The Evolution of Gettysburg

The town of Gettysburg was once a sleepy little town in Central Pennsylvania. The most exciting things about it were the roads and the railroad bring travelers through, not to, Gettysburg. Then came the Battle. Troops fighting in and around the town. Then came President Abraham Lincoln to speak. Then more and more people started coming. Pretty soon, Gettysburg changed from a small, farm town to a bustling tourist destination.

Today, Gettysburg relies greatly on the tourism as a major, if not the major, source of income in the town. The town is still the same place: same college campus, same fields surrounding it (now known as the Battlefields) and many of the same buildings as we have talked about in previous posts. The train station, once a very central part of Gettysburg, now closed. Many of the houses that were present during the Battle still stand, but are now museums and objects of interest to look and gawk at from the street or cars. 

I think that while tourism and consumerism have helped make Gettysburg a wonderfully visitor friendly and open town, the town itself has lost some of its character. This is natural with modernization and happens everywhere, but I think that sometimes there is too much emphasis on making money, and that takes away from the natural value of the town. 

Overall, I think that Gettysburg has changed for the better, and that we should be lucky to be living/going to school in such a nice town with such rich history and culture. We should work hard to protect it.

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2 comments on “The Evolution of Gettysburg

  1. alwagnerv says:

    The multivocality of Gettysburg has also changed since the era before the battle of 1863. When the town was settled, the place Gettysburg sat on was important to both the settlers, and to the Native Americans who lived in the area known as Adams County. Not long after the town was founded, many different traders and business owners set up shop in Gettysburg to meet then needs of those who lived in the area. Churches also came. The town was a center for both economical and religious purposes.
    After the battle, the town’s multivocality changed drastically. Although people still lived in and around Gettysburg, tourists and travelers soon arrived, and these visitors needed places to eat and sleep. As we showed in post 5, the town became a destination, not just a place to live. Local business owners who once had other jobs in the community seized the opportunity to profit from the change, and opened restaurants and hotels to accommodate the thousands of visitors who would flock to the small town.
    The town means different things to different people. To the residents, it means home. To soldiers, and families of soldiers who fought here, it meant memory. To tourists, it meant relaxation. To the students of Gettysburg College, it means learning. All of these views of the town are different, but somehow, over the years, the town that was drastically changed 150 years ago has been transformed into a home for many different groups.

  2. […] The Evolution of Gettysburg (koesno01.wordpress.com) […]

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