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Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Gettysburg battlefield in 2019
Gettysburg battlefield in 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, Pennsylvania is located in Pennsylvania
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Location in Pennsylvania
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania is located in the United States
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Location in the United States
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Adams
Settled 1780
Incorporated 1806
 • Type Borough Council
 • Total 1.66 sq mi (4.31 km2)
 • Land 1.66 sq mi (4.30 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.01 km2)
560 ft (170 m)
 • Total 7,620
 • Estimate 
 • Density 4,653.01/sq mi (1,796.79/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 717 Exchanges: 334,337,338,339.
FIPS code 42-28960
Website [1]

Gettysburg ( non-locally) is a borough and the county seat of Adams County in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The Battle of Gettysburg (1863) and President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address are named for this town. The town hosts visitors to the Gettysburg National Battlefield in the Gettysburg National Military Park. As of the 2010 census, the borough had a population of 7,620 people.


Early history

Samuel (also reported as James) Gettys settled at the ShippensburgBaltimore and PhiladelphiaPittsburgh crossroads with a 1761 tavern where soldiers and traders came to rest. To the southwest is the 1776 Dobbin House Tavern within the subsequent 1786 border established for the borough. After a "Strabane" township location between "Hunter's and Getty's towns" was planned as the county seat in 1790, in 1791 "Revd. Alexander Dobbin and David Moore Sr. were appointed trustees for the county of Adams to erect public buildings in…Gettysburg." The founder of the Studebaker Corporation was born in 1833 in Gettysburg.

In 1858 the Gettysburg Railroad completed construction of a railroad line from Gettysburg to Hanover. The Gettysburg Railroad Station opened in 1859. 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.

By 1860, the borough "had around 450 buildings [which] housed carriage manufacturing, shoemakers, and tanneries".

Civil War

The Battle of Gettysburg, one of the largest battles during the American Civil War, was fought between July 1 and 3, 1863, across the fields and heights south of the town. In the end, Confederate General Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia retreated into Virginia, while George G. Meade and the Army of the Potomac tried but failed to pursue Lee and his men. Casualties were high; there were over 27,000 Confederate and 23,000 Union losses. 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.

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


The furniture manufacturing grew in Gettysburg in the early 1900s. The Gettysburg Manufacturing Company was formed in 1902 to manufacture a variety of residential furniture. It had become the Gettysburg Furniture Company by 1912. Another local furniture company was the Warner Furniture company and its successor, the Engle Furniture Company, which commenced making residential furniture in 1905. Engle became the Reaser Furniture Company in 1907, and continued to produce dozens of styles. In 1917 the joint venture Stouck-Reaser Company formed to buy, sell and deal in wholesale lumber products. The company continued to appear in local newspapers through the 1920s.

Furniture production remained an important industry in the area through the 1920s. In 1920 the Gettysburg Panel Company formed to manufacture veneer panels for the other firms. In 1923, the Gettysburg Chair Company was chartered to supply chairs that the local factories needed to complete their bedroom and dining room suites.

In 1923, the borough's production of furniture totaled almost 71,000 pieces. In 1927 there were 522 employees in the three plants: 261 in Gettysburg, 153 in Reaser, and 108 in Panel.

The industry declined in the mid-1900s, however. In 1951, the Stouck-Reaser company obtained a permit for a new office building, and the other companies were sold. The Gettysburg Furniture Company factory closed in 1960, becoming a warehouse and distribution point for other furniture factories outside Pennsylvania. A facility of the Dolly Madison Industries, Furniture Division, was located in Gettysburg in 1966.


Gettysburg manufacturing associated with tourism included a late 19th-century foundry that created 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), 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 located on U.S. Route 30 about 25 miles (40 km) west of York, Pennsylvania. 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.


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.

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;


Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 1,473
1840 1,908 29.5%
1850 2,180 14.3%
1860 2,390 9.6%
1870 3,074 28.6%
1880 2,814 −8.5%
1890 3,221 14.5%
1900 3,495 8.5%
1910 4,030 15.3%
1920 4,439 10.1%
1930 5,584 25.8%
1940 5,916 5.9%
1950 7,046 19.1%
1960 7,960 13.0%
1970 7,275 −8.6%
1980 7,194 −1.1%
1990 7,025 −2.3%
2000 7,490 6.6%
2010 7,620 1.7%
2019 (est.) 7,724 1.4%

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.

At the 2000 census, the Gettysburg Urban Cluster population was 15,532. At the 2010 census, Gettysburg was included within the Hanover Urban Area, which had a population of 66,301. Gettysburg is the principal city of the Gettysburg, PA Micropolitan Statistical Area.

At the 2000 census, there were 7,490 people, 2,541 households and 1,229 families residing in the borough. The racial makeup of the borough was 85.46% White, 5.79% Black or African American, 0.37% Native American, 1.28% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 4.67% from other races, and 2.38% from two or more races. 8.02% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 2,541 households, of which 22.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.6% were married couples living together, 12.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 51.6% were non-families. 42.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.94.

16.2% of the population were under the age of 18, 36.2% from 18 to 24, 19.1% from 25 to 44, 15.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 23 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.1 males.

The median household income was $29,840 and the median family income was $40,489. Males had a median income of $30,341 compared with $21,111 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $14,157. About 13.2% of families and 19.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.0% of those under age 17 and 5.2% of those age 77 or over.


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, The hub of the bus system, the new Gettysburg Transit Center, is under construction on Carlisle Street. Beginning in 2011, a Rabbit Transit commuter bus to Harrisburg runs four times each weekday in each direction.

Sister cities

Gettysburg's sister cities are:


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

Notable people

  • Laura A. Brown (1874-1924), American activist and local politician
  • Brian Patrick Clarke, American film and television actor born in 1952.
  • Steve Courson, former NFL player, played football at and graduated from Gettysburg Area High School in 1973. His #71 is the only number to be retired by GAHS.
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th U.S. president, and his wife Mamie Eisenhower, retired to a farm near Gettysburg after leaving the White House in 1961. He lived there until his death in 1969.
  • Julia Jacobs Harpster (1846-1935), American Lutheran missionary in India, born in Gettysburg.
  • The Rev. Henry Eyster Jacobs (1844-1932), theologian and Lutheran seminary president.
  • Julia H. Johnston, Christian songwriter who composed Grace Greater Than All Our Sin.
  • Eddie Plank, member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, was born in Gettysburg in 1875 and played baseball at Gettysburg College.
  • The Rev. Samuel Simon Schmucker, a founder of Gettysburg College, and Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg.
  • John Studebaker, co-founder of what would become the Studebaker Corporation automobile company, was born in Gettysburg in 1833.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Gettysburg (Pensilvania) para niños

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