Shriver House Museum
In 1860, the Civil War came to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The stories of its townspeople are told at the Shriver House Museum, a restored home occupied by the Shriver family during the Battle of Gettysburg. The house was occupied throughout the battle, and today, it has been restored to its original condition and is open to the public as a museum.
Stepping into the Shriver House Museum is akin to stepping back into 19th-century America. Actors in era-specific garb represent the townspeople of the time, and tours offer insight into how the Shriver family lived. George and Hattie Shriver, along with their daughters Sadie and Mollie, lived here—providing the Confederate Army a clear view of the Union forces. Now, the site is filled with artifacts of the family and other citizens in Gettysburg. Some of the most interesting findings include Civil War medical supplies, ammunition, and children's toys and clothes—thought to have belonged to the Shriver children. The museum offers a fascinating perspective into the civilian aspect of the Battle of Gettysburg.
Things to know before you go
- Guided day trips to Gettysburg from Washington, DC are available; it’s about a 1.5-hour drive away.
- The museum’s entrance fees and shop sales help support the continuing restoration of the house.
- Present-day detectives confirmed, through scientific analysis, that bloodstains found in the house were from two confederate soldiers that had been killed at the Battle of Gettysburg.
How to get there
The Shriver House Museum is located in its original location at 309 Baltimore Avenue in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Follow Lincoln Highway into Gettysburg; Baltimore Avenue is located directly off the main roundabout, and the house is about six blocks from the highway. Guided tours from DC include round-trip transportation via coach bus.
When to get there
The museum's hours vary by season. It’s advisable to check the museum website for the latest information on opening hours. If visiting in November or December, look out for special candlelit evening tours.
Gettysburg National Military Park
Perhaps the biggest draw for military and history buffs to Gettysburg is this park where more than 50,000 soldiers died in the Battle of Gettysburg. It was the bloodiest battle ever fought on American soil. Visitors can drive to the key battlefield sites on their own or join a guided walking tour.