The town of Gettysburg Pennsylvania is filled with a variety of cultural landscapes and events of all types. As we discussed in class cultural landscapes use the past as a way to explain the present. The following cultural landscapes, we feel, play a very large part in sculpting the way people look at the town of Gettysburg today.
The first cultural landscape I would like to touch on is the David Wills House. This was the place where Abraham Lincoln stayed to put the final touches on the most famous speech, the Gettysburg Address. The David Wills House stands to represent the President’s historical visit to the devastated town of Gettysburg. Today, the David Wills House is a museum reminding those who visit of the hope and relief the town of Gettysburg felt when their President visited. The house has recreated the David Wills Law Office and The Lincoln Bedroom, preserving the famous cultural landscape and all it’s history.
The second cultural landscape I would like to address is that of the ‘hub’ of Gettysburg. There is numerous roads coming in and out of the town of Gettysburg. One of the most famous parts of the Gettysburg hub is the train station. Abraham Lincoln arrived to Gettysburg via that same train station on November 18th 1863. The train station became a symbol of hope and their way of escape from the horrible battles that took place in Gettysburg.
Many people look to the Gettysburg battlefields to find history of the bloody battles that were fought during the Civil War. While this is true for many cases, the battles were not confined to just the battlefields. The battles spilled into the town of Gettysburg. Innocent civilians were killed by stray bullets often. Many were forced to take cover in their basements as gunfire ripped through the living room right above their heads. This event that took place in the town of Gettysburg is very striking to me and defines the cultural landscape the best. As many people fear guns and weapons on the battlefield, I can only imagine the fear that was experienced by those with battles happening outside and through their own houses.
The David Wills House, February 2009.
Dowling, Bill February 2009, The David Wills House Photo Gallery, Powered By Orases http://www.davidwillshouse.org/media/detail.htm?pid=25&catid=5
The Gettysburg Train Station April 18th 2011.
Mathis, Tamara, “Gettysburg Train Station”, April 18, 2011, Fine Art America by Tamara Mathis http://fineartamerica.com/featured/gettysburg-train-station-tamara-mathis.html