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Shriver House Museum - The Civilian Experience

Address

309 Baltimore Street

Gettysburg, PA 17325

Phone

717-337-2800

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YOU MAY KNOW WHAT HAPPENED ON THE BATTLEFIELD
   . . . BUT DO YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO THE FAMILIES AND THEIR HOMES IN TOWN?

Dedicated to the civilian experience during the Battle of Gettysburg, the Shriver House Museum is situated in the heart of Gettysburg's Historic District. Travel back in time with a guide in period attire as you walk through the Shrivers’ pre-Civil War home to learn the other side of the story - the civilian side of the Battle of Gettysburg. Connect to the past while you listen to the story of George, Hettie, Sadie (7) and Mollie (5) unfold as you move from room to room to appreciate what life was like before, during, and after the Civil War.

The Shriver family is one of the oldest and wealthiest families in Gettysburg. To enter their home today is to take a step back in time. View large, beautiful rooms authentically furnished to the mid-1800s to understand what life was like at the time in south-central Pennsylvania. See every room in the house plus the Confederate sharpshooters' nest in the attic - where modern forensics confirm eye-witness accounts of soldiers shot and killed. Their tragic story concludes in Shriver's Saloon in the cellar.

After sitting empty for nearly thirty years, the Shrivers' home was restored in 1996. Today, hundreds of items are on display which were discovered during the restoration, including live civil war ammunition, civil war period medical supplies and much, much more.

Due to the award-winning, meticulous restoration, the Shriver House Museum has been used as a filming site by PBS, The Discovery Channel, The Travel Channel, A&E, HGTV, BBC, CNN, The History Channel, and more.

  • Built in 1860 as residence for the family and a business for George Shriver: 'Shriver's Saloon & Ten-Pin Alley'
  • Guided tours conducted by docent in period attire
  • Every room is frozen in time and furnished to its 1860s appearance - from the quilts on the beds (made in Gettysburg in the 1840s) to the apple pie on the kitchen table
  • Authentic sharpshooters nest in the attic - where two Confederates died
  • CSI Detectives use modern forensics to confirm pools of blood stains where the Confederates are know to have been shot and killed 
  • The devastating aftermath families had to deal with when the soldiers left town
  • Live Civil War bullets and medical supplies found during the restoration
  • Used as a hospital to tend to some of the thousands of wounded
  • Numerous bullet holes scar the brick
  • 19th century period garden
  • Filming site for PBS, History Channel, A&E, Discovery Channel and many more
  • Museum shop 

Guided tours for the general public are offered every 45 minutes during operating hours. Times may vary when large groups with advance reservations are touring the Museum.


UPCOMING EVENTS:

QUILTING BEE

Wednesday, October 11 and 25

Travel back in time to join quilter Gayle Underwood in the fully restored 1860 home of Hettie Shriver to get a glimpse of a by-gone era. Gayle will explain different quilting techniques, patterns, and fabric choices used in the mid-1800s. Add your own stitches to a Sanitary Commission quilt. The U.S. Sanitary Commission, which was started in 1861, was formed not to raise money for arms, but to raise money to clean up the camps.

Feel free to dress in period attire; but it is not required.

The fee is $10 per person. For additional information or to make a reservation for Hettie Shriver's Quilting Bee, contact the Shriver House Museum at 717-337-2800.


BURIAL OF THE CIVIL WAR DEAD

Saturday, October 21; 7:00 pm

Eye-witnesses observed at least two Confederate soldiers were killed in George and Hettie Shrivers' garret on Baltimore Street during the Battle of Gettysburg. CSI forensics confirm mass quantities of blood on the garret floor.

Gather in the parlor of the Shrivers' 1860 home where historian Gayle Underwood will discuss the process of burying both Union and Confederate dead immediately following the Battle of Gettysburg. She will also discuss the 'reburial' process for many soldiers after the Civil War ended almost two years. Underwood will discuss the years long efforts to bury and rebury soliers and the effects it had on the citizens' of Gettysburg and the families of the fallen soldiers.

Not recommended for children under the age of 16.


OPEN HOUSE

Friday, November 17; 6:00 - 9:00 pm

In recognition of the 154th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg the Shriver House Museum will hold an Open House on Friday, September 17, from 6-9pm.

