The Gettysburg Times has resurrected and brought new life to a column I loved to read a few years back called “Getting To Know….” This column introduces you to some of the faces in our community. One of the questions asked is “What event would you have liked to have witnessed in history?” That question resonated with me because our community has the good fortune to witness history every year with the reenactment of the Battle of Gettysburg. Those first few days in July were one of the most significant, poignant moments in this country’s history. Re-enactors and living historians dedicate their time and knowledge for us; to teach us what we have only heard about, read about, but have not seen. It is imperative that this generation, and those to come, understand what has made us the “Land of the Free, and Home of the Brave.”
However, as I mentioned in last month’s article, Gettysburg is more than just a battlefield town. Did you know that a Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher called Gettysburg his home? Edward S. Plank, known affectionately as “Gettysburg Eddie” was born on a farm near Gettysburg in August 1875, just 12 years after the battle. Eddie was one of the best left-handed pitchers ever in the major leagues. Gettysburg area resident Bill Wills chose to remember Eddie Plank with a restaurant bearing his nickname. Adorning the walls are many pictures of the pitcher. Bill also sponsors the 19th Century Baseball Festival where vintage baseball comes to life. Vintage uniforms and 19th century rules come to the 21st century and Gettysburg July 19-21.
