Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Gettysburg (locally /ˈɡɛtɪsbɜːrɡ/ (listen); non-locally /ˈɡɛtizbɜːrɡ/)[4] is a borough and the county seat of Adams County in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.[5] The Battle of Gettysburg (1863) and President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address are named for this town.

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Battle of Gettysburg battlefield, April 2019
Battle of Gettysburg battlefield, April 2019
Flag of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Location in Adams County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
Location in Adams County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
Gettysburg is located in Pennsylvania
Location in Pennsylvania and the United States
Gettysburg is located in the United States
Gettysburg (the United States)
Coordinates: 39°49′42″N 77°13′56″W / 39.82833°N 77.23222°W / 39.82833; -77.23222Coordinates: 39°49′42″N 77°13′56″W / 39.82833°N 77.23222°W / 39.82833; -77.23222[1]
CountryUnited States
Named forSamuel Gettys
 • TypeBorough Council
 • MayorRita C. Frealing
 • Total1.66 sq mi (4.31 km2)
 • Land1.66 sq mi (4.30 km2)
 • Water0.01 sq mi (0.01 km2)
560 ft (170 m)
 • Total7,106
 • Density4,280.72/sq mi (1,653.03/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
Area code(s)717
FIPS code42-28960

Gettysburg is home to the Gettysburg National Military Park, where the Battle of Gettysburg was largely fought; the Battle of Gettysburg had the most casualties of any Civil War battle but was also considered the turning point in the war, leading to the Union's ultimate victory.

As of the 2020 census, the borough had a population of 7,106 people.


On November 19, 1863, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln (center, facing camera) delivered the Gettysburg Address, considered one of the best-known speeches in American history.[6][7]

Early historyEdit

In 1761, Irishman Samuel Gettys settled at the Shippensburg-Baltimore and Philadelphia-Pittsburgh crossroads, in what was then western York County, and established a tavern frequented by soldiers and traders. In 1786, the borough boundary was established, with the Dobbin House tavern (established in 1776) sitting in the southwest.

As early as 1790, a movement seeking to split off the western portion of York County into a separate county had begun. A commission was drawn up to fix the site of the new county's seat; they ultimately chose a location in Strabane Township (now Straban Township), just northeast of Gettysburg. In 1791, additional trustees were appointed to plan for the construction of public buildings in the town of Gettysburg instead of in Straban. On January 22, 1800, the Pennsylvania Legislature created Adams County, with Gettysburg as its county seat.[8]

In 1858, the Gettysburg Railroad completed construction of a railroad line from Gettysburg to Hanover, and the Gettysburg Railroad Station opened a year later. Passenger train service to the town ended in 1942. The station was restored in 2006. In 2011, Senator Robert Casey introduced S. 1897, which would include the railroad station within the boundary of Gettysburg National Military Park.[9] By 1860, the borough had grown in size to consist of "450 buildings [which] housed carriage manufacturing, shoemakers, and tanneries".[10]

Civil WarEdit

Bust of Lincoln at Gettysburg

Between July 1 and 3, 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg, one of the bloodiest battles during the American Civil War, was fought across the fields and heights in the vicinity of the town.

The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, under the command of Robert E Lee, experienced success in the early stages of the battle but was ultimately defeated by the Army of the Potomac, commanded by George G. Meade. Lee executed an orderly withdrawal and escaped across the Potomac River without being drawn into another battle. Meade was heavily criticized by President Abraham Lincoln for his cautious pursuit and failure to destroy Lee's retreating army.

Casualties were high with total losses on both sides – over 27,000 Confederate and 23,000 Union. The residents of Gettysburg were left to care for the wounded and bury the dead following the Confederate retreat. Approximately 8,000 men and 3,000 horses lay under the summer sun. The soldiers' bodies were gradually reinterred in what is today known as Gettysburg National Cemetery, where, on November 19, 1863, Abraham Lincoln attended a ceremony to officially consecrate the grounds and delivered his Gettysburg Address.

A 20-year-old woman, Jennie Wade, was the only civilian killed during the battle. She was hit by a stray bullet that passed through her kitchen door while she was making bread on July 3.[11]

Physical damage can still be seen in some of the houses throughout the town, notably the Schmucker House[12] located on Seminary Ridge.


The furniture manufacturing industry employed people in Gettysburg for the first half of the 20th century. The "Gettysburg Manufacturing Company", formed in 1902, was the first company established in the borough for the purpose of manufacturing residential furniture. Other companies soon followed. The borough's industry reached peak production and success about the 1920s. This important industry declined from 1951, when the three main companies either moved, closed or were sold. The Gettysburg Furniture Company factory closed in 1960, becoming a warehouse and distribution point for other furniture factories outside of Pennsylvania.


