A historic Civil War farmhouse will soon have a new name and a new purpose thanks to the generosity of philanthropists Robert (Bob) and Anne Kinsley and the Kinsley Foundation.
Part of the Gettysburg Foundation’s George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital
in Gettysburg, the historic stone farmhouse is currently undergoing a renovation project estimated at $1 million. The Kinsley Foundation is underwriting the cost of the building’s rehabilitation and renovation.
“The Kinsley family has a great appreciation for the importance of history and for Gettysburg’s place in preserving America’s democratic experiment,” said Eric B. Schultz, chair, Gettysburg Foundation Board of Directors. “This beautiful facility will provide new technology and innovative opportunities for education while enhancing the historic preservation efforts we all treasure.”
Scheduled for completion in September 2019, the newly renovated farmhouse will include a state-of-the art classroom for educational programming, workspace, visitor amenities and catering facilities. The building will also serve as the new home for the Gettysburg Foundation’s popular leadership education program
. The program, In the Footsteps of Leaders®, trains organization leaders based on decisions made and actions taken during the Gettysburg battle.
In addition to its new utility, the building will gain a new name—the Kinsley Leadership Center at the George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital.
“The stone farmhouse tells a remarkable story of family, healing and perseverance,” said Gettysburg Foundation president Matthew C. Moen, Ph.D. “By naming this building for the Kinsley family, we honor their lifetime commitment to preservation and education, while passing along the lessons of Gettysburg to future generations of Americans.”
The Gettysburg Foundation
purchased the 80-acre George Spangler farm property in 2008 and began work to preserve the historic buildings. Donations and fundraising efforts by the Friends of Gettysburg led to the rehabilitation and restoration of the Pennsylvania bank barn, summer kitchen and smokehouse on the site.
Additional efforts to restore the landscape to its 1863 appearance include replanting of the apple orchard on the site by the Gettysburg Foundation’s Recruits
, a group of preservation-conscious young professionals ages 18-40.
In 1863, the farm was home to George and Elizabeth Spangler and their four children before it was abruptly seized and converted into a field hospital by the Union 11th
Corps. The Spangler family opted to stay at the farmhouse during the battle while their barn and surrounding property were inundated with more than 1,900 wounded Union and Confederate soldiers. Today, the site stands as one of the best surviving examples of a field hospital used during the Battle of Gettysburg.
A celebration to unveil the new Kinsley Leadership Center at the George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital is planned for October of 2019.
Bob Kinsley is the Chair of Kinsley Construction and Chair Emeritus of the Gettysburg Foundation. At the Foundation, Kinsley’s vision and support led to the creation of the award-winning, LEED-Gold certified Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center which opened in 2008.