Saturday, May 6 was the Second Annual Doors Open Gettysburg at the Gettysburg National Military Park. Five farmhouses were open for visiting.
First up was the Trostle Barn and Farmhouse. In the barn we got to see the cannonball hole from the inside. In looking at the beam across the top of the barn, we heard the story that two years ago when the NPS completely renovated the barn and took the roof off they found another cannonball on the beam. The projectile had been covered up for over 150 years and no one knew it was there.
We got to go all through the Trostle House, including the upstairs.
We even got to see the attic.
The Trostle House is actually housing for summer interns at the park, so it’s set up almost like a dorm inside, with beds, desks, a kitchen, etc. All the comforts of home.
Another feature is battle damage, including a bullet hole still in one of the doors.
Next stop was the Warfield Farm. The Warfield House has a modern addition built onto it. The original structure is still there, but it has been considerably modified since the war. The inside is all modern. The Park Service would like to rehabilitate it back to its 1863 appearance, but that will take well over a million dollars in funding they don’t presently have.
The brick portion is the original portion, with the portion with siding being additions.
James Warfield was an African American widower who moved to Gettysburg with his children, four daughters, most likely to take advantage of the fact that Pennsylvania provided a free education to all children regardless of race. With the approach of the confederates, though, Warfield and his daughters had to flee. He returned after the battle and saw his farm had been virtually destroyed. He filed a claim for damages. Most of the claim was approved, but the damages were never paid. William Barksdale and his brigade of Mississippians occupied the farm’s location during the battle.
The Snyder Farm was next on the list. This farmhouse is more like it was in 1863 than the others. Longstreet’s corps marched through this property on their way to their July 2 attack.
There’s also a great view of both Little Round Top and Big Round Top from the Snyder House.
The next stop was the Bushman Farm, which is where Major General John Bell Hood was severely wounded very shortly after the July 2 attack began.
The inside of the farmhouse appears to being set up as a sort of bed and breakfast type place visitors can rent and stay in.
The final stop was the Rose Farm. The Rose Farm was the scene of much death on July 2. The house was surprisingly large for being a 19th Century house. The vast majority of the house was present during the battle, with only a very small addition being added since the battle.
This was a fascinating day. The National Park Service does a great job in making these treasures available to us and providing staff on-site to answer questions and tell us about the house and farm.