 2021, through March 31, 2022, the museum will open Thursday through Sunday, Noon until 5 p.m. Children of Gettysburg 1863 is currently free for children/youth ages 12 and younger with a ticketed adult. Adult tickets (ages 13 and older) are available to purchase online at GettysburgFoundation.org, by calling 877-874-2478, at the ticket counter inside the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center and on-site at Children of Gettysburg 1863. Living history presentations and Courtyard Chats are offered free of charge. In addition to supporting its mission of education and preservation, the Gettysburg Foundation believes the new children’s history museum will provide a unique, family-friendly opportunity for visitors and area residents, as well as an educational venue for school groups. “Gettysburg has always been a must-see destination for enthusiasts, scholars and tourists,” said Yingling. “We are grateful for the opportunity to add ‘young historians’ to that list.” To purchase tickets for Children of Gettysburg 1863 and tours, events and programs offered by the Gettysburg Foundation, call 877-874-2478 or visit GettysburgFoundation.org.

Savas Beatie Authors/Readers Gather at Gettysburg

The leading trade publisher of Civil War and other military history books, Savas Beatie, sponsored their 3rd Gettysburg Meetup from August 12-15. The meetup gave a chance for approximately 200 Civil War enthusiasts to meet at least 20 Savas Beatie authors in informal settings, attend battlefield tours, hear author presentations and panel discussions – and buy massive amounts of books. Informal sessions, scheduled either in advance or as events unfolded included a get together Thursday night at O’Rorke’s, lunch Friday at a pavilion at the recreation park, and an after hours opportunity to restore hydration at the Reliance Mine Saloon. On Friday, visitors braved the intense heat to listen to Rick Schaus on General George Meade’s activities on July 3, the final day of the battle; Mike Harris on Confederate Brig Gen John Archer’s brigade and the capture of Archer by Union forces; and Brad Gottfried on the action at the railroad cut just west of Seminary Ridge. Presentations Saturday, in slightly more moderate weather, included Emerging Civil War general editor Chris Mackowski on events at the end of the day July 1 and “What would Stonewall have done?”; John Horn on the controversy involving Confederate brigade commander Brig Gen William Mahone and the perception that he failed to support another attacking Confederate brigade; and Eric Wittenberg on actions of cavalry commander Brig Gen John Buford on July 1. The conference concluded Sunday morning with a presentation at the High Water Mark by Chris Brenneman on the painting of the Cyclorama. Interestingly, four of the seven battlefield tours related to events of the relatively neglected 1st day. The Gettysburg Heritage Center served as the headquarters for the event and hosted author presentations and panel discussions on Friday and Saturday. Speakers included Charlie Knight, author of a book on Robert E. Lee’s activities day by day; Brian Swartz, who discussed his new book on Joshua Chamberlain; Dwight Hughes, who discussed the Monitor and the Virginia, first battle among ironclad warships; and Scott Mingus, who discussed his book on Lee’s invasion in York County. The two author panels provided an interesting contrast. Ted Savas moderated both panels and introduced both by saying “here’s your chance to find out what you’ve always wanted to know,” and basically guided an hour long Q&A. The discussion on Friday, with panelists Jan Croon, Brad Gottfried, Jim Hessler, Dwight Hughes, Leon Reed, Ken Rutherford, Rick Schaus, and Eric Wittenberg, became a detailed tactical discussion of the Battle of Gettysburg, with a particular emphasis on cavalry operations. Questions were raised about topics such as command and control, who was responsible for troops who were reassigned to a different sector of the battlefield, whether Howard’s criticism of Doubleday (and Meade’s taking First Corps away from him) was fair, whether Meade pursued Lee aggressively enough, and similar questions. On Saturday, basically the same audience conducted an hour—long seminar on the writing and publishing business, with questions about working with editors, responding to criticism, selecting what materials to use, collaborating with co-authors, etc. The relationship between civil war authors and their readers is especially close. Most of the authors are not fulltime writers and many of the fans are deep students of the Civil War. The interchanges often are more peer to peer than “expert to fan.” Publisher Ted Savas said he was well pleased. “The event went off better than we expected. The turnout was great, and I think people really enjoyed it and we’re grateful for their participation.

