Tour Will Give An Inside Look at the Restoration of a Historic Home in Gettysburg.
Gettysburg, PA – After a major restoration and in honor of Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday on February 12, 2009, the David Wills House in downtown Gettysburg will celebrate its Grand Opening, offering visitors a world-class museum experiences that tells the story of Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address. In honor of the restoration of the Wills House, the Shriver House Museum is offering restoration tours the Shrivers’ home at 7 pm on Friday and Saturday, February 13 and 14, 2009.
Located just a few blocks south of the Wills House, the Shriver House Museum was restored in 1996. The two-story brick house was built just months before the Civil War began but 136 years later, the house had missing window panes, no electricity, no water, no heat and a serious leak in the roof. At one time nearly thirty cats lived in the abandoned house. The house was restored to be used as a backdrop to tell the stories of the civilian side of the Battle of Gettysburg.
While the house was undergoing a major restoration, many questions arose. Who built the house? What was the owner’s occupation? And what happened to the residents of the house during the battle? It was difficult to find anyone who knew much information about the house or its original owners, but after countless hours of arduous research, George and Hettie Shriver’s story gradually began to unfold.
Restoring the house began on January 2, 1996. The work was a grubby, backbreaking, eight-to-ten-hour-a-day, six-day-a-week undertaking, but it was definitely a labor of love. That winter brought record breaking low temperatures, more than a hundred inches of snow and two major floods that made national news. But the rewards far outweighed the obstacles, because each day brought about new discoveries. In addition to learning more and more about the Shriver family, countless treasures were found within the house - inside walls, underneath fireplace hearths and under floorboards. Among the artifacts discovered were six Civil War cartridges, a number of percussion caps and Civil War medical supplies which had been hidden inside the house, and much, much more!
The Shriver House Museum has earned numerous awards including the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission’s Historic Preservation Award. The Museum has been used as a filming site for PBS, The Discovery Channel, A&E, HGTV, CNN, BBC, The Travel Channel and The History Channel. For additional information on the Shriver House Museum or to make reservations for a Restoration Tour, please call 717-337-2800 or visit http://www.shriverhouse.org/.