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2021 News

Family Day at Spangler,
Sept. 4

August 23, 2021

The Gettysburg Foundation will host Family Day at Spangler, a free, one-day event from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 4, at the George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital. The event offers free admission and the opportunity for the Adams County community and visitors to Gettysburg to experience the George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital.

Family Day at Spangler offers an educational day for families to experience and learn more about the history of the 80-acre historic site.

“Family Day is 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 the Labor Day weekend, to provide families and visitors the opportunity to experience the George Spangler Farm since ending this summer’s season,” added Semanek.

Living historians from the 105th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Detachment US Engineers will be on-site during the event. The 105th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry portrays a regiment in the Army of the Potomac Third Corps, which fought at Gettysburg on July 2, 1863, in the Peach Orchard along the Emmitsburg Road. The living history group will display a Civil War encampment and a soldier’s equipment and pieces such as muskets, canteens and hats. Visitors will have the opportunity to interact with the living historians throughout the day.

Historic Gettysburg-Adams County (HGAC) will be on-site 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 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 on Sept. 4 for families and visitors to spend quality time experiencing this historic site,” said Gettysburg Foundation President and CEO Wayne Motts. “In this area so rich in history, the George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital must not be overlooked. It is right here in our own backyard, and Family Day is a great way for our local community to explore and take part in learning more about the site and the important history that happened here,” added Motts.

Shuttles to the 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, online or by calling 877-874-2478.

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.