Updated: Apr 23
Created by Jessica and Troy Dean, Celebrate Gettysburg means to highlight both current events in Adams County and to celebrate Gettysburg’s important impact on American history. The bimonthly magazine spotlights shops, businesses, organizations, and events taking place in the area. The November and December 2022 edition highlights places like Adams County Children’s Advocacy Center that supports children and families, as well as local woodworker Greg Allen’s Gettysburg Sentinels handcrafted wooden items.
Celebrate Gettysburg uses first-hand accounts and other primary sources to preserve all facets of the Battle of Gettysburg. Civilians, not just soldiers, are highlighted, and marginalized peoples are represented so that everyone’s story is told.
Beyond The Battlefield: Personal Accounts and Photographic Records
July and August’s 2022 publication includes the article “Loss and Gain” by Jane Malone, which puts a spotlight on Fannie Buehler. Fannie was the wife of postmaster David Buehler who wrote about her experiences before, during, and after the battle in her own personal memoir. These experiences - nursing, cooking, and caring for soldiers on both sides - are often not seen in traditional textbooks, but they serve as a reminder that there were countless more people affected than those who fought on the battlefield.
The same publication also includes “Through the Lens of History” by Sarah Smith, which showcases some of the photographers who risked their very lives to capture images of the war so that the 1863 public could see the horrors of battle, but also so that the audience who exists in 2023 is able to learn about events that happened centuries prior.
Voices of the Young
In the September and October’s 2022 publication, Malone puts the spotlight on another marginalized voice: that of children. Taking information from an interview conducted in 1938 with one Charles Schick, Malone shares the 82-year-old’s memories as a seven-year-old boy watching soldiers entering the town of Gettysburg and how his family fled their home after a cannonball landed on the second floor.
The issue also includes an article about the museum Gettysburg Beyond the Battle. In the article “Back to the Beginning”, author Karen Hendricks explains how the museum honors the legacy of thousands of years of local Native American history by displaying, among other things, stone artifacts that were found along local waterways. These artifacts serve as a reminder of the people who lived in the area long before Meade and Lee’s soldiers clashed on the same land in 1863.
These articles serve as a reminder of the treasure trove of stories that Adams County has to offer.
The Importance of Preserving History: Telling Stories
Oftentimes people will follow the mantra “out with the old, in with the new” especially when it comes to their everyday lives. After all, how can life in the 19th century possibly affect the lives of those living in the year 2023?
History affects all aspects of life simply due to the fact that every action has a reaction. The dominos of events that fell in 1863 affected the war effort, which eventually led to the end of the Civil War, which led to Reconstruction, and so on and so on. Celebrate Gettysburg provides a way to continue to preserve connections between the past and present.
The People of Gettysburg
For example, if you've read the November and December publication of the magazine, then you might ask:
Why did a Boy Scout advocate for a statue of a drummer boy to be included in his Eagle Scout park project? Because musicians were prominent and valuable to both armies, yet they are often overlooked despite their communication and morale-boosting roles.
Or maybe, why did Dr. Mary E. Walker become the first and only woman to receive the Medal of Honor? Because the only female surgeon of the war not only cared for soldiers, but also served as a prisoner of war.
The preservation of these stories in the pages of Celebrate Gettysburg brings these individuals and more to readers so that both these people and their experiences are not lost to time. The people might be lost, the artifacts might be lost, but the written word preserves their stories.
History in Your Hands
People can learn about history from a variety of sources, but information preserved in print is a permanent way to ensure that people and events are remembered. Gettysburg, the turning point of the Civil War, affected not just the soldiers on the battlefield in 1863, but the lives of all who lived in and around the small town.
Readers of Celebrate Gettysburg magazine will see for themselves how the town proudly blends the present and the past by sharing stories about the people and places of Adams County. This is done in a way that not only reminds locals of those who lived in the area before them, but serves as an opportunity for out-of-towners to explore the influences of the battle that the town of Gettysburg is celebrated for.
Take a look at our unique hand-crafted wooden 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!