Gettysburg proposes $27 million 2022-2026 Capital Improvement Plan including major street and storm water repairs and a splash pad at the rec park

Saying it was a “mouthdropping number,” Gettysburg Borough Manager Charles Gable outlined a $26.77 million plan to improve and maintain the borough’s infrastructure over the next five years. Gable said funds would come from a variety of organizations but that a major source was expected to be grants. The goal of Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) is to procure enough investment to protect and extend the life of existing assets and to ensure the stability of the borough in both the near and long term. General capital projects are those worth more than $25,000 and which have a useful life of no less than 5 years. Gable said the plan’s priority is on projects that maintain infrastructure and will be updated on a rolling 5-year basis.  The plan is collaborative and includes partnerships with Columbia Gas, the Gettysburg Municipal Authority, and the Gettysburg Storm Water Management Authority. Gable said that due to planning and collaboration the borough was able to complete about $5 million in projects for only $4 million in general obligation bonds over the past five years and that he hoped to see similar savings in this round. The plan includes 38 specific projects, each of which was evaluated on the basis of 15 different criteria in terms of importance including the possibility of collaboration, cost and benefits, health and safety, legal requirements, preservation of existing assets, feasibility, benefits to the borough, conservation, environmental impacts, neighborhoods, and economic development to increase the tax base. Gable said the project was “extensive” and that the staff had been working for 5 months to prepare it. “We’re never going to get anywhere if we don’t challenge ourselves,” said Gable. “It will never happen if we don’t try.” Gable said the plan called for about $2.4 million to be spent in 2022 with larger expenditures in later years. Gable broke the plan into eight “buckets” of proposed work: Baltimore St. Revitalization, including $1.5 million to renovate the house at 340 Baltimore Street to create a Gettysburg Community and Visitors Center which will house public restrooms, offices, and the borough’s historical artifacts.  The property was donated to the borough for this use and Gable said the renovation could begin in 2026 if things went well. “Everyone in the county benefits from the success of this project,” said Gable. Gable presented some preliminary sketches for the renovation. “The funding mechanisms are falling into place,” said Main Street Gettysburg President Jill Sellers. Community and Economic Development, including new branded gateway displays at each of the 9 borough entrances. Gable said the goal was to have the gateways display aesthetically pleasing entrances to the borough. Master Plans, including sidewalk reconstruction and major repair and reconstruction on the Lincoln Highway through town (York and Chambersburg Streets) along with a major repair to a failing stormwater pipe that runs underneath Chambersburg St.  Another major project is to replace a large and deteriorated storm water pipe that runs under the South Central Community Action building. Gable said another long-term goal was to develop better maps displaying right of ways in the borough. Roads and Alleys, including finishing the ongoing South St. streetscape project.  Also on the docket in this category are repairs to the walls of Stevens Run and renovation and preservation of a number of streets including Bream Alley, Long Lane, Breckinridge St.  Mayor Alley, Queen St., Railroad St., and Wolf Alley. These projects typically include storm water mitigation aspects. Storm Water Management and Infrastructure, including a sidewalk replacement program, funded in part by the revolving loan program, which will provide zero-interest loans to property owners as they replace their sidewalks.  The borough is likely to coordinate projects to help people get better deals on their sidewalks. Also included are public works equipment including replacing aging dump trucks, as well as chipper and grinders for making mulch.  Emergency Management, including upgrades to borough buildings that would provide a place for storing large items of evidence for the police department, a capability that is required for ongoing police department accreditation. Another plan is to upgrade the borough’s public works building. Another focus is to purchase equipment to facilitate the safety of special events, including hardening the parade routes.  Gable proposed purchasing portable traffic signals, barricades, and message boards.  Public Parking Facilities, including routine maintenance on the Racehorse Alley Parking Garage. The borough said the life expectancy of the garage is expected to be 50 years or more if it’s properly maintained. The borough is also proposing storm water improvements at 688, 698, 700, and 712 S. Washington Street near the hospital to prepare a piece of property where buildings have recently been removed and which may be the site of a future parking lot. The borough is also keeping open the possibility of putting 2-story parking garage on the vacant lot near the corner of Baltimore and Middle Streets. The plans call for the upper deck to be accessed from Legion Alley. The garage would provide short-term parking for people who are shopping in the borough. Parks and Recreation, including funding to complete the next states of the Healthy Adams County Bicycle Pedestrian (HABPI) lanes though town. The plan also proposes providing funds to the Gettysburg Area Recreational Authority (GARA) to help them generate revenue.  Gable said GARA should not have to rely on the money given annually to them by the borough and by Cumberland Township and should instead try to become self-sufficient. The borough will help GARA update their bathrooms and resurface their parking lots.  Gable noted that the Gettysburg Hospital rents spaces in one of the lots. Another money-maker in the works is a proposed summer splash pad and winter ice rink at the rec park which is expected to be a money-maker for GARA.

