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       THE SPIRIT OF GETTYSBURG red logo
BY DAVID McBRIDE

There are places in the world more defined by their past than most others. Some towns mark the site of great human joy or triumph, while other places are shrouded in historical mystery or some unexplained phenomenon. And then there are those places that have been defined by tremendous trauma. Places where the ghosts of the past never seem to fade into memory, but are constantly finding their way back into the people's consciousness. One of these places is Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.



In the summer of 1863, this small town would forever be defined by the over one hundred and sixty thousand visitors from all over the United States who met here that July, many of whom would never leave. The ones that didn't are forever part of the fabric of this inviting hamlet. We can see them in the monuments to their valor throughout the battlefield. We can see them in the people who dress and act like them in tribute to what happened here. And some people even claim to see them in their ghosts, reported in nearly every corner of Gettysburg.


Millions of people travel to this spot every year to experience the spirit of this community that became the steward to a defining moment in the American journey. Most people and places in Gettysburg embrace this idea, while others may not. But it is the places in Gettysburg that have no choice in the matter that are truly compelling. Most of them can be found along the battlefield, but there are others that may or may not be found within the guidebooks. One such place is the FARNSWORTH HOUSE INN.



View from the bar at the Farnsworth House in Gettysburg, PA as seen in American Public House Review
VIEW FROM THE BAR


The bar at th Farnsworth House ingettysburg, PA as seen in American Public House Review

The courtyard at the Farnsworth House in Gettysburg, PA as seen in American Public House Review
THE BAR
FARNSWORTH COURTYARD






Robert E. Lee portrait at The Farnsworth House in Gettysburg, PA as seen in American PublicHouse Review
ROBERT E. LEE


When Hollywood embarked upon telling the story of the battle of Gettysburg, the actors and crew largely chose the bar at the FARNSWORTH HOUSE to unwind, talk and feel the spirit of their surroundings. They chose wisely and left their mark on the place with personal memorabilia and salutations, a tribute to their obvious appreciation for this terrific tavern. Their enthusiasm was apparent and the feeling of authenticity here was likely the draw for those working so hard to bring the essence of Gettysburg to the world. According to folks who were at the bar then, Stephen Lang, the actor who played General George E. Pickett once stood on the bar and exclaimed that he had finally taken the high ground. Who could argue with him?



Film coatumes at the Fransworth House in Gettysburg, PA as seen in American Puiblic House Review
FILM COSTUMES


Have a seat at the bar and you stand a good chance of being joined by what may look like a ghost but is in actuality a re-enactor. These folks can tell you about the smallest details of the battle you would never read about in textbooks, because they have tried to live it themselves. Wait a bit longer and you may be joined by a battlefield guide or tour operator who may fascinate you with places to see you easily could have overlooked. If neither of those encounters occurs, ask someone working there about the FARNSWORTH HOUSE itself. Everyone I met there was always willing to tell me about their place and the town they call home. You will leave with a heightened appreciation for the spirit of those ghosts who defined this Inn and this town so long ago.



Taps at the Farnsworth House in Gettysburg, PA as seen in American Public House Review
THE TAPS


Sam Elliott autograph at the Farnsworth House in Gettysburg, PA as seen in American Public House Review



FARNSWORTH HOUSE INN

401 BALTIMORE STREET
GETTYSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA, 17325
(717) 334-8838

www.farnsworthhouseinn.com

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