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Shriver House Museum - The Civilian Experience


309 Baltimore Street

Gettysburg, PA 17325





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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.



The Battle of Gettysburg and its aftermath

Saturday, July 2, 2016; 5 - 9 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.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016; 10 am - 5 pm

Celebrate George Washington Shriver’s 180th birthday on Sunday, July 26th. George will be on hand to share his birthday cake and pink lemonade in honor of the occasion.

George’s grandfather, Lewis P. Shriver, purchased several hundred acres of farmland from the sons of William Penn. The beautiful stone farmhouse where George was born on July 27, 1836 still stands today as testament to one of the original families to settle in Adams County in the 1700s.

The story of George Shriver was not well-known until 1996 when the house he built on Baltimore Street, which sat abandoned for nearly 30 years, was painstakingly restored to its original 1860s appearance. Today, the Shrivers’ story is one of the most intriguing stories told when it comes to the civilian aspect of the Battle of Gettysburg. In the summer of 1860, at the age of 24, George sold off his family farm in order to build a new home in town. He had married Hettie, a daughter of Jacob Weikert who had a large farm on Taneytown Road, and they had two young daughters, Sadie (5) and Mollie (3). Their sizable, new home was large enough to accommodate George’s business: Shriver’s Saloon and Ten-Pin Alley. The family lived in the finely appointed rooms upstairs; the saloon was located in the cellar and a two-lane, ten-pin bowling alley was situated in the backyard.

Holiday traditions and celebrations of the 1860s.
Thanksgiving Evening and Saturdays through December 17, 2016

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.

* * * 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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