Destination Weddings Abound in Adams

Adams County is a popular destination for wedding ceremonies, largely due to its widespread appeal for many different audiences. View our complete list of Destination Wedding Venues A wedding at Hauser Hill Event Center [Lindsey Ford] “Adams County is built for tourism, so we are fully equipped for people to come from all over the place to explore the battlefields, the history of the town, and our robust agribusiness,” said Round Barn Events LLC Manager Jessica Knouse. “We not only have venues on the more traditional spectrum, but we also have unpretentious, newer, outdoor options. There’s something for everyone.” For couples seeking to host their wedding at an upscale, indoor location, the Federal Pointe Inn and the Gettysburg Hotel are two possible options. The Federal Pointe Inn, a location that has been open for nearly ten years, hosts approximately twenty wedding groups each year, with many couples choosing to spend their honeymoon at the boutique hotel. According to Owner Pete Monahan, “We’re historic, unique, and upscale. One of our amenities is a pub that our wedding groups can use before and after the wedding so they don’t have to leave the hotel. We also offer tea and scones every afternoon and our rooms are larger than most hotels.” Another prominent feature of the Federal Pointe Inn is that it offers historic areas for wedding groups to take pictures. “It photographs really well,” said Monahan. “We just had a wedding where we hung the bride’s dress from a chandelier and the photographer took a picture. The chandelier made a beautiful shot.” At the Gettysburg Hotel, couples also appreciate the unique and historic indoor space to host their weddings. View our complete list of Destination Wedding Venues “In 2000, we acquired our Grand Ballroom space, which was originally the Gettysburg National Bank and was still operating as a PNC Bank at the time,” shared Catering & Events Manager Megan Wherley. “The space was transformed into our beautiful ballroom, keeping the iconic, historic elements, including the original hand-painted and gold inlaid 28-foot ceiling with a Grecian border, as well at the impressive and formidable bank vault.” Additionally, the Gettysburg Hotel offers amenities that are popular with their wedding guests. Wherley said, “One of the biggest benefits to our couples is that we do all of their personal decorating for them. All they need to do is bring the decorations to the hotel before the wedding, then we go through it all and set up everything.” When the couple returns before the wedding, “they get a grand reveal of the space, seeing the ballroom for the first time with flowers in place, candles lit, and champagne poured, ready for guests to enter and be amazed,” said Wherley. At the end of the night, the Gettysburg Hotel staff takes the decorations down as well, allowing couples to pick up their decor in the morning. “Our venue is really a one-stop location,” said Wherley. “We provide all catering, alcohol, guestrooms, tables, chairs, linens, napkins, house centerpieces, setup and teardown and even the wedding cake. We have an extensive preferred vendor list who can provide any services that we do not offer in house. Beyond that, we have guestrooms on site, a Starbucks, and our award-winning restaurant, One Lincoln. Our goal is to provide a stress-free wedding planning experience.” For those couples who prefer scenic outdoor locations with indoor options, the Historic Round Barn, Hauser Hill Event Center, and Gettysburg National Military Park are three of the many picturesque locations in Adams County. The Historic Round Barn began hosting wedding events in 2007 for family members associated with the barn. It has since hosted nearly 200 weddings and strives to maintain the original family-oriented concept. Manager Jessica Knouse said, “There’s a lot of flexibility because we’re family owned. We do one wedding per weekend, so we are very focused on one couple. We don’t rush people on setting up or tearing down. They can have any vendors they prefer because we don’t have restrictions on vendors.” Knouse believes that guests typically choose their location for weddings because “they want to get married, but they don’t want to be in a banquet room; they want a more homey and comfortable feel. Our venue is unpretentious, uninhibited, and laid back. We’re on a farm so people can drive right up and unload.” Additionally, she shared that “One of the biggest selling points is that we have a huge inventory of decorations that people can use at no additional cost so that they don’t have to buy decorations they’ll never use again.” Another scenic outdoor venue is the Hauser Hill Event Center. It began as the Hauser Estate Winery which hosted weddings but remained open to the public. It has since rebranded to the Hauser Hill Event Center and is only open for weddings and private events. View our complete list of Destination Wedding Venues “It is such a beautiful property for weddings with stunning views in every direction,” said Event Coordinator Mindi Wood. “If they want an outdoor ceremony, we have a deck and a terrace for outdoor seating. Using tents, people can also enjoy the gorgeous views and be outside for the reception.” Wood, a former wedding photographer with 25 years of photography experience and 30 years of wedding planning experience, has an eye for detail that she believes is helpful for events. “It is important to me that every detail is carried out and that the day goes smoothly. I care about people and I want them to just enjoy the day and not have to worry about anything,” said Wood. “Hauser Hill is so beautifully decorated inside and outside that the couples really do not need to do much except show up, and that is my goal,” said Wood. “We also are very flexible with the table arrangement, times for the events, and we are handicap accessible and dog friendly.” Finally, couples who are interested in hosting their wedding at the Gettysburg National Military Park are able to do so at the park’s amphitheater on West Confederate Avenue. The location has a seating capacity of approximately 50 people on benches. However, couples may bring additional seating for larger crowds. “People can use that area via a Special Park Use permit which can be found through the park’s website,” said Special Permit Coordinator Pam Neil. Neil also noted that “there are living history encampments in the wooded area adjacent to the amphitheater itself on the weekends.” For those interested in the history of Gettysburg, Neil believes “the soldiers would certainly make an interesting backdrop.” Because Adams County is home to many different wedding venues, there are options available to all couples, whether they wish to be married under the 1920’s chandeliers at the Federal Pointe Inn, under the stars at the Hauser Hill Event Center, or anything else in between. View our complete list of Destination Wedding Venues “Adams County is the perfect wedding destination because there’s something for everyone,” said Wherley. “Foodies will find lots of unique dining options. Historians can enjoy the battlefields, museums, downtown walking tours and period shops. Nature lovers can hike the trails with plenty to explore.”

