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

Tom bunco973 at
Wed Jan 11 19:13:57 CST 2012

    Don't know if it was mentioned - the book "This Is Holy Ground" - by 
Barbara Platt (Softcover) - has quite a few photos of Gettysburg - say 
1970's back - the Inns, junkyards, souvenir stands, etc. - bought it just 
for the photos.

Tom B.

-----Original Message----- 
From: Nancy Householder
Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 3:53 PM
To: Gettysburg Discussion
Subject: GDG- Changes to the battlefield in the late 19th Century

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 day.

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 
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 
suns rays, should they become too ardent, are the fittings of this Paradise.

Don't you love it!  Nancy Householder
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