HGAC’s Summer at Spangler program begins May 27

Come take a peek inside the historic George Spangler barn and find out more about Pennsylvania’s unique bank barns!

This year will mark the third season for HGAC’s family-friendly “Summer at Spangler” program, which takes place at the George Spangler Barn and Farm, located at 488 Blacksmith Shop Road in Gettysburg. The barn is not only a stunning example of a Pennsylvania bank barn but also was employed by the Union Army as a field hospital during the Battle of Gettysburg. HGAC hosts this informative program in conjunction with the Gettysburg Foundation.

HGAC volunteer Bob Mcilhenny speaking to visitors at the Summer at Spangler program

HGAC volunteer Bob Mcilhenny speaking to visitors at the Summer at Spangler program.

The season opens on a special Family Day on Saturday, May 27, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free for this day, and visitors can drive directly onto the farm property.

Beginning June 11, the HGAC barn program will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. On those days, access to the farm is by shuttle only.  Visitors can get shuttle tickets at the Battlefield Visitor Center’s ticket counter. See the Gettysburg Foundation’s website for further specifics.

HGAC volunteers at Spangler discuss not only the history of barns in our region and their agricultural use but also highlight specific information on the Spangler barn, such as design considerations and construction techniques. The informational, child-friendly, hands-on display at the barn has historical tools, model joinery, and construction diagrams.

In addition, each weekend at the Spangler Farm features different reenactors or living historians depicting various facets of the times, including military units; medical services; and civilian life during the period. Docents from the Gettysburg Foundation also address many aspects of the Farm —  from family history to life on a 19th Century farm to the impact of the battle on this critically placed farm.

In the Foundation’s February 2023 edition of “Preservation & Progress,” Ron Kirkwood, author of Too Much for Human Endurance, notes the importance of the George Spangler Farm as a field hospital in the Battle of Gettysburg and writes about the summer programs:

​”The farm is open to the public on summer weekends and three free Family Days each year, drawing hundreds of visitors per day. Knowledgeable guides and living historians who love and appreciate the farm help share its stories. Historic Gettysburg Adams County has taken an active and appreciated interest in the farm and offers youth programs and volunteer barn experts. . . So not only has the Foundation had the courage and vision to preserve the George Spangler farm’s past, it likewise is securing its future as an important educational and historic Civil War site.” 

Come visit this important facet of the Battle of Gettysburg!  Find out some little-known facts about our historic barns and the many aspects of their utilization over time. 

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