GDG- 1863 vs. 1963: Cyclorama

George F ggatsby79 at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 2 12:46:31 CST 2012


I first visited Gettsyburg in July 1963 only days after the Centennial events there.
 
I have very fond memories of the old visitor center, the Cyclorama (building and displays plus the painting), Dobbin House, Fort Defiance(!), the old Howard Johnsons motel and restaurant, the NPS campfire firing demonstration, roadside relic stands, the old observation tower plus, of course the cannons, monuments and the land of the park itself.
 
How little of what I described was there in 1863.  And yet they were all part of the Gettysburg experience for me.
 
As a purist, I would like to see the entire battlefield area the way it was in July 1863.  Is that going to happen? No! Why not, because the history of Gettysburg has become layer upon layer of history - built on the foundation of the July 1-3, 1863 site itself.
 
Thank goodnes nearby Antietam has not had to struggle (for the most part) with the same issues.
 
George Franks
Daniel Donnelly House
Williamsport, Maryland


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