Gettysburg manufacturing associated with tourism included a late 19th century foundry that manufactured gun carriages, bridgeworks and cannons for the Gettysburg Battlefield, as well as a construction industry for hotels, stables, and other buildings for tourist services. Early tourist buildings in the borough included museums (like the 1881 Danner Museum[13]), souvenir shops, buildings of the electric trolley (preceded by a horse trolley from the Gettysburg Railroad Station to the Springs Hotel), and stands for hackmen who drove visitors in jitneys (horse-drawn group taxis) on tours. Modern tourist services in the borough include ghost tours, bed and breakfast lodging, and historical interpretation (reenactors, etc.).

Gettysburg is the site of the Eisenhower National Historic Site that preserves the home and farm of Dwight D. Eisenhower.


Gettysburg is located near the intersection of U.S. Route 30 and U.S. Route 15 about 25 miles (40 km) west of York, Pennsylvania and 35 miles (56 km) north of Frederick, Maryland. Rock Creek, a tributary of the Monocacy River and part of the Potomac River watershed, flows along its eastern edge. According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.7 square miles (4.3 km2), all land.[14]


Gettysburg lies in the transition zone between the humid continental climate of northern and central Pennsylvania to the north and the humid subtropical climate of central Maryland to the south, with hot, humid summers and cool winters. On average, January is the coldest month, with an average temperature of 30 °F (−1 °C). Winters range from cool to moderately cold, with relatively frequent snowfalls. July is the warmest month, with an average temperature of 74.5 °F (23.6 °C), and June is the wettest month. The hottest temperature recorded in Gettysburg was 104 °F (40 °C) in 1988; the coldest temperature recorded was −25 °F (−32 °C) in 1994.[15]

Climate data for Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 72
Average high °F (°C) 39
Average low °F (°C) 21
Record low °F (°C) −25
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.24
Source: The Weather Channel;[15]

Pennsylvania's first on-farm methane digester was built near Gettysburg at the Mason-Dixon Farm in 1978, and generates 600KW.[16][17][18]


Historical population
Census Pop.

As of the 2010 census, Gettysburg had a population of 7,620, and was 79.6% non-Hispanic white, 10.9% Hispanic or Latino, 5.4% African American, 1.9% Asian, 2.2% all other.[22]


The main industry of the borough is tourism associated with such historic sites as Gettysburg National Military Park (including the Gettysburg National Cemetery) and Eisenhower National Historic Site. Gettysburg has many activities and tours to offer to vacationers and tourists who are interested in the Gettysburg area and the history of the community and the battle. Tourists for the annual reenactment of the Battle of Gettysburg use borough facilities, which include the Dobbin House Tavern and Hotel Gettysburg.

Battle of Gettysburg reenactmentEdit

Every year from July 1–3 volunteers reenact the Battle of Gettysburg. Each day re-enactors display a different part of the battle with commentary regarding the hardships of the battles. The battles are narrated by the battlefield guides of the Gettysburg National Military Park.[23]


Many roads radiate from Gettysburg, providing hub-like access to Washington, D.C. 75 miles (121 km), Baltimore 55 miles (89 km), Harrisburg 37 miles (60 km), Carlisle 27 miles (43 km), Frederick and Hagerstown, Maryland 32 miles (51 km) and Hanover, Pennsylvania 14 miles (23 km). York is 30 miles (48 km) east on the Lincoln Highway (U.S. Route 30), the first transcontinental U.S. highway, and Chambersburg is 25 miles (40 km) west on it. Today the borough is a 2+12 hour drive from Philadelphia and a 3+12 hour drive from Pittsburgh via the Pennsylvania Turnpike and U.S. Route 15. Gettysburg Regional Airport, a small general aviation airport, is located 2 miles (3.2 km) west of Gettysburg.

The main east–west road through downtown Gettysburg is U.S. Route 30, which is known as York Street east of Lincoln Square and Chambersburg Street west of Lincoln Square.

