Gettysburg Travel Guide

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Gettysburg Travel Guide

Gettysburg Local History

The area now known as Adams County was first home to the Iroquois Indians and it wasn't until 1736 that the family of William Penn bought the land from the Iroquois and settled here. It was only a few years later that 150 families, mostly Scots-Irish, settled in this area then known as Marsh Creek.

In 1761, Samuel Gettys, one of the earlier settlers built the first tavern and 25 years later in 1786, his son James laid out the town on the land surrounding the tavern with a central town square, which became known as Gettysburg.

As this area was part of the York county the growing population opted to have a separate county and in 1800 the state legislature approved the new county, which was named after the then President John Adams. Gettysburg was nominated as the county seat.

When 1860 arrived the town had a population of 2,400 with ten roads leading towards the town. Small but prosperous industries were created such as tanneries, shoemakers and carriage manufacturers. By 1863 there were about 450 buildings which housed these industries plus the usual merchants, banks and taverns.

In the same year two armies arrived at Gettysburg and forever afterwards, throughout the world, the town would be remembered for its role in the American Civil War. Nothing throughout its history, which is longer than two centuries, neither the Indian raids nor the developments plans of today will be so vividly remembered as July 1st, 2nd, and 3rd 1863, when the Battle of Gettysburg took place. Gettysburg will also be remembered for the 'Gettysburg Address' the speech which President Lincoln gave at the site of the battle on the 19 November 1863.

Gettysburg Attractions

Top Attractions

Historic Round Barn & Farm Market U S 30, Cashtown Rd, Gettysburg. This historic building is located 8 miles west of Gettysburg and is a rare, round barn. It was built in 1914 and is an Adams County Landmark. The visitor will find fresh farm produce, gifts and much more on sale at the barn. The barn is open June Oct. Admission is free.

The National Civil War Museum Gettysburg. In this museum the visitor will find a vast array of artefacts, manuscripts, photos, documents from 1850 to 1876. There are items from before the War, a section pertaining to slavery and the war years as well as 'the human side' of the conflict. There are exhibits of materials collected by the soldiers, men and women left at home and the experiences of the African Americans. There is sure to be something of interest to everyone who visits the museum.

National Civil War Wax Museum 297 Steinwehr Ave, Gettysburg. This museum contains approximately 200 life size wax figures in 30 scenes. There is also an audiovisual presentation plus a battle room auditorium. The museum also has a re-enactment of the Battle of Gettysburg and an animated Lincoln giving the Gettysburg Address. During the summer months the museum holds living history encampments on week-ends.

Shriver House Museum The house of George and Hettie Schriver is situated in the centre of Gettysburg's historic district. The house was built in 1860 and still looks very much the same as when it was built. Here the visitor will find guides, in period dress, who will take the visitor on a 30 minute tour of the four floors of the house and recount the family's harrowing experiences during the Battle of Gettysburg. The attic of the Schriver home was used as a sharpshooters nest by Confederate soldiers, of which at least two were killed.

Some of the articles found in the house and attic are on display such as live .58 calibre Confederate bullets, percussion caps, Union bullets that were removed from the brick near the garret window, period spectacles, glassware and a 1917 Jello book to name just a few of the items. The museum is open Apr Oct: Mon Sat 10am 5pm; Sun noon- 5pm. Nov: Weekends 12pm 5pm. Dec: Sat evening candlelight tours & reservations only. January: closed. Feb –Mar: Weekends 12pm 5pm. Entrance fees are Adults $5.95; Seniors $5.75; Children $4.35 (12 and under)

For the Glory The Civil War Musical in Gettysburg. June 17, 2006 to Sept 3, 2006. For the Glory, by Tony-nominated Broadway composer Frank Wildhorn, provides a new dimension to the Gettysburg experience. Starting June 2006 at Gettysburg's newly renovated Majestic Theater. To reserve seats call (717) 337-8200 or log onto fortheglorythemusical.com. Tickets: $40 for adults, $20 for children 16 and under.
submitted by Angela Walseng, 16/05/06

Gettysburg Shopping

Country Curiosity Store Gettysburg. This store is very much like an old-time general store and is filled with gifts, toys, souvenirs, local handcrafted items and plenty of other items. Here you will feel like you have stepped back to a period when the general dealer was the sole supplier of articles from lace to groceries and much more, for the townsfolk. This is definitely a wonderful place to browse and find something different. The Curiosity Store is also the exclusive area dealer for Crabtree and Evelyn products.

Habitat, Camelot and Stonehams 1 Steinwehr Ave, Gettysburg. Here you will find a very unique gift shop which is housed in three historic buildings and has a huge variety of different items for sale. In the 'Habitat' section you will find costume jewellery, local handmade crafts and items for the home. The 'Camelot' section specialises in gifts and souvenirs for everyone young and old and 'Stonehams' has a large array of replica weapons from the Civil, Revolutionary and Indian Wars plus books, paintings and prints. This shop will definitely make your shopping trip a whole new experience.

