GETTYSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — When people think about Gettysburg, they talk about the Civil War, but there’s a lot more history in Adams County than just that.
The Adams County Historical Society is going to be building a brand new facility just north of the Borough of Gettysburg. To make sure everyone’s past is included and preserved, they’re teaming up with the Gettysburg Black History Museum.
Millions of historic items are preserved in an old Victorian house in Gettysburg.
“People know Gettysburg all over the world, but they don’t know the backstory to Gettysburg, what happened in the years before the battle and what happened afterward, how our community developed and changed,” said Andrew Dalton, executive director of the Adams County Historical Society.
Black history is critical to that story.
“Every era of Adam’s County history is intertwined with our Black history and that’s why it’s so important to have a partnership with our local Black history group to ensure that these materials are displayed and preserved and they’re used as educational tools,” Dalton said.
The new Adams County Historical Society headquarters will house a permanent, rotating display area for the Gettysburg Black History Museum in the lobby.
“There was slavery in Pennsylvania for a long time prior to the civil war,” Dalton said. “People don’t really know that. There was a gradual abolition over time, but here in Adams County, just like other counties in our area, there was slavery for many many years.”
Dalton says the current building for ACHS doesn’t have climate control or fire protection, so the new building is critical to preserving more than 300 years of history preserved so others can learn for decades to come.
“There’s so many people out there who love Gettysburg but we’d like to tell a much broader story and show you the community and how it developed before the battle and what happened to it afterward,” Dalton said.
The Adams County Historical Society has raised $4.5 million so far for the 29,000-square-foot complex. Construction will start this year and they expect to be open by 2023.
To learn more about supporting the project, please visit www.achs-pa.org/campaign or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations can also be mailed to the Adams County Historical Society at P.O. Box 4325, Gettysburg, PA 17325. Naming and sponsorship opportunities are available for a limited time.