York Adams Transportation Authority (YATA) operates public transportation in Adams County. Freedom Transit, implemented in 2009,[24] The hub of the bus system, the new Gettysburg Transit Center, is under construction on Carlisle Street.[25] Beginning in 2011, a Rabbit Transit commuter bus to Harrisburg runs four times each weekday in each direction.[26]


  • The Gettysburg Times, a daily newspaper
  • Raices De Todos, a bilingual monthly cultural magazine, serves the city's growing Latino/Hispanic population
  • The Evening Sun, a daily newspaper
  • Celebrate Gettysburg, a lifestyle magazine
  • WGET-AM 1320 and WGTY-FM 107.7, owned by the Times and News Publishing Company
  • WZBT-FM 91.1, a non-commercial radio freeform format station owned by Gettysburg College
  • The Adams County News was a newspaper located in Gettysburg, which was published 1908–17. (Available in digitized form online.)
  • Gettysburg is located in the Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon-York, PA media market. Television stations that cover Gettysburg news include WHTM-TV and WHP-TV in Harrisburg, WGAL in Lancaster, and WPMT in York. Some Gettysburg residents also receive broadcasts from WJZ-TV in Baltimore, Maryland and WDVM-TV in Hagerstown, Maryland.


Gettysburg is served by the Gettysburg Area School District, Gettysburg College, Harrisburg Area Community College, and a campus of the United Lutheran Seminary.

Sister citiesEdit

Gettysburg's sister cities are:[27]

Notable buildingsEdit

Notable peopleEdit


  1. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  2. ^ "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 12, 2022.
  3. ^ a b "Census Population API". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Oct 12, 2022.
  4. ^ Robert D. Quigley, Civil War Spoken Here: A Dictionary of Mispronounced People, Places and Things of the 1860s (Collingswood, NJ: C. W. Historicals, 1993), p. 68. ISBN 0-9637745-0-6.
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  6. ^ Conant, Sean (2015). The Gettysburg Address: Perspectives on Lincoln's Greatest Speech. New York: Oxford University Press. p. ix. ISBN 978-0-19-022745-6.
  7. ^ Holsinger, M. Paul (1999). War and American Popular Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. p. 102. ISBN 978-0-313-29908-7.
  8. ^ Rupp, Israel Daniel (1846) [written 1844]. "History of Adams County: Chapter XXXIX". The History and Topography of 6 Pennsylvania Counties. Lancaster, Pennsylvania|Lancaster City: Gilbert Hills. Retrieved 2011-07-30. At present 1844{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location (link): 527 
  9. ^ "Bill Text 112th Congress (2011–2012) S.1897.IS" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-25.
  10. ^ "History of Gettysburg". History of Gettysburg Pennsylvania. Retrieved 2022-03-27.
  11. ^ "Jennie Wade House | Gettysburg Battlefield Tours". Retrieved 2017-06-15.
  12. ^ "Gettysburg's Samuel Schmucker House Artillery Shell | Gettysburg Daily". Gettysburg Daily. 2009-01-15. Retrieved 2017-06-03.
  13. ^ "Out Of The Past: From the Files of the Star and Sentinel and The Gettysburg Times". The Gettysburg Times. 28 September 1954. p. Four. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
  14. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Gettysburg borough, Pennsylvania". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  15. ^ a b "Average weather for Gettysburg, PA". The Weather Channel. Archived from the original on 2014-08-13. Retrieved 2011-06-12.
  16. ^ "On-farm Anaerobic Digestion Biogas Production in Pennsylvania - 30 Years". Penn State Extension. November 22, 2016. Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  17. ^ "Mason-Dixon Farms - Gettysburg, PA. Farm Scale Dairy Project" (PDF). AG Star, United States Environmental Protection Agency. February 2014. Retrieved 2020-02-23.
  18. ^ Cassie, Benton; DiLeo, Matthew J; Lee, Jennifer A (April 29, 2010). "Methane Creation from Anaerobic Digestion: An Interactive Qualifying Project Report: Project Number: RWT-1001" (PDF). Worcester Polytechnic Institute. p. 23. Retrieved 2020-02-23.
  19. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  20. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  21. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 11 June 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Gettysburg 2015." Annual Gettysburg Civil War Battle Reenactment RSS. Gettysburg Anniversary Committee, 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.
  24. ^ "Freedom Transit, Gettysburg's new bus system, launched Monday". Evening Sun. 2011-12-31. Archived from the original on 2012-02-25. Retrieved 2012-02-17.
  25. ^ "Groundbreaking at New Gettysburg Transit Center". 2011-10-19. Archived from the original on 2012-01-25. Retrieved 2012-02-17.
  26. ^ "rabbitEXPRESS | Route 15N". Archived from the original on 2012-03-18. Retrieved 2012-02-17.
  27. ^ "Sister Cities". Borough of Gettysburg. Retrieved 2022-03-10.

External linksEdit