Travel back in time and enjoy this rare opportunity to visit inside six historic barns near Gettysburg.

The “Historic Barns Tour of Gettysburg and Adams County” will be held on Saturday, Sept. 16, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Presented by Historic Gettysburg Adams County (HGAC), this event will be held rain or shine.

The Tour includes privately owned barns that are not usually open to the public. One of the barns on the Tour served as a field hospital during the Battle of Gettysburg. The Tour begins at the historic Round Barn at 298 Cashtown Road, Biglerville, PA. Participants should check in between 10 a.m. and noon and will receive a booklet and map showing the locations of the barns on the Tour. After exploring the Round Barn and Farm Market, participants can then drive to any barn on the Tour, in any order, and stay as long as they wish. The Tour ends at 4 p.m.

HGAC Barn Tour Cornerstone Barn

This Pennsylvania bank barn is one of the barns included in this year’s HGAC’s Historic Barns Tour of Gettysburg and Adams County. It is barn #185 on the Adams County Barn Registry.

This Tour is a family-friendly event; all kids under 18 are free and must be accompanied by an adult. Adults are $35 in advance and $40 on the day of the event. There will be a windshield scavenger hunt called “Barn Quest” for students to identify architectural details of Pennsylvania barns. “We hope that parents and grandparents will bring their kids to see inside these great old barns, “ said Event Chair Bob Mcilhenny. “Photographers, bring your cameras!”

Advance tickets may be purchased online until September 14 through Eventbrite or visit HGAConline.org and click on the Barn Tour link. For additional information, contact Bob Mcilhenny at (717) 420-6500 or RMcilhenny@comcast.net

Each barn on this unique Tour will feature activities throughout the day that are fun and educational. There will be a cider press and cider tastings, demonstrations of timber framing techniques as well as the use of a shaving horse and draw knife. Local artist Bobbie Becker, wood carver Frank Rauscher, and members of the Foothills artists will be displaying and selling their artworks. The Panera Tatters will demonstrate tatting and lace making, and Civil War living history characters will tell of life in the mid-1800s when the barns on the Tour were built.

There will also be live music and dance performances from the 19th century. Information about state-wide barn preservation efforts will be presented by members of the Historic Barn and Farm Foundation of Pennsylvania (HBFF). Ceramic artist Tom Starr will describe traditional brick-making techniques and talk about living in an old brick barn.

Learn about these icons of Adams County’s vernacular architecture. All the barns on the Tour except for the Round Barn are of a construction style known as the Pennsylvania Barn, and they all share two distinctive details. First, the front of a Pennsylvania barn features an extension of the upper floor of the barn known as a forebay, built to overshoot and shelter the entrance to the stables on the lower level. The second common feature is a bank of earth built up against the rear wall of the barn to provide access for wagons to enter the upper floor of the barn.

Proceeds from this event will benefit the award-winning HGAC Barn Preservation Project and Grant Program. In 2020 the “Henry A. Jordan Award” was presented to HGAC by Preservation PA for its “outstanding historic preservation efforts at the local level.” HGAC Preservation Committee chair Curt Musselman noted, “HGAC has provided matching grant funding to over 40 owners of historic barns in Adams County since 2013.”

Historic Gettysburg Adams County (HGAC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed in 1975 to foster the preservation and interpretation of culturally significant structures and sites in Adams County, Pennsylvania.

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