New battlefield walking tour series

The Adams County Historical Society is excited to announce three special “Battle Walks” that will take place later this year! Here’s more: August 21st: “We Ought to Have Held the Place Easily”: Barlow’s Knoll (aka Blocher’s Knoll) on July 1, 1863Led by James Hessler and Eric LindbladeOn the afternoon of July 1, 1863, Union Army General Francis Barlow either disobeyed or misunderstood his orders and decided to seize high ground in front of his division. Barlow’s men were then attacked and defeated by Confederate forces under General Jubal Early. As a result, Barlow’s controversial decision and the Confederate assault contributed to the collapse of the Army of the Potomac’s first day position. While the fight at “Barlow’s Knoll” is one of the most important July 1 actions, it is also one of the least visited locations on the battlefield.Join us as we explore Barlow’s Knoll and the surrounding terrain. We will discuss the military action, the command decisions made on both sides, several noteworthy human-interest stories, and the impact on the local civilian population. Is it really a precursor to similar actions by Union General Dan Sickles on July 2? Examine the ground and decide for yourself, “Why did Barlow advance without orders?” October 23rd: Across the Harmon and Herbst Farms: Biddle’s Brigade at GettysburgLed by Larry Korczyk and Andrew DaltonExplore the fighting on both sides of Willoughby’s Run as we cover the battle action of Colonel Chapman Biddle’s Union brigade on July 1, 1863. This unheralded and often overlooked fighting unit suffered horrific losses on July 1st attempting to defend an indefensible position on McPherson’s Ridge.We will discuss the courageous actions of the commanding officers and the men in the rank and file, as well as the civilians who crossed paths with Biddle’s men at the Emanuel Harmon and John Herbst farms during the thick of the fighting. Our trek will cover approximately 1/4 mile of walking and will include visits to both farms and each regimental monument. November 21st: Hills, Ridges, Roads, and Farms: An All-New Gettysburg HikeLed by Garry Adelman and Tim SmithCemetery Ridge. Seminary Ridge. Culp’s Hill. Cemetery Hill.These now-famous features hosted some of the most ferocious and critical fighting in the Battle of Gettysburg, and saw movements or combat on all three days of the conflict. But long before the soldiers arrived, Gettysburg was a place where people had been living peacefully for decades. The battle forever changed this community as farmers’ fields became burial grounds, and years-worth of treasure and work vanished in an instant. Gettysburg was destined to become a tourist town, with every inch of the battlefield explored, and much of it photographed.Join Tim and Garry for a lively and fast-paced tour to some of Gettysburg’s most storied places with photos, fighting and folklore throughout.

