Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Gettysburg Train Station

During one of my recent visits to Gettysburg, I had an opportunity to visit the Gettysburg Train Station. This is the train station where President Lincoln arrived prior to giving his famous speech.

Here I am just outside of the station with a bust of President Lincoln and near a plaque describing the building.

According to a nice volunteer at the station, I learned that the station was built between 1858 and 1859 because in 1857 the first passenger trains came into Gettysburg. The original passenger station had two-stories with waiting rooms on both floors. The rooms were separated so that women and children would use one and men would use the other. There is also a spiral staircase in the center of one of the rooms. Here are some photos of a model of the original train station. You can see how the outside looked and also the two waiting rooms.

During the battle, the train station was used as a field hospital and the cupola was used as an observation point so commanders could see what was happening during the fighting.

On November 18, 1863 around 6pm, President Lincoln arrived at this train station from Washington. From here, he would walk a block up the street to the home of David Wills. Here is a photo looking down onto the original loading platform where President Lincoln would have walked.

So, the next time you are in Gettysburg, be sure to stop by the train station.

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