Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Gettysburg Salutes the Opening of the David Wills House

Katie Lawhon
Public Affairs Specialist
Gettysburg National Military Park
1195 Baltimore Pike, Suite 100
Gettysburg, PA 17325

Experience your America

The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that they all may experience our heritage.
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Main Street Gettysburg Press Release
For Release: February 3, 2009

Gettysburg Salutes the Opening of the David Wills House

Main Street Gettysburg is partnering with dozens of community organizations to create a six day celebration for the opening of the David Wills House, February 12 through 16, in honor of Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday.

Events begin with a 2:00 ribbon cutting in front of the David Wills House on February 12. The museum will be open on February 12 until 8 pm, free to all. Other special activities throughout the weekend include storytelling, living history with David and Catherine Wills and President Lincoln, and Victorian valentines will continue through President’s Day, with the museum remaining open for free from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. through February 16.

“So many groups and organizations are coming together to celebrate the opening of the David Wills House, you can’t help but be proud of the spirit of Gettysburg,” said Deb Adamik, Executive Director of Main Street Gettysburg. “This is a wonderful way to move forward with Main Street’s mission of partnering, leading and investing in Gettysburg’s future.”

After a two-year, $7.2 million construction and rehabilitation project, the National Park Service has created--for the first time ever--a museum to tell the story of the aftermath of battle, and Lincoln’s visit to the give the Gettysburg Address. The historic David Wills House is part of Gettysburg National Military Park and will be operated by Main Street Gettysburg through a partnership agreement. In addition, the Gettysburg Convention and Visitors Bureau will operate an official Visitor Information Center and Licensed Town Guides will begin walking tours of Gettysburg at the David Wills House.

Main Street partners for the Grand Opening events include Gettysburg National Military Park, the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, the Pennsylvania Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College, the Gettysburg Area School District, the Adams County Arts Council, and many others. Main Street Gettysburg wants to thank The Gettysburg Hotel and The Country Inn and Suites for their major financial support as David Wills House sponsors of the Grand Opening events.

Grand Opening exhibits and programs will be held at numerous Gettysburg attractions including the U.S. Christian Commission Museum, 17 on the Square Antiques, the Historic Gettysburg Railroad Station, and the Gettysburg Area School District will hold an art show at the Gettysburg Hotel.

Special tours for the Grand Opening include Licensed Town Guide “Lincoln Walking Tours” departing from the Wills House, Farnsworth House Tours,Gettysburg National Military Park Ranger giving programs in the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, restoration tours of the Shriver House, and a Jennie Wade program by Ghostly Images of Gettysburg Tours.

As part of the Grand Opening celebration, special performances and lectures will take place at the Majestic Theater, at the Gettysburg Historic Railroad Station, at 17 on the Square Antiques, and at the David Wills House.

On President’s Day, February 16, the Museum and Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park will be open from 8 a.m. until 5 pm, with free admission to all Adams County residents, sponsored by the Gettysburg Foundation.

David Wills’ home was not just the center of Gettysburg--it was the center of the immense clean-up process after the Battle of Gettysburg and where President Lincoln put the finishing touches on the Gettysburg Address. The speech transformed Gettysburg's community from a place of devastation to the symbol of our nation's new birth of freedom.

Main Street Gettysburg is a nonprofit organization dedicated to historic preservation and economic revitalization of Gettysburg for the benefit of its citizens, businesses, and visitors.

For information about the benefits of becoming a David Wills House Charter Guardian, contact Main Street Gettysburg at 866-486-5735 or at http://www.davidwillshouse.org/.

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Visit Wills House Schedule of Events (pdf) for a copy.

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