Gettysburg Activities

Land of Little Horses West of Gettysburg. This animal park has something for the entire family. Here the visitor will find exotic animals such as llama, fallow deer, miniature donkey, miniature cows and many more different animals. There are also trained animal shows, pig races, saddle rides and a train tram plus a carousel. The visitor to the farm can also enjoy a stroll along the nature trail or have a snack at the Hobby Horse Cafe. For a really great shopping experience visit the Gift Horse gift shop and find something completely different. This is a wonderful place for the whole family to enjoy a day out.

Explore and More 1360 Baltimore Street, Gettysburg. This house is a wonderful place for children to play and explore. There is there 1860's Room where children can play in a Civil War house and a general store and experience what life was like in that era. There is also an Art Room where they can create their own original work of art with glitter, feathers, pipe cleaners and lots more. Or they can go into the Construction Room where they wear a 'hard hat' and use pulleys to lift heavy loads and experiment with gears. Find out how far a whisper travels in the Exploration Room or stand inside a bubble and what about learning more about nature in the Nature Room. Children are sure to have an amazing time at Explore and More.

Gettysburg Parks & Gardens

Mont Alto State Park This State Park can be found 20 miles west of Gettysburg via Route 30 to PA Route 233 South. This 24 acre park offers the visitor a place to have a family picnic in the picnic pavilions, great children's playgrounds and for the avid fisherman, stream-fishing.

Gettysburg National Military Park 97 Taneytown Road, Gettysburg. This park is a memorial to the Battle of Gettysburg. The park is situated on 6,000 acres of ground which surrounds the town. The visitor will find plenty of monuments, markers and memorials as well as three observation towers in the park. You can see the sights yourself, join a guided walk or hire an audio tape which will give you plenty of information regarding the park.

Gettysburg Restaurants and Bars

Gettysburg Restaurants

Dobbin House Tavern Gettysburg. This historic colonial house was built in 1776 by Reverend Alexander Dobbin for himself and his family when they settled in America. The home has been beautifully and authentically restored and has now been opened to the public as a restaurant. Enjoy an elegant candlelit dinner with plenty of really good food and service which is excellent. The sounds and tastes and friendly hospitality will transport you back two centuries, to a time of grace and elegance.

General Pickett's All-U-Can-Eat Buffet Restaurant 571 Steinwehr Ave, Gettysburg. This restaurant offers the diner a wonderful buffet for both Lunch and Dinner. There is fresh baked bread, homemade soups, a salad bar and a dessert table which will you are sure not to refuse. If you are looking for good down home cooking in a place with a truly family atmosphere then General Pickett's is the place to go.

The Alexander Dobbin Dining Rooms Gettysburg. Here you will be able to dine to an outstanding menu of traditional dishes both Colonial and Continental. The dishes are prepared with the best and freshest ingredients and the helpings are generous. There are also mouth-watering breads and extremely tempting deserts which are made in their own bakery. They also offer a children's menu. The restaurant is open daily from 5pm and it is advisable to make a reservation.

Gettysburg Bars & Clubs

Gettysbrew Gettysburg. Here you will find a choice of 5 different fresh-brewed beers which have been made from high quality ingredients. They also offer hand-crafted root beer and sodas for children of all ages. There is also a stage for musical entertainment and Civil War Balls to banquets. The Gettysbrew also offers casual dining with prices which are very reasonable in a very rustic but charming atmosphere of a civil war barn.

The Springhouse Tavern Gettysburg. This cosy and romantic alehouse in the middle of three natural springs and two glowing fireplaces offers you your favourite spirits. They also serve food at anytime of the day or night from generous dinner fare to tasty desserts. The tavern is open daily from 11.30am and there is no need to make a reservation.

Gettysburg children's activities

Land of Little Horses West of Gettysburg. This animal park has something for the entire family. Here the visitor will find exotic animals such as llama, fallow deer, miniature donkey, miniature cows and many more different animals. There are also trained animal shows, pig races, saddle rides and a train tram plus a carousel. The visitor to the farm can also enjoy a stroll along the nature trail or have a snack at the Hobby Horse Cafe. For a really great shopping experience visit the Gift Horse gift shop and find something completely different. This is a wonderful place for the whole family to enjoy a day out.

Explore and More 1360 Baltimore Street, Gettysburg. This house is a wonderful place for children to play and explore. There is there 1860's Room where children can play in a Civil War house and a general store and experience what life was like in that era. There is also an Art Room where they can create their own original work of art with glitter, feathers, pipe cleaners and lots more. Or they can go into the Construction Room where they wear a 'hard hat' and use pulleys to lift heavy loads and experiment with gears. Find out how far a whisper travels in the Exploration Room or stand inside a bubble and what about learning more about nature in the Nature Room. Children are sure to have an amazing time at Explore and More.

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