American History Comes Alive in Pennsylvania

For anyone who loves battle re-enactments, this July sees a remarkable 3 day event in the small American town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. For this is the town best known for being one of the key battlegrounds of the American Civil War. On 6 – 8th July 2012, you can immerse yourself in American history and witness some great battle re-enactments from the safety of the side lines.  Or if you prefer something gentler, later in the year, you can attend the Gettysburg Military Ball – an have great fun dressing up! It’s a full scale 19th Ball, music, ball gowns of the 1860’s – the lot. The nearest airport is Gettysburg Regional Airport but there are major international flights coming into Philadelphia International Airport.


Staying In Gettysburg

For a taste of the tough life, stay in one of the historical camp sites – or pick one with modern amenities for a more comfortable time of it! There is plenty of choice when it comes to accommodation, – Inns, quality Hotels, and Bed and Breakfast rooms in well equipped homes.

Things To See

Gettysburg is now a thriving town, with lots of things to see and experience. There is the American Civil War Museum on Steinwehr Avenue, The Farnsworth House Theatre, Gettysburg Battle Theatre, or a trip to David Wills House, where President Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address. David Wills House provides an idea of what it was like in the months and years following the end of the war, and the beginning of the new United States of America.

The_Round_Barn-near_GettysburgIf it’s all a bit military for your taste, there is the wonderful Gettysburg Blue Grass Festival, you can try out the Adventure Golf Range at Granite Hill, or visit one of the rare American Round Barn and Farmers Markets. Eight miles west of Gettysburg and about half a mile off of Route 30 – you’ll find a perfect example of a beautiful white, two storey circular  Barn. Inside, you’ll find local fresh produce, interesting food gifts and decorative items, set out on gently curved shelves, following the shape of the Barn.

For those who like to indulge in a spot of shopping, there are specialist antique stores and collectable shops, several very good craft shops including a quilting store and scrapbook store. There is also the Adams County Winery and Reids Orchard and Winery where you can sample and purchase award winning local wines.

What’s Special About Gettysburg

Before the war, Gettysburg, Adams County, was a typical rural community made up of English, German, Irish, and African-Americans. But then came July 1863 and Gettyburg’s citizens found themselves at the centre of a great American Civil War battle during which they were forced into occupation and great hardship. In the aftermath of the battle, townspeople gave medical assistance where possible, buried the dead and began preserving the battleground. The experiences of those townspeople was deeply ingrained in the memory.  For the event there are tours and a huge range of lectures – for instance, you can learn about the effects of the war on women left to manage farms and homesteads, what it was like to have a civil war wedding, listen to 19th century dance music, and get to know what medical practice and civil war nursing meant for those needing help. See the schedule of the three day event for the full range of activities.

The 150th Anniversary of the Civil War Battle of Gettysburg is being commemorated by the building of a Gettysburg Historic Pathway – and you can buy a brick for the pathway, engraved with the name of your choice. It’s a great way to commemorate a visit for yourself or another person.  Airline tickets can be expensive, so do your research beforehand! For a holiday with a difference, head out to Adam County, Gettysburg, and experience a piece of American history.