If walls could talk, there are many homes in Gettysburg that would have captivating stories to tell. Thankfully, those stories from the past are being kept alive through the many historic home tours in the Gettysburg area. When you’re looking to dive deeper into Gettysburg’s history, here are 10 historic home tours to check out!
Note: Many of these historic home tours have hours that change seasonally. Be sure to check with the location on seasonal hours before visiting.
Shriver House Museum – The Civilian Experience
The Shriver House was built in 1860 and was the home of George, Hettie, Sadie and Mollie Shriver. You’ll take a step back in time when you visit the home today. A docent will guide you through the home where you’ll hear tales of the past and learn about the rich history of the home and the family that lived there during the Civil War.
Jennie Wade House Museum
The Jennie Wade House is the site of the death of the only civilian killed during the Battle of Gettysburg. Jennie Wade was baking bread in her sister’s Baltimore Street home when she was fatally struck by a stray bullet on July 3, 1863. Guides dressed in period attire will guide you through the home, telling stories of Jennie’s life and death and describing the artifacts on display.
Eisenhower National Historic Site
Tour the only home that President Dwight Eisenhower ever owned at Eisenhower National Historic Site in Gettysburg. A visit to the site begins with a 15-minute orientation tour of the grounds and farm operation highlighting how the farm was used by Eisenhower during his presidency. A tour of the home offers an intimate glimpse into Dwight and Mamie’s time spent in Gettysburg. Be sure to take a self-guided tour of the grounds while you’re there – which includes the P.G.A. putting green, the rose gardens, the guest house and a garage which still houses the presidential limousine, and Eisenhower golf carts and station wagon.
The Daniel Lady Farm
The Lady family was displaced from their home on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg when it was overtaken by Confederate troops preparing for an attack on Culp’s Hill. The home and barn eventually served as a field hospital, and remnants of that destruction can be viewed during a tour of the Daniel Lady Farm today.
Farnsworth House Inn
Tour Gettysburg’s Farnsworth House to learn about the role it played during the Battle of Gettysburg. You’ll tour from the cellar to the attic – where Confederate sharpshooters were stationed during the three-day battle. You can even view more than 100 bullet holes that still exist in the exterior wall of the home today. In addition to touring the home, you can enjoy historic dining in Sweney’s Tavern and the Meade and Lee dining rooms, or stay the night at the Farnsworth House Bed & Breakfast.
David Wills House
David Wills was a prominent Gettysburg lawyer who was in charge of organizing the proper burial of the Union dead following the Battle of Gettysburg and who invited President Abraham Lincoln to the dedication of Soldiers’ National Cemetery in November 1863. Lincoln stayed in the home of David Wills the night before delivering what would become known as the Gettysburg Address. During a tour of the David Wills House in Historic Lincoln Square, you’ll learn about the life of David Wills as well as Lincoln’s historic visit to Gettysburg.
The Rupp House
Step into the lives of John and Caroline Rupp and their six children and learn about what they and other civilians went through during the Battle of Gettysburg. Dive into history through interactive displays, hands-on exhibits and story-telling during a tour of the Rupp House.
Union Mills Homestead
Visit the Union Mills Homestead in nearby Westminster, Maryland to get a glimpse of rural American life in the nineteenth century. The site was the homestead of the Shriver family for six generations, and today it is a working grist mill museum which produces stone-ground whole wheat flour, cornmeal, and other grain products. Take a tour of the main house, blacksmith shop and functioning grist mill and learn about the history of the mill and the site’s industrial complex, an explanation of equipment in the mill and a demonstration of flour production.
Seminary Ridge Museum
The Seminary Ridge Museum is a bit different than the other places on this list, as it was not the home of just one family or multiple generations. The museum that you can tour today was the home of students attending the Lutheran Seminary in Gettysburg. The large brick building contained dorm rooms, a dining hall, chapel and classrooms during the time of the Battle of Gettysburg. Today, the building serves as a museum where you learn about the role that the Seminary played during and after the battle.
National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton
Visit the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in nearby Emmitsburg, Maryland to tour multiple historic homes and learn about the life of the first American-born saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton. Tour the historic Stone House, White House and learn about the role that the Sisters of Charity played during and after the Battle of Gettysburg. Guided tours and interactive living history tours are both offered at the site.
If you’re looking for more historical experiences beyond Gettysburg National Military Park during your visit, check out these places for historic dining in Gettysburg!