Mar 10



The few buildings that are shown on the diorama are well done. We’ll take a tour in the chronological order that is presented on the display. The view on the diorama is looking north up Baltimore Street. At least the diorama is oriented to the north. This view was taken facing north at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.

We continue our tour of the interior of the Wills House parlor by viewing the diorama near the center of the room. The diorama is very misleading. In 1863 there were approximately 600 structures in the Borough of Gettysburg. The diorama shows 14 structures. The diorama does not show the areas where the other buildings were located, there is just grass, bushes, etc…

There is not an explanation of how many buildings were in the borough at the time of the battle. There is not an explanation of why there were only 14 structures chosen to display. Although they were constructed very well, there is not an explanation of why these 14 structures were chosen.

As we heard, and other individuals heard from visitors viewing the diorama, and who are not familiar with 1863 Gettysburg, “look how open everything was!… They had a lot of room to fight in the town!” We believe that this is exactly the wrong message to send to visitors about the borough.

Also, even though they only had to work with 14 structures, some of them are mislabeled, and there are misspellings. One of the structures does not have a label, but it’s not a very important one… just the Adams County Courthouse. It might take them a while to fix this display.



Over the next couple of posts we’ll stay on the first floor. Today we’re in the the Wills Parlor, which is labeled “Gallery One, War and the Wills House.” This map is from the Wills House brochure which was scanned while we were facing south at approximately 7:00 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



Around the sides of the diorama are text and pictures explaining what the structures are. Sometimes they are actually near the structure that they’re trying to interpret. The Gettysburg Railroad Station is on the north side of the diorama, but the panel describing it… This view was taken facing south at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



…is on the southwest side of the diorama. This view was taken facing north at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



So again, the explanation of the train station is the writing closest to the camera. The train station, which you might be able to make out through the reflection, is on the other side of the diorama. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 4:45 PM on Thursday, February 19, 2009.



For #2, we’ll skip over to Chambersburg Street to the Christ Lutheran Church. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



The text, which is in the vicinity of the Christ Lutheran Church states… This view was taken facing east at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



… “Army Chaplain Horatio Howell was killed on the church steps during the July 1st Federal retreat. The church, like most, was used as a hospital after the battle.” This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



Featured structure #3 is the David Wills House. So we now go to the town square/Diamond/Circle. The Wills House is on the left of the view. This view was taken facing south at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



The text for the Wills House states, “Colonel Henry Morrow and Captain William H. Rexford of the 24th Michigan Infantry, were among the officers treated for their wounds in the Wills House.” This view was taken facing east at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



The text for the Robert Harper House states, “Harper, owner/editor of the Republican Adams County Sentinel newspaper, hosted Secretary of State Seward on November 18, 1863. Lincoln made a visit to Seward that evening. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



Structure #5 is the Martin Luther Stoever House and John L. Schick Store at the corner of the Diamond and Baltimore Street. Unfortunately, they spelled “Stoever” as “Stover.” This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



We are looking at the west side of the Stoever building. The text for the Stoever House states, “Professor Stover (sic) from Pennsylvania (Gettysburg) College rented his first floor to merchant Schick. The store was used by the U.S. Christian Commission to house supplies for the wounded. This view was taken facing east at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



Sorry, but we did not get a good picture of #6, the Moses McClean House. But at least we knew that #6 is the McClean House because whoever built and approved the diorama, thought #6 was the Fahnestock Brothers Store. In this picture, the wagon on the Diamond is coming towards the Stoever building. The McClean House is the next building south of the Stoever building. It was a double brick building at the time of the battle, occupying 20 and 22 Baltimore Street. This view was taken facing north at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



We are looking north up Baltimore Street. At the bottom of the view is the Adams County Courthouse (mislabeled as the Fahnestock Brothers Store. North of that is the Fahnestock Brothers Store, which is mislabeled as the Moses McClean House. North of that is the Moses McClean House which does not have an identifying number by it. The text for the McClean House states, “On the evening of November 18, 1863, Democratic lawyer McClean, was the host of New York Governor Seymour–later serenaded by the Fifth New York Heavy Artillery band. This view was taken facing north at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



For #7, we’ll go back to Chambersburg Street, across the street from the Christ Lutheran Church, to the Robert Horner House. This view was taken facing south at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



The text for the Robert Harper House states: “Formerly the home of Congressman Thaddeus Stevens, a neighbor recalled that after the battle, ‘Mrs. Horner began scraping off her pavement the mud and blood.’” This view was taken facing north at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



