GETTYSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A new museum called Beyond the Battle, brought to you by the Adams County Historical Society (ACHS), is holding its grand opening on Friday, April 14.

The brand-new Beyond the Battle museum doesn’t just take you through time, but instead, it will put you right in it. According to the Director of Marketing and Development for ACHS Michaela Shaffer, constructing this museum and facility has been a big goal of the historical society, and the idea for this project was years in the making.

“I mean we broke ground on this project back in 2020,” Shaffer said. “but this has been a long-held dream of ours and now it is coming to fruition.”

Beyond the Battle will begin in the prehistoric times of Gettysburg, which starts by showing you some of the natural rock formations that would later become historical battle sites, and then you will be taken through a brand new perspective of the Battle of Gettysburg, before walking you through the events that follow after the war.

According to Shaffer, Beyond the Battle will have 12 immersive galleries for you to journey through, which consist of:

  1. Natural History
    • Where you can view otherworldly rock formations, dinosaur tracks, and a real meteorite.
  2. Native Americans
    • Get a first-hand experience and discover the lives of Indigenous communities.
  3. Life on the Frontier
    • You get to hear the gripping stories of murder, captivity, and colonial land disputes.
  4. Revolutionary America
    • You will get to take a seat in Samuel Gettys’s Tavern and eavesdrop on 18th-century conversations.
  5. A Growing Community
    • Explore local ties to Thaddeus Stevens, Francis Scott Key, and the Underground Railroad.
  6. The Civil War
    • You can learn the stories of local soldiers and civilians who fought for freedom and the Union.
  7. The War Comes Home
    • Discover how ordinary families endured the Civil War’s largest battle.
  8. Caught in the Crossfire
    • Step inside a home which is trapped between two armies and experience firsthand the horrific sights and sounds of war.
  9. The Aftermath
    • Imagine local residents’ encounters with death, disease, and destruction while viewing battle-damaged artifacts.
  10. The Address
    • You will get the chance to stand in the crowd and reflect on Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address through the words of actual eyewitnesses.
  11. Preservation and Progress
    • Experience the changing battlefield and community at the dawn of the 20th century.
  12. The Recent Past
    • Learn about Eisenhower and his contemporaries, who shaped the past century of Gettysburg’s history.

Here is a sneak peek inside the new Beyond the Battle museum:

The building that is home to the Beyond the Battle museum was constructed by CE Williams and Conewago Enterprises – the museum itself was designed by Healy Kohler, who also designed the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia.

According to Shaffer, through a capital campaign led by the ACHS, they were able to fundraise $12 million for the new building and museum. Furthermore, the historical society is currently on track to come out of this project completely debt free.

In addition to the new immersive museum, the 25,000-square-foot building will also become the new home for the Adams County Historical Society, the Adams County Archive Facility, a research room for the archives, and a community center.

Beyond the Battle is holding its grand opening on Friday, April 14 at 10 a.m. – to reserve your tickets or for more information on admission prices, you can click here.

Currently, the hours of operation for the new museum will be:

  • Thursdays //10 a.m. until 9 p.m.
  • Fridays – Mondays //10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
  • Tuesdays – Wednesdays will be reserved for pre-booked groups