Gettysburg, PA

>> Monday, July 13, 2009

On July 5th, we visited Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Jason was really excited for me to see it because he loved it when he had visited about 5 years ago. When we got there, we were all surprised to see a new visitor's center built in 2008. We went in to check it all out. This is the day where my pictures run really short. Most of Gettysburg and the rest of the day are on our friend's camera, but I'll give you a run-down regardless.

When we entered the visitor's center, we were surprised to see how large it was. We walked around a little and saw some old Civil War-era guns, uniforms and general relics. We weren't prepared for the rest of the museum to CHARGE us. After all, this is a National Park so it should be free. It was around $12 per person (there were 7 of us) and then $30 or $40 to do some type of tour which included a movie. We weren't doing that. We went to the visitor's center store where I bought an 1863 Infantry Tactics book to send to my brother. I thought he'd get a kick out of it.....seeing how much things have changed, especially since he's in a war zone now. Outside, I got some pictures of the Maryland state flower, the Black-Eyed Susan (yes, I know I was in PA when I took the pic):

Also, some Queen Anne's Lace:

Then, we headed out to the Eisenhower viewing tower to view the Gettysburg battlefield. On our way there, we missed the turn and turned onto the next street. We were trying to find a place to turn around when we saw the sign that said it was a private driveway. Our two vehicles immediately began to make u-turns on a tiny one-lane road when all of a sudden, a red PT Cruiser races down the road the same way we came and blocked us off! He wanted to know what we were doing on the road and he meant business! There were no signs on his car, but he was in a Park Ranger uniform. We looked at the guy like he was stupid, informed him that we missed our turn and were trying to turn around, then left. He gave us the stank eye the entire time we passed him. Then, he followed us to make sure that we were going where we said we where going. What a weirdo!

We found out afterward that the road goes straight into the Eisenhower family farm residence. The tower is also located on the farm, but it's the public part of it. The tower is really, really high and you have to climb up stairs to get up there. Even though I'm in shape and we'd done a lot of walking, my thighs were burning going up those steps. But the view was worth it.

The farmhouse is in that picture, but it's almost impossible to spot, even after zooming in. It was pretty far way from where we where. Directly behind us was this view:

The right peak is Big Round Top and the left is Little Round Top. You can't tell in this picture, but Little Round Top has rocks on it that you can visit. Little Round Top is where the Confederate troops tried to attack the Union troops unsuccessfully on July 2, 1863 in the Battle of Gettysburg. We looked at all the ground that the Civil War took place on......imagining a type of war where you walked onto the battlefield to almost certain death. These were men and women who were extremely brave.

When we climbed down, I checked out some canons on the bottom that belonged to the army of Northern Virginia (remember they seceded from the Union):

By now, were were hungry, so we went to eat at The Dobbin House, where our friends had their wedding reception. We ate in the tavern downstairs, which was lit almost exclusively by candlelight. This place was really neat! It was built in 1776 by Irish Reverend Alexander Dobbin who came to help settle the area. And settle he did! He had 10 children with his first wife and remarried a widow who had 9 children of her own! Can you say Duggar family?

Later, in the mid-1800s, the house served as a station for the Underground Railroad (we saw the crawl space they hid in) and then a hospital after the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War. This was a truly unique place to eat....the wood is over 200 years old...that's hard to imagine! I wish I had taken a picture of the outside, but you can see it on the website I tagged above. After dinner, we headed back to the house and then watched movies.


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