The Gettysburg Foundation will host Family Day at Spangler, a free, one-day event from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., Saturday, May 29, at the George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital. The event marks the first opportunity for the public to visit the George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital this year.
Family Day at Spangler offers an educational day for families to experience and learn more about the history of the 80-acre historic site.
"The day will be an excellent opportunity for families and those who enjoy learning about history,” said Paul Semanek, Spangler Farm Site Coordinator. “We’re offering this special event during Memorial Day weekend, to allow families to visit the George Spangler Farm in the springtime before the summer season at the farm begins on June 11," added Semanek.
The Blue & Gray Hospital Association, an official living history group of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, will be on-site during the event. Visitors will have the opportunity to interact with the living historians throughout the day. The 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 open the George Spangler Farm for the Memorial Day weekend for families and visitors to spend quality time outdoors,” said Brian Klinzing, Gettysburg Foundation’s Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships. “Visitors can learn about the critical role the Spangler Farm played in the battle and its aftermath and hear stories of incredible compassion and healing amid all the chaos of the battle,” added Klinzing.
Visitors to this special Family Day at Spangler event may drive directly to the property and park on-site. To follow current health and safety protocols, allow for social distancing and ensure ample parking, attendance and vehicle capacity at a given time will be limited. Throughout the property, visitors and volunteers will be required to wear a face covering.
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.