On Sept. 4, 2021, the Gettysburg Foundation opened Children of Gettysburg 1863 to the public and the Gettysburg, Adams County community. The interactive adventure for young historians and all-new, family-friendly children’s history museum, Children of Gettysburg 1863 provides young visitors with a hands-on history experience in Gettysburg through the stories of the children, teens and young adults who lived here during and after the Battle of Gettysburg.
The grand opening began with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 9 a.m. Museum Manager Bethany Yingling began the ceremony by welcoming everyone stating, “We are so excited that this day is finally here….and are grateful to the community for their outpouring of support.” Joining Yingling to commemorate the opening was Gettysburg Foundation President and CEO Wayne Motts, who observed, ”There is nothing like the Children of Gettysburg 1863 museum in Gettysburg.” Motts also thanked lead gallery sponsors Ford Motor Company Fund and David and Sherri Malgee.
On behalf of the Ford Motor Company Fund, Doug Messana, Manager of Government Relations at Ford Motor Company was present and joined by his young daughter Quinn for the ribbon cutting and opening. Messana recognized the importance of educating our youth about history, quoting Henry Ford, “The farther you look back, the farther you can look ahead.” Also participating in the ribbon cutting were Sue Boardman, who served as a lead historian on the Children of Gettysburg 1863 planning committee; Sharon Jackson Tice, who served as lead educator on the planning committee; Barbara J. Finfrock, Co-Chair of the Gettysburg Foundation Board of Directors; David and Sherri Malgee, lead gallery sponsors (David serves on the Gettysburg Foundation Board of Directors); and Elle Lamboy, Gettysburg Foundation Vice President of Advancement and Communications.
In addition to the ribbon-cutting ceremony and tours of the new museum, opening day offered living history programming by historians of the Officers of the Union and Ladies for the Union in the museum’s side yard. The Carlisle Brass Band performed celebratory, entertaining music to an engaged crowd. Rounding out the day’s events, the Officers for the Union presented a special program during an evening Courtyard Chat.
Located at 451 Baltimore Street in downtown Gettysburg, Children of Gettysburg 1863 is open daily 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. through Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021 (Remembrance Day weekend). Beginning Friday, Nov. 26, 2021, through March 31, 2022, the museum will be open Thursday through Sunday, noon until 5 p.m.
Admission to Children of Gettysburg 1863 is currently free for children/youth ages 12 and younger with a ticketed adult. Friends of Gettysburg receive complimentary admission. Adult tickets (ages 13 and older) are available to purchase online at GettysburgFoundation.org, by calling 877-874-2478, at the ticket counter in the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center and on-site at Children of Gettysburg 1863. Living history presentations and Courtyard Chats are open to the public and offered free of charge.