During the past ten years, Gettysburg had been under siege by casinos, potential development plans within park boundaries, suburban sprawl surrounding the town, and a diminished historic importance to generations to come if these projects are not stopped. Even though some of these have been halted, the fight has not stopped. Help in the battle to continue preserving the historic charm of Gettysburg for future generations. Photo above: Battle of Gettysburg, Camp Letterman hospital complex tents, August 1863. Courtesy Library of Congress.
Big Box Development Project threatens hallowed ground in Camp Letterman area off Route 30 and adjacent to the restored Daniel Lady farm. This remaining one hundred acres of land where the men of the Confederacy formed in battle lines and placed artillery to fight at Culp's Hill and later both Union and Confederate troops were treated in a large hospital tent complex for months after the battle is now being proposed for additional roads and large retail stores. Help stop this effort. Contact Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association and other groups in trying to stop this from happening.
- Big Box
- Former Casino Project
- Potential Future Problems
Yes, it's happening again. This time the large development project is a Big Box Retail complex over the remaining one hundred acres of Camp Letterman and the Confederate staging area for the battle of Culp's Hill. This land is directly north of the Daniel Lady farm on Route 116, between it and Lincoln Highway. While the project is still in its planning stages, this is the time to stop it, or the complex of retail and hotel establishments already there, i.e. Giant and the hotel chains, will take over the entire viewshed from the northern end of the park, and remove the historic landscape where thousands of soldiers trod, and were later cared for.
So, how can you help? Join with the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association and other national organizations that are organizing to save this land. The developer is said to be open to selling for preservation, but at a high price rumored to be $8 million. Sign their petition. Call the local Straban Township office and tell them what you think. This is all happening fast, May 2016, and while the project is in its beginning phase, to stop it from happening requires prompt action. Think about the possibility of losing this ground forever. Think about the better possibility of interpreting this land for the history generations to come, both about the battle for Culp's Hill itself, and for the post battle hospital complex Camp Letterman. That would be the better outcome. Help make that happen.
Above photo: United States Christian Commission in August 1863. Below: A group of soldiers in front of the woods at the Camp Letterman hostpital. Photos courtesy Library of Congress.
Former Casino Project
Casino Project in Gettysburg Denied Again by PA Casino Board - On April 14, 2011, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board voted against the Gettysburg casino project and awarded the license to the Nemacolin resort south of Pittsburgh. The proposal had been to place a Casino in Gettysburg, this time just 1/2 mile from the southern end of the field on Emmitsburg Road, right along the Journey Through History. Spearheaded again by Gettysburg businessman David LeVan, this project was centered around the current Eisenhower Inn.
Even though the casino project was stopped, the effort to prevent a future casino in Gettysburg is still ongoing. Pennsylvania legislators have, in the past, considered a bill that would prevent any future casinos from being placed with 10 miles of a National Military Park. Please urge them to reconsider this bill. Another resort license will be awarded in 2017, and this legislation is needed so that the people of Gettysburg do not have to fight another proposal for the third time.
Watch the wondeful videos below put together by the No Casino Gettysburg and Civil War Preservation Trust coaltion. It includes well known peope who are against the casino idea, including Sam Waterston, Matthew Broderick, Ken Burns, and others. A second video by the same actors, all reciting the Gettysburg Address is also included.
Legacy Testimony Video
Gettysburg Address Video
No Casino Gettysburg Video
What Could Happen if these Proposals Are Not Stopped
Developers Continue to Gobble up Land Within Park Boundaries and Surrounding the Park
Traffic becomes congested, commercial malls string along the the roadways, mile after mile after mile. The rationale for coming to or even living in Gettysburg is no longer predicated on its past, in fact, its not predicated on its present either, just another excuse to commute to work in the more important locations, i.e. Harrisburg and Baltimore.
Gettysburg National Military Park now becomes another Valley Forge, surrounded by office towers, highways, and homes, and now more of a recreation park than a historic park for most visitors.
It becomes another Manassas, with rampant development knocking at its doors from all directions. It becomes another Fredericksburg, a town with tons of history, but with a highway that is more important, and land that is no longer indicative of the history from its past, but another excuse for commercial development. Don't think that's true, try to envision the charge at Marye's Heights compared to that at Pickett's Charge. And we won't even get into the Battle of Franklin.
And it loses out on commerce. Even in its bad years, Gettysburg still draws between 1 and 2 million visitors per year for its charm and history. In good economic times, it draws between 2 and 3 million. Do we really think this will increase with casino gambling and more residential and commercial devlopment?
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