The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Lifestyle

June 24, 2013

Shaped by history, Gettysburg celebrates milestone

— GETTYSBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gettysburg changed the direction of American history 150 years ago, and the town hasn't been the same since.

The couple of hundred thousand visitors expected at events to mark the anniversary of the 1863 clash won't have to look far to find remnants of the pivotal campaign of the Civil War, even outside the grounds of the meticulously maintained national park.

Cannonballs and shrapnel remain embedded in a few of the roughly 200 buildings that remain from the period.

Many of the businesses in the rural county seat cater to the throngs of tourists that stream into one of the country's most historic places, from General Pickett's Buffet to Abraham's Lady, a battle-era clothing shop.

And residents can be eager to share their expertise — and their pride.

"To have one of the most iconic battles in the history of our country or the world to take place here and to have this historical heritage in our community is wonderful," said Randy Phiel, the county's top elected official and the logistics manager of an annual re-enactment. "This opportunity won't come again. It's our Olympic moment."

Gettysburg was a quiet backwater in the mid-19th century, but roads connected it to all points on the compass, including south, where the Confederate Army under Gen. Robert E. Lee had launched his army to take the war to its northern opponents.

With a population of 2,400, about one-third its current size, the town was dominated by the carriage industry when war broke out, said Bob Alcorn, a 73-year-old Air Force veteran who leads walking tours of the town. The story that Confederates arrived in Gettysburg looking for shoes appears to be apocryphal, as there was not a single shoe factory in Adams County — though there were 30 in neighboring Franklin County.

Text Only
Lifestyle
Photos


Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee