On Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022, the Gettysburg Foundation's historic George Spangler Farm became a laboratory, a school, part of an adventure and a learning tool all in one day. Historic Gettysburg Adams County (HGAC), the Gettysburg Foundation and students with Adams County Technical Institute Building Trade (ACTI) came together for a Building Trades Learning Lab with the National Training Center of Frederick, Maryland
Skilled artisans in masonry and timber framing were on-site instructing students to actively learn about timber framing, stone masonry, hand hewing, peg making and other skills used in preserving historic buildings. By the end of the day, students had built a "bent," a basic structural cross-section of a timber frame structure. The lab experience focused on tool use, measuring skills, communication, team work and safety. The bent will form part of a shed being built at HGAC's Salvage Warehouse.
The project is part of Historic Gettysburg Adams County's Investing in Youth program. Launched in 2019, Investing in Youth has increased the appreciation of historic resources in Adams County and provided learning experiences for youth. The ACTI Building Trades program with HGAC has laid the foundation for a career path in the construction trade for the participating students.
The historic, preserved barn at the George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital is the perfect location to learn about historic barns and see traditional building techniques.
"In this Learning Lab, these ACTI building trades students are being exposed in a very real manner to an alternate career path we champion. The students' respose to the labs has been overwhelmingly positive. Skilled craftsmen in historic preservation and restoration is in growing demand across the country. Historic Gettysburg Adams County, and specifically its Investment in the Youth Initiative, sponsors this hands-on experience with timber framing and masonry overseen by local professionals, "said Greg Kaufmann of HGAC. "We partner with the Gettysburg Foundation and conduct this activity in the George Spangler barn. While the barn is best known as the 11th Corps field hospital during the Battle of Gettysburg, it is also an optimum site for such learning - itself full of teaching points and examples. This partnership pays off in a big way for our local students," added Kaufmann.
For details regarding HGAC's Investing in Youth and Barn Preservation Projects, visit HGAConline.org.
To learn more about the historic George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital, visit GettysburgFoundation.org/Spangler.