Structure #8 should be if it wasn’t for the mislabeling, the Fahnestock Brothers Store at the corner of Baltimore Street and Middle Street. Again, we didn’t get a very good shot of it from the front. It is located on the other side of the Adams County Courthouse, which is the building closest to the camera. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



The text for the Fahnestock Brothers Store: “An observation post for Major General Howard during the battle, after the it was the headquarters and warehouse for the U.S. Sanitary Commission.” The observation area shows clearly in this view. The Fahnestock Brothers Store is the closest to the camera. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



Structure #9 is the Globe Inn. Unfortunately, the picture that they used with the label is for the McClellan House. They did not have a McClellan House structure in the diorama. This view was taken facing south at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



We are looking west down York Street. The Globe Inn is on the right of the road, and the back of the Wills House is on the left of the road. This view was taken facing west at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



Again, the text for structure #9, the Globe Tavern states: “Owner Charles Will sold whiskey to Federal soldiers on the morning of July 1, and meals to Confederate officers during the occupation of the town. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



Again, we are looking west down York Street. This view was taken facing west at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



For structure #10 we jump back to the barricades near the railroad station. The text states: “Erected by both armies at several town intersections, these particular barricades were placed along the railroad tracks near the depot, but it unclear which side built them.” This view was taken facing east at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



For structure #11, we’re jumping back to Chambersburg Street and the Eagle Hotel. This view was taken facing north at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



The text for structure #11, the Eagle Hotel, states: “Captain Irsch and members of the 45th New York Infantry took shelter here during their retreat through town, surrendering only after breaking their firearms to keep from the enemy.” This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



Structure #12 is George Arnold’s store at the corner of the Diamond and Chambersburg Street. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



The George Arnold store is on the Diamond across Chambersburg Street from the white building. The text for George Arnold’s store states: “Clothing store and also the Farmers & Mechanics Savings Institution, its owner was credited with informing General Meade of the Confederate withdrawal from town.” This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



The white building, structure #13, is Boyer’s Grocery Store. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



Among other structures seen in this view are The rear of George Arnold’s store and the front of Boyer’s Grocery Store. The text for structure #13, Boyer’s Grocery Store states: “Ransacked by Confederate soldiers during the battle, a shot from this area reportedly wounded Dr. Edgar Parker while descending the steps of the Christ Lutheran Church.” Christ Lutheran Church is on the far left of this view. This view was taken facing south at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



The Adams County Courthouse is the building closest to the camera. Someone forgot to label it with the other structures along the edge of the diorama. We’re guessing it would be structure #14. This view was taken facing north at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



Looking north up Baltimore Street at the Adams County Courthouse and the Fahnestock Brothers Building, both of which are mislabeled. This view was taken facing north at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



Looking east down Middle Street. The Adams County Courthouse is on the right, and the Fahnestock Brothers Building is on the left of Middle Street. This view was taken facing east at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.



Even though they only decided to concentrate on 14 structures, five of them, or 36% were mislabeled in some way. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 4:15 PM on Wednesday, February 18, 2009.

See the following related posts:

Gettysburg’s Wills House: Wills Parlor North Wall on March 7, 2009.
Gettysburg’s Wills House: Wills Parlor East Wall on March 2, 2009.
Gettysburg’s Wills House: Entrance and Ticketing Information Area on February 20, 2009.
Gettysburg’s Wills House: Another Exterior View on February 18, 2009.
Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg, November 18, 1863: 145 Years Ago This Evening on November 18, 2008.
Gettysburg’s Wills House: White Stenciling Completed on West Side on November 5, 2008.
Stenciling, railing, steps, and shutters of the Wills House on October 31, 2008.
Stenciling progressing well on the west side of the Wills House on October 28, 2008.
Completion of the white stenciling on the north side of the Wills House on October 21, 2008.
White stenciling appearing on the north side of the Wills House on October 14, 2008.
Wills House needs a new manager on September 12, 2008.
First coat of red paint completely covering the north side of the Wills House on September 4, 2008.
Red paint beginning to cover the north side of the Wills House on September 3, 2008.
Only the west side of the Wills House still had red paint on August 19, 2008.
West side of the Wills House started to be painted red on August 13, 2008.
Wills House’s sidewalk construction on July 21, 2008.
The Gettysburg Railroad Station on March 6, 2008.


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