As spring arrives and many look forward to the return of warmer weather, longer days, starting the growing season, making summer plans and the hopeful progress of reducing the pandemic, I express gratitude and acknowledgement in our community. I’m also excited to touch on the Gettysburg Foundation’s newest initiatives.
I personally thank area residents who visited the Museum & Visitor Center during February for ‘Free Thursdays.’ We enjoyed having 180 Adams County folks join us and are thrilled with the response. We hope you continue visiting, share our offerings with friends and family, and consider joining the Friends of Gettysburg to support our mission and enjoy membership benefits locally.
We extend warm congratulations to our friends at Adams County Historical Society on groundbreaking for their new home. It’s inspiring to see ACHS create a vision and successfully undertake an ambitious fundraising campaign for a beautiful and safe repository for millions of documents, photographs and artifacts of Adams County’s history. I commend Andrew Dalton and the staff, board of directors and members of ACHS as they pursue the ‘great task‘ of constructing their new facility.
On behalf of Gettysburg Foundation, I’m grateful for Foursquare Church and our collaboration to distribute 100,000 face coverings from Ford Motor Company Fund. We are especially appreciative of Pastor Mark Chester, Dan Tapper and the many church members who participate in the church’s ‘Love Gettysburg’ initiative, which distributed the protective face coverings.
Gettysburg Foundation is pleased to offer new exhibits and attractions for visitors and community residents. We have seen great interest in the new Eisenhower Exhibit Spotlight recently opened at the Museum & Visitor Center. The permanent introductory exhibit offers a glimpse into Dwight Eisenhower’s life as a soldier, general, world leader and citizen. Ike and Mamie Eisenhower spent their last years on their Gettysburg farm–now the Eisenhower National Historic Site. The exhibit prominently displays a life-size image of our 34th President on the battlefield–a great photo opportunity. I encourage all to experience the introductory exhibit and tour the grounds of Eisenhower National Historic Site.
You may have seen banners on the Rupp House, 451 Baltimore Street, that herald the opening of our new children’s adventure. Designed for young people to learn about the experiences of local children during the Battle of Gettysburg and its aftermath, “The Children of Gettysburg 1863” tells stories through vignettes, period photos, and artifacts. For safety, we will add ‘hands on’ activities once COVID-19 risks subside. We anticipate our grand opening for the public by late summer 2021. Watch for additional details on our website and social media.
In closing, I acknowledge the strong partnership the Gettysburg Foundation enjoys with the National Park Service. Superintendent Steve Sims and his team are doing great things in the park, including installing several new wayside markers (with more to come) and reconditioning six equestrian monuments. These monuments are each more than 100 years old. Reconditioning work includes joint replacement, cleaning and stone repairs. Preservation work has also begun at the Ephraim Whistler House on Rt. 30 West, the site of the opening shots of the Battle of Gettysburg and the ‘First Shot Marker.’ Gettysburg Foundation nobly supports educational programs, preservation work and Museum & Visitor Center operations of the National Park Service at Gettysburg.
Stay safe and enjoy springtime in Gettysburg.
David Malgee, Interim President, Gettysburg Foundation
First appeared in the Gettysburg Foundation's column in the March 22, 2021, edition of the Gettysburg Times.