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.

George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital Summer Season of Living History, August 2021

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 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., through Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. 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. A reproduction Civil War Wheeling (Rosecrans) ambulance wagon is on display inside the barn. The Wheeling (Rosecrans) ambulance wagon was used during the Civil War to transport the wounded. 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. 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. August 2021 Living History Schedule July 30 – Aug 1 Citizens of Gettysburg: Civilians, attired in authentic Victorian period clothing, recreate the experience of Civil War era civilians and provide ‘first person impressions.’150th PA Volunteer Field Hospital “Bucktails” Co. C & K: Living historians portray two of four companies recruited from Crawford County, Pennsylvania and the personnel who served in the Hospital Department during the Civil War. Aug. 6-8 Annabel’s Battery/ 1st US Battery K: Living historians teach the purpose of a Civil War field hospital, the devastating wounds and treatments, and the support services provided to medical personnel and wounded and sick soldiers. Presents Civil War medicine and hands-on artillery demonstrations throughout the weekend. Aug. 13-15 The Healing: Conversations Between Nurses North & South: A unique portrayal of women who pioneered professional nursing and served during the War Between the States.136th NYSV Medical Hospital: Regimental field hospital based in Charlotte, North Carolina demonstrates surgeries, nursing techniques and duties, including the use of mannequins and period instruments. Featured: Dr. Bleecker Hovey’s surgeon kit actually used at the Spangler Farm in 1863–still intact after 156 years.Company A 9th PA Reserves: Medical unit from near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and living historians portray members of the United States Sanitary Commission. Sunday Special Programming On Sundays throughout the summer season, Historic Gettysburg-Adams County (HGAC) presents an exciting new addition to the summer programming at the George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital. HGAC interprets the design, construction and use of this stunning expression of an iconic, vernacular architectural form—the Pennsylvania Bank Barn. In the decades leading up to the fateful summer of 1863, and for well over 100 years afterwards, the George Spangler barn served as the hub of a thriving, active farm. Its restoration in the past decade—from a dilapidated structure in danger of collapse to a visage of its original glory—revived an important, tangible component of American history in its own right. Admission to the historic 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. For tickets, 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.

Lomas Center Civil War Museum opens in Gettysburg

In Gettysburg, where much of the tourist infrastructure is aging, it is a very welcome event when a brand new, first-rate, historic attraction opens. The Lomas Center museum, located at 50 Mayor Alley, behind the Farnsworth House promises to become a significant stop on the circuit for history-minded visitors. A private museum operated by the Lomas and Saum Foundation, the center displays the collection of George Lomas, a lifelong re-enactor, history buff, and major collector of military articles. Lomas was the founder and operator of the Steinwher Ave. shop, the Regimental Quartermaster. Matthew Hewson, curator of the museum, said “Mr. Lomas was one of the most significant collectors and we’re very happy to be able to present it to a broader audience.” The pride of the collection is a 3″ ordnance rifle, one of only two artillery pieces in existence documented to have been fired during the battle. (The other one sits at the base of the John Buford monument along Chambersburg Pike in the national park). Lomas’s field piece was in service along Chambersburg Pike, was captured when Union forces retreated at the end of the day July 1, and was recaptured back at Spotsylvania the following year. The museum staff is working to document where it went and what it did during its year of service with Lee’s army. Also impressive is a musket and rifle collection spanning the entire time frame of American small arms manufacture from the 18th century to Vietnam. In the words of curator Hewson, the collection has “a very good example of just about every primary weapon the US or CS forces used …. it does a good job of showing the evolution” of US weaponry. There are other discoveries to be made here, as well. Among other things, there is a large collection of original drawings by George Woodbridge, who was a friend and fellow re-enactor with George Lomas. Woodbridge was the dean of illustrators of Civil War Uniforms and was also a cartoonist for 30 years for MAD magazine and Marvel comics. He developed the first illustrated, comic book civil war stories that are the precursor of today’s graphic novels. Another attraction is a working model 1875 Gatling gun. “They had worked the bugs out of this model and it was pretty effective.” said Hewson. With a Gala Opening planned over the Dedication Day weekend in November, museum is already open Thursday through Sunday. Admission to the museum is free.

