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2021 News

Fall Family Day at Spangler, Oct. 9

September 11, 2021

The Gettysburg Foundation will host Fall Family Day at Spangler, a free, one-day event from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, at the George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital. The event marks the final opportunity to visit the George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital this year.

Offering free admission and the opportunity for the Adams County community and visitors to Gettysburg to experience the George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital, Fall Family Day at Spangler provides an educational fall day for families to experience and learn more about the history of the 80-acre historic site.

"Fall Family Day is an excellent day for families and those who enjoy learning about history,” said Paul Semanek, Spangler Farm Site Coordinator. “We’re glad to offer this special free event in autumn during the long holiday weekend, to provide families and visitors the opportunity to experience the George Spangler Farm one final time this year," added Semanek.

Historians from Civil War Historical Impressions will be on-site during the event. Living historians will portray Union and Confederate soldiers, Gettysburg civilians, generals and surgeons. Guests will have the opportunity throughout the day to walk through the encampments and see history come alive.

Historic Gettysburg-Adams County (HGAC) will present information on historic barn preservation throughout the day. HGAC interprets the design, construction and use of this stunning expression of an iconic, vernacular architectural form—the Pennsylvania Bank Barn.

In the decades leading up to the fateful summer of 1863, and for well over 100 years afterwards, George Spangler’s Pennsylvania Bank Barn served as the hub of a thriving, active farm. Its restoration in the past decade—from a dilapidated structure in danger of collapse to a visage of its original glory—revived an important, tangible component of American history in its own right.

The fall family-friendly programming and offerings include the opportunity to:

  • Visit one of the best-preserved Civil War field hospitals utilized during the Battle of Gettysburg.
  • Hear stories about the civilians and their role at the farm during and after the battle.
  • Explore Civil War era pharmaceuticals and dentistry.
  • Learn about the Letterman System and how it was used during the battle.
  • See a reproduction of a Civil War Wheeling (Rosecrans) ambulance that was used to transport the wounded.
  • Hear stories about the Spangler family.
  • Discover Civil War era games.
  • Treat yourself to a local favorite with Mr. G’s old fashioned ice cream.

"We are pleased to offer free access to the George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital on Oct. 9 for Adams County and visiting families and enthusiasts to spend quality time experiencing this historic site during the fall season,” said Gettysburg Foundation President and CEO Wayne Motts. “Fall Family Day is a great way for our guests to explore the site, hear the Spangler family story, interact with living historians, learn about the surgeons’ and civilians’ roles during the battle and get a glimpse of the important history that took place here," added Motts.

Shuttles to the Fall Family Day will depart from the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center throughout the day. Free shuttle tickets are required and are available at the Ticket Counter inside the Museum & Visitor Center, by phone, 877-874-2478, and online at

Face coverings/masks continue to be required on all shuttle buses, consistent with TSA guidelines.

The site, a successful family farm before and after the Battle of Gettysburg, served as the Union Army’s 11th Corps field hospital where more than 1,900 wounded soldiers—both Union and Confederate—received care. In addition, the site served as an artillery reserve, ammunition reserve, provost guard and a temporary cemetery for both Union and Confederate soldiers. The George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital is located at 488 Blacksmith Shop Road, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.