It was 1996 when Del and Nancie Gudmestad purchased an abandoned home in the heart of Gettysburg with the intention of using it as a backdrop to tell the other side of the battle story - from the perspective of the people who endured those three days of terror in July 1863. The house had been vacant for nearly 30 years; it had missing window panes, no electricity, no water, and a leak in the roof. “We had no idea who lived in the house during the battle,” said Nancie Gudmestad, “only to discover the extraordinary story of the Shriver family during the painstaking restoration.”

During the Open House, visitors step back in time as they walk through the front door to stroll through the fully-restored, mid-19th century, upper-middle class home of George and Hettie Shriver. Live period music will be provided in the parlor. Quilts made in Gettysburg in the 1840s will be on display as well as an U. S. Sanitary Commission quilt in progress.

Light refreshments will be served in the Museum Shop.

Visitors in period attire are most welcome.

 


CANDLELIGHT CHRISTMAS TOURS
Holiday traditions and celebrations of the 1860s.
Thanksgiving Evening and Saturdays through December 16, 2017

Step back in time to discover how Christmas was celebrated in the mid-1800s and get a glimpse of a by-gone era. Enter the Shrivers' 19th century home as they prepare for the Christmas holidays. See the candle-laden Christmas tree sitting on the parlor table as a fire roars in the fireplace of the handsome room decorated with hand-made holiday greenery. After stringing popcorn on the tree and hanging their stockings on the mantle, the children set out milk and cookies in anticipation of a visit from Santa Claus on that magical night.

While soldiers faced the perils of the Civil War, Christmas offered a few moments of cheer that would help brighten the lives of those at home. Learn how families celebrated the holidays while fathers, sons, and husbands were separated from loved ones during this tragic time in American history.

NOTE: Private tours for groups of ten or more are welcome at any time (day or evening) throughout the holiday season; reservations are required. See Events for more information.


CONFEDERATES TAKE THE SHRIVER HOUSE!

The Battle of Gettysburg and its aftermath

Saturday, July 7, 2018; 5:00 - 9:00 pm
The only reenactment to take on original battleground - in the center of town!

During the battle, Confederate sharpshooters took over the Shrivers’ home. They set up a sharpshooters nest in the attic to fire rifles on the Union troops at the base of Cemetery Hill. Furnishings from the house were used to build a barricade in the street, and the house and grounds were used to treat the wounded. Learn first-hand what occurred during those three days of horror that terrified the citizens of Gettysburg and how the Shrivers’ home was used during and after the fighting.

  • Hettie Shriver took her two girls, Sadie (7) and Mollie (5), and their neighbor, Tillie Pierce, to seek safety outside town only to find themselves deep within the battle lines - at the base of Little Round Top!
  • Sharpshooters commandeered Hettie’s abandoned house to fire muskets from the Shrivers' attic window.
  • Beautifully furnished rooms of the house left in ruins by the invading forces.
  • Surgeons struggle to save lives in a make-shift hospital in the summer kitchen.
  • Talk to 'civilians' of the time to learn of their experiences during the battle
  • Enjoy a root beer in Shriver's Saloon while younger visitors have a nurse bandage their wounds (leaving a small spurt of blood seeping through the bandage) or make whirligigs to take along as a memento of your visit.
  • Witness the only reenactment to take place in the streets of Gettysburg - in the very house where it actually happened on July 1, 2 & 3, 1863.
  • Reservations are currently being accepted by calling 717-337-2800. Ask for Nancie or Kim.

The Battle of Gettysburg encompassed not only the surrounding countryside but the streets of this historic town as well.


* * * NOTE * * *
Regardless of posted hours, reservations for groups of ten or more are welcome at any time, day or evening, throughout the year. Simply call or email to make arrangements.

Tour times may vary when large groups with advance reservations are touring the Museum. Metered parking is available on the street directly in front of the Museum. 

Although much has been accomplished in bringing the Shrivers' home back to its original appearance, it remains, nonetheless, a restoration in progress. The Shriver's home has been restored privately; no funds are received from any foundations or government agencies for its preservation. Entrance fees paid by visitors to tour the Shriver House Museum and proceeds from museum shop sales help to preserve, operate and continue to improve this unique part of our heritage.

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