The town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania has certainly evolved over the last 160 years. The aftermath of the fighting left the town in ruins, and took years for the people to recover. However, as more and more veterans returned to the battlefield to pay respects, more and more people also began to visit. Eventually, 70 years after gunshots ceased, the Gettysburg National Military Park was created to preserve the historic site.
Today, Gettysburg is one of the most popular national parks in the United States, with about 1.8 million tourists visiting in 2019 alone. With an array of guided tours provided by both the national park service and private companies, visitors can immerse themselves in the history of such a pivotal battle.
Ways to Experience the Battle
With such a large interest in the Battle of Gettysburg, there are several ways everyone from casual explorers to major history buffs can experience what the Gettysburg National Military Park has to offer.
Visit the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center: Watch A New Birth of Freedom, experience Pickett’s Charge in the Gettysburg Cyclorama, and view artifacts and exhibits in the Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War before visiting the battlefield.
Watch a reenactment: The Patriots of the Civil War Association (PCWA) will hold its annual reenactment of the Battle of Gettysburg from June 23rd-25th. See over 500 reenactors in battles, demonstrations, and other activities.
Use augmented reality: The Gettysburg AR Experience allows users to witness history, interact with soldiers, and listen to Lincoln give his Gettysburg Address all from the screen of your phone.
Education: The Civil War in Schools
As the American Civil War is such an important part of American history, it is a subject that is taught in both middle and high school grades. While the units tend to delve into the war at different depths based on a child’s age, state standards typically cover the causes, major events, experiences of different groups, key figures, and consequences of the war.
In an effort to continue to build interest and awareness, programs like The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History have created resources for students and annually provide professional development opportunities for educators to add materials and strategies to their teacher bag of tricks.
While Gettysburg, Pennsylvania is best known as the site of the turning point of the Civil War, Gettysburg itself has been around since before the United States Constitution was ratified in 1789! With a population of about 7,600 citizens as of 2021, Gettysburg has continued to maintain its small town routes while also welcoming millions of visitors each year. Readers of our blog can also look forward to spotlights on incredible things that are happening in and around our town!
Grants: Maintaining the Town
Organizations in our town work tirelessly to support the people and businesses located in and around the town of Gettysburg. In doing so, many groups have received grants to enhance the lives of both residents and visitors.
For example, in December of 2022, Main Street Gettysburg - a non-profit organization with a focus on supporting residents of Adams County - received a $50,000 Keystone Community Grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. The grant will continue to help maintain and renovate buildings in the historic part of Gettysburg Borough.
Similarly, in October of the same year, Main Street Gettysburg received a grant from the Gettysburg Nature Alliance of $25,000 for the million-dollar Gettysburg Welcome Center. The grant’s monies will be used to make the area more publicly accessible. Additionally, it will also help inform both residents and visitors of goings on throughout the community.
Awards: Recognizing Excellence
We also use our platform to highlight those people and organizations who have served the town in positive ways. For example, in October of 2021, Borough Manager Charles R. Gable was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the Pennsylvania State Association. Gable was recognized for his response to the pandemic by creating a COVID-19 task-force during the beginning of government shutdowns. Among other things, the task-force provided information about programs for food accessibility, grants for businesses, and supplies like masks and hand sanitizer.
History in Your Hands
As you can see, we're really excited to share more than just the events of July 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of 1863! We hope that showcasing information for both residents and tourists alike will give readers a greater connection to Gettysburg. Staying up to date with Gettysburg current events not only keeps us informed in the present, but also allows us to stay connected to the past. These connections continue to honor those who sacrificed so much on the battlefield 160 years ago.
Take a moment to look at our unique hand-crafted items made from the wood of the Battle of Gettysburg. Each piece is made with care and attention to detail and is a perfect addition to any history enthusiast's collection. They also make wonderful gifts!
Order now and own a piece of history!