Eisenhower Home reopens and ranger-guided programs resume

Eisenhower National Historic Site is pleased to announce the resumption of on-site public programming for the summer on Monday, July 12 with a series of ranger-guided programs. Tours of the Eisenhower home will resume on Friday, July 23. Ranger-guided programs will offer visitors an opportunity to learn about the history of the Eisenhower National Historic Site, including stories of the Eisenhower family, world leaders who visited the farm, the Secret Service in Gettysburg, and much more. The site will be operating on a modified schedule due to ongoing COVID-19 safety measures and limited staffing levels. Friday to Sunday ScheduleOn Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, Eisenhower NHS home tours will depart by shuttle bus only from the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center by ticketed reservation at 10 am, 11 am, 1 pm, and 2 pm. Tickets will be available in-person at the ticket counter, by calling the Gettysburg Foundation at 877-874-2478, or by visiting the Gettysburg Foundation website. Cost is $9.00 for ages 13 and above, $5.00 for ages 6-12, and free for children ages 5 and younger. During these days, access to the site is by shuttle bus only. No private vehicles are permitted on-site. The Labor Day and Columbus Day holidays, Monday, September 6 and Monday, October 11, will operate on the weekend home tour schedule. Tickets will go on sale beginning Monday, July 12 and home tours will run through Columbus Day. Monday to Thursday ScheduleFrom Monday through Thursday, the grounds of the Eisenhower NHS will be open from sunrise to sunset. Visitors may drive to the site and follow signs to a temporary parking lot established during the COVID-19 closure. Ranger guided walking tours of the grounds of the Eisenhower NHS will take place at 11 am and 2 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, starting in front of the Eisenhower home. They will consist of a one-hour, outdoor walking tour of the grounds of the Eisenhower farm. Programs are free of charge and open to the public. The weekday summer programming schedule will run through Labor Day. All programs will be conducted consistent with CDC recommendations. People who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors and masks are required for everyone on all forms of public transportation. Additional details are available at www.nps.gov/coronavirus. 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.

Gettysburg Bike Week turns 20 and keeps growing

Gettysburg Bike Week  celebrated its  20th anniversary rally, cancelled last year because of COVID, at the Allstar Events Complex on Emmittsburg Rd. on Thursday through Sunday. “We had to wait an extra year to celebrate our 20th,” said event coordinator Kelly Shue. “Last year was a nightmare for everyone, but to see the joy on people’s faces to be out, socializing, and cutting loose a bit—it made the wait worth it.” “This is probably our best year ever. We’ve definitely growing over the past five years. We had a really good band lineup and the weather cooperated,” said Shue. This year’s rally set attendance records at the events, which included mini-bike racing, a stunt show, and the annual Battlefield Ride of Chrome on Saturday. Musical groups included the Metallica tribute band Fade To Black, hard rock ensemble Buckcherry, and the local glamrock group KIX. Shue said all of the food vendors at the site were from Gettysburg.  “They were thrilled and they were thrilled for the town,” she said. Noting the benefits of the event to Gettysburg’s economy, Shue said “there is no other event that could possibly bring more money.  Bikers can’t bring anything with them – they pack the restaurants, the hotels, and the stores.” “I love organizing it for the community,” she said. Plans for next year’s rally, number 21, are already in the works.

