GDG- Changes to the battlefield in the late 19th Century

CWMHTours at CWMHTours at
Wed Jan 11 15:00:34 CST 2012

Book me a ticket!   I'm coming!
Your  Most Obedient Servant,

In a message dated 1/11/2012 3:54:23 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
pipecreek1430 at writes:

Esteemed  GDG Member Contributes:
After my questions about Tipton Park, thanks to JD,  he recomended I get 
the book," Devils Den
a History and Guide." Of course I  went out an bought that book the next 

The following is some  information I learned about from that book, about
changes to that area in  the 1880's and 1890's.
" In the spring of 1884, the  Gettysburg and Harrisburg Railroad completed 
construction of a line
that  linked Gettysburg with the state capitol. Shortly after ward it 
developed an  excursion line that
ran across the battlefield. This line passed over the  fields of Picketts 
charge crossed GBMA holdings
near the present location  of the Father Corby monument and ran through the 
woods to a station
that  was established on the east side of LRT. Construction on the Round 
Top branch  began on
April 24, 1884, and was completed  in early June of that  year. 

Dynamite accomplished wonders in splitting and moving granite,  in one 
instance, throwing a rock
estimated at 9 tons, several hundred feet.  

At the terminus of the tracks, 13 acres of land were purchased from  Lewis 
A Bushman and 

developed into a park to provide a destination to  visitors over this new 
route. Improvements to
this tract included a  spacious pavilion, a kitchen with range, two wells 
of water with pumps
and  all necessary buildings. When it opened, "Round Top Park " became an 
overnight  success.

On July 4, 1884 Col. John H McClellan held an "ox roast" at  the new park 
to celebrate it's opening.
Admission was free and the Colonel  provided a massive beef weighing over 
1300 pounds. It was 

estimated  that between 5 and 6,000 people attended.

It became very popular and  there were problems with the huge amount of 
people at the park.
The  Gettysburg & Harrisburg Railroad  Company even tried to get  
permission for the GBMA
to construct a path to the top of LRT where,  it was announced, an 
observatory 60 ft high 

would be erected for the  benefit of the excursionists, since the one on 
Big Round Top was  to
difficult to reach.

An 1885 advertisement gave the following  description of the park.

To make the Gettysburg and  Harrisburg Railroad more complete, a spur has 
built from Gettysburg to  Round Top, three miles, int he same careful and 
splendid manor
of the main  line. Indeed, the construction of the Gettysburg and 
Harrisburg Railroad  is
of the highest standard and justifies the great credit given to the best  
railroad work.
The spur road ends on the side of Little Round Top itself,  within a good 
stone's throw 

of the summit made so  famous by the  patriot blood of Vincent and his 
The track ends in a  choicely laid out park. Here have been gathered with 
lavish hand 

every  comfort and convenience that can make happy the life of the 
picnicker  or
excursionist. Dining-rooms, a dancing pavilion, rooms for rest and  
recreation, shady
seats and lounging places under the great trees,  kitchens, baggage rooms, 
places for 

your bundles and baskets, spring  water in abundance, the choicest of 
breezes, the
perfume of a carpet of  wild flowers, and a natural awning of leaves to 
check the
suns rays, should  they become too ardent, are the fittings of this 

Don't  you love it!  Nancy  Householder
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