The David Wills Story
David Wills was a prominent attorney and resident of Gettysburg. After the Battle of Gettysburg, Wills helped tend the wounded and lobbied for compensation for farmers and field owners who suffered property losses. He also solicited help in caring for the dead from Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin, who designated Wills an agent of the state and delegated him the task of properly burying the dead. The idea for creating a permanent national cemetery at Gettysburg was offered during a meeting at the Wills House. Governor Curtin approved the idea and gave Wills the authority to manage the construction of what would become the Soldiers' National Cemetery. Wills invited President Abraham Lincoln to speak at the dedication of the cemetery and hosted Lincoln at his home in November 1863.
A Museum in Downtown Gettysburg
The David Wills House, a National Park Service museum in downtown Gettysburg, opened on Feb. 12, 2009—the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday. The Wills House tells the story of David Wills, President Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address. The museum features six galleries, including two rooms that have been restored to their 1863 appearance; Wills’ office, where he received letters from families seeking loved ones after the battle and began planning for the national cemetery; and the bedroom where Lincoln stayed and prepared to deliver the Gettysburg Address.
The David Wills House is currently closed for the season and will reopen Presidents' Day weekend, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and the last weekend in February, 10 a.m. – 4 pm.
Adult (ages 13+): $7
Seniors (ages 65+) and Military Personnel: $6
Youth (ages 6-12): $4
Child (ages 5 and younger): Free
Hours & Getting There
The David Wills House is located at 8 Lincoln Square in downtown Gettysburg. Metered street parking and a self-parking garage located on Racehorse Alley are available. Park your car at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center and take the free Freedom Transit shuttle. Shuttles pick up and drop off at the Flag Plaza at the Museum & Visitor Center throughout the day. Find shuttle information here.
February: President’s Day Weekend and the last weekend of February, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
March and April: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Closed Tuesdays)
May - August: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
September and October: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Closed Tuesdays)
November: Saturdays and Sundays and Veterans Day, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Nov. 17 and 18, 6 – 8 p.m.
December: Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Learn more about the David Wills House