Historical fiction writer Jeff Shaara returns to live in Gettysburg, plans new book on Teddy Roosevelt [Episode 54]

World-renowned historical fiction author Jeff Shaara has moved to Gettysburg with his family, relocating into a restored historical house on W. Confederate Ave. In his remarkable career, Shaara has already published 18 books, almost all of them best-sellers, and is hard at work on number 19:  Its topic? – Teddy Roosevelt. Shaara is the author of “Gods and Generals” and “The Last Full Measure,” both stories about the battle of Gettysburg. In this podcast interview Shaara talks about how a phone call from the media entrepreneur Ted Turner changed his life, how he crafts and writes his books, his new book project, and his restoration of the historical “Red Patch” house. If you enjoy the podcast, please take a few seconds to support us by signing up for our weekly mailing list. The site is completely free of charge, but we do ask your help in sharing our content with other people in the community. Please follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Musical Introduction by Thane Pittman.

2021 summer and battle anniversary ranger programs announced

Gettysburg National Military Park is pleased to announce Ranger walks, talks, and hikes have resumed, as of Saturday, June 12. These interpretive programs will offer visitors a chance to learn about the people and places that made history during the Battle of Gettysburg. Hike the fields of Pickett’s Charge, explore the rocky summit of Little Round Top, reflect on the words of the Gettysburg Address, and much more. There are a host of new and exciting offerings that will appeal to first time and repeat visitors alike. Additionally, Gettysburg National Military Park will commemorate the 158th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg with special in-person programming and interpretive experiences throughout the three-day battle anniversary from July 1-3, 2021. These programs include special talks that provide an overview of key battlefield moments, an in-depth Battle Walk that will explore Pickett’s Charge, the climactic moment of the battle, and special evening programs at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center. Additionally, park staff will provide unique and behind the scenes access to some of the iconic buildings on the battlefield landscape. “After a year of connecting with visitors virtually, we’re excited to be back out on the battlefield. The summer season, and especially the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, is a special time for our staff and our visitors. To be able to share the inspiring, tragic, and relevant stories of the battle and its aftermath. Our professional Park Rangers make the past come to life on this hallowed ground,” said Superintendent Steven Sims. Please Note: Our special July 1-3 Battle Anniversary program schedule will replace the regularly scheduled summer program schedule from July 1-3. All regularly scheduled summer programs resume on July 4. The schedule is subject to change and is weather dependent. Water, headgear, sun protection, insect repellent, and sturdy footwear are highly recommended. All programs are free of charge. The full Summer schedule can be found on our website at https://www.nps.gov/gett/planyourvisit/interpretation.htm. The full July 1-3 Battle Anniversary schedule can be found on our website at https://www.nps.gov/gett/planyourvisit/battle-anniversary-158.htm. 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.

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.

