Ever wonder what it would be like to walk through the streets of Gettysburg just a few short months after the battle? Now you can, in your mind’s eye, when you visit the new, detailed scale model of the town of Gettysburg in November 1863 now on display at the David Wills House in downtown Gettysburg.
Dr. Bill Aldrich, a Gettysburg resident, researched and created the model as a volunteer for Gettysburg National Military Park. The model covers a four block area of Gettysburg, around “the Diamond” bordered on the east by Stratton Street, on the west by Washington Street, on the north by the railroad tracks, and on the south by Middle Street.
The model took 2000 hours to create, and measures 48 inches by 68.5 inches.
Gerald Bennett, author of “Days of Uncertainty and Dread,” has researched Gettysburg in 1863 for the last 15 years and collaborated with Dr. Aldrich on the model.
It features 260 buildings – including 109 houses, 77 carriages houses/stables/sheds, 68 outhouses, five burned-out buildings and one church. A 120’ flag pole marks the Diamond at the center of town. Throughout the model, visitors will see approximately 135 people; 14 carriages and wagons with horses; and 16 horses and people riding horses.
The David Wills House opened in 2009 as an official site within Gettysburg National Military Park, operated through a partnership by Main Street Gettysburg. The museum tells the story of the aftermath of the battle and Lincoln’s visit to give the Gettysburg Address. To find out more about visiting the David Wills House go to: www.davidwillshouse.org.
by Katie Lawhon, Management Assistant, Gettysburg National Military Park