Seven places normally closed to the public were open for viewing.
I started off at the Josiah Benner Farm. This, of course, was where Francis Barlow was taken after his wounding.
Several artillery shells struck the house during the battle. The Park Service has just begun the restoration process for the house, so many of the modern conveniences a family living there recently would have are still in the house. The Park Service will restore it to what it looked like in 1863.
Next up was the Blocher House. The Blocher Family is the family for whom Blocher’s Knoll, later known as Barlow’s Knoll, was named. The Park Service is also in the process of restoring this house.
Next I visited the Armory and the Cannon Repair Shop. A group of WWII reenactors was at the Armory, since it’s not a Civil War building and was actually part of the World War II POW camp. They even had someone portraying a German POW.
Next I visited the John Slyder Farm’s barn and blacksmith shop. Slyder was a bit unusual in that he was a skilled blacksmith and carpenter as well as a farmer. Most farmers didn’t have the blacksmith skill set. This was a really good stop.
The Klingle Farm was next on the list. A park employee lives in the house, so there wasn’t much to photograph inside, but it was nice to go through the living room and get an idea of the small size of the rooms.
Also open today were the Abraham Brian House and the Lydia Leister House, which was General Meade’s headquarters during the battle.
This was a pretty good day. It was really neat to get inside these buildings, which are normally closed to the public.