Omni-partial: My experience at a recent local protest

“Tell me what you believe!” a bearded man in jeans and windbreaker laughingly demanded. Standing in the too-cold rain, I wasn’t prepared to tell him what I believed about the issue at hand. One, I wasn’t sure. Two, I wasn’t there to give my opinion. I was there to be omni-partial. April 9th probably doesn’t ring any bells to most people. In Gettysburg, PA, however, it is notably the anniversary of Lee’s surrender to Grant in 1865. In 2021, it was also the day that a small group of devoted believers chose to hold a protest on the Gettysburg battlefield. According to event organizer Beth Farnham, “Denouncing Confederate Monuments” is working to “Condemn Confederate monuments which glorify the murderous, enslaving, and treasonous Confederacy and call for their legal removal by Congress.” I serve on the board of Mediation Services of Adams County, but this protest was a new forum for me. When I lived in New York, I was a mediator for the Child Court Improvement Project, The Peacemaker Program Inc., and an arbitrator for the Unified Court System of New York State. I have mediated or arbitrated hundreds of cases concerning divorce, child support and visitation, child permanency, police/citizen interactions, and small claims court. I have a lot of experience in a controlled environment around a table, but nothing could prepare me for being a community mediator in the middle of a hotbed issue like the removal of statues from a beloved battlefield. I stepped in, however, knowing that someone needed to help people who care so deeply about this issue feel heard. I wasn’t alone, and I wasn’t untrained. Some of the experienced mediators at MSAC are training with an international group called the Trust Network. We have been listening to people from around the globe discuss how local people with connections to each other, and ears to the ground, can step in and help calm conflict when outsiders or governments don’t seem to be effective. We were contacted by the National Association for Community Mediation and the Trust Network specifically because we live in Gettysburg, famously a town of many divided emotions. Our goal is to listen to people in town, to find out what’s going on around us, and to be available in times of conflict, such as this protest, to listen and de-escalate. A community mediator isn’t a traditional mediator, who is a neutral third party who listens to stories and helps people settle disagreements. As a community mediator, we step in, rather than sitting back. We approach disputes, rather than waiting our turn. We practice bravery in the face of conflict. We don’t take sides. We are omni-partial. We care about our community. We want everyone to win. When my partner, Janet Powers, and I arrived at the scene that day, in the pouring rain, wearing our bright green “Trust Network Mediator” vests, we didn’t know what to expect. Both sides of the argument are 100% sure they are right, and that history is on their side. Additionally, both sides are willing to act on their convictions in bold ways. When we arrived, we could see the protest was underway. As we walked up a hill toward the small but heartfelt group, we were approached by some people from the opposing side. They inquired about our vests and what we were attempting to do. After explaining ourselves the best we could, I invited the soon-to-be hecklers to join us at the protest. “You get a chance to be heard too.” I said, and gave them the international sign for come along. Big, shocked eyes of disbelief soon softened, and the green-vested ladies led them, Pied Piper-style up to the action. I had to encourage them to proceed a few times, it seemed they weren’t sure whether we could be trusted. Some took the time to thank us for leading them up, and for taking the time to let them know they mattered. We got to the protest and the anti-protestors stayed just close enough so they could make their remarks, as it is their right. They were mostly respectful, and certainly not violent. We noticed that many had weapons, but that is also their right in Pennsylvania. And then we watched. We watched for conflict, heated discussion or agitation. When there was any, we walked toward it. People seemed to relax because of us, as if we had some kind of power. At one point, a protestor reacted strongly to a comment someone made about her daughter and the other protestors handled it instantly. “They are not our fight. Don’t lose sight of why we are here.” As the event ended, many of the protestors and onlookers thanked us for being there and said our presence helped them feel safe. To be thanked by both sides of a conflict is the best result community mediators can hope for. It means we have done our job, and that both sides go away knowing that their community cares enough for them to be present in their heightened emotional times. That we don’t back away because there is turmoil, frustration or anger. Facing it together is our goal. I think Janet and I nailed it. As we walked away, we said to each other, “Why the hell are we doing this?” But we both knew why; this is how community is done.

Discover South Mountain announces the launch of DiscoverSouthMountain.com

An exciting new initiative launched in April 2021 – Discover South Mountain is an online guide to all that is happening in the South Mountain region, a 70-mile stretch and little-known extension of the Blue Ridge Mountain range – it covers parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia. Discover South Mountain will keep followers up to date on everything happening in the area, from food festivals and live music to guided tours and local cultural celebrations. DiscoverSouthMountain.com is a digital invitation to get out and explore the region full of natural beauty, history, and adventure.  The South Mountain region is the perfect getaway destination for all: nature-lovers, art-enthusiasts, history buffs, foodies, sommelier-wannabes, and so much more. Plus, the region is home to America’s most famous small town, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where history, music, art, theater, food, drink, and opportunities for exploration abound. Discover South Mountain reaches the public through its web site, DiscoverSouthMountain.com, that houses an interactive searchable database of activities and attractions throughout the region.   The public can search the database – or sign up for regular information by email, Facebook, or Instagram. The DiscoverSouthMountain.com site is for tourists and business owners alike. For tourists, it provides an opportunity to discover the gems of a little-known region and plan trips to an area filled with activities and adventures for all ages. For business owners and organizations in the South Mountain region, it provides a free opportunity to promote their events, festivals, and other offerings – which will hopefully drive business to an area whose economy has been negatively impacted by the recent pandemic. Key features of DiscoverSouthMountian.com: Searchable list of events and festivals occurring in the South Mountain Region Ability for users to plan their trip to the region with listings by date and links to events and festivals Expanding list of events and festivals as area businesses partner with Discover South Mountain to feature their events and festivals Weekly newsletter featuring upcoming events and festivals Submission form for businesses and organizations to submit their events for listing. For more information, visit www.discoversouthmountain.com and sign up for the newsletter today. You will receive weekly updates on upcoming events and festivals in the South Mountain region.  To submit events and festivals, visit https://discoversouthmountain.com/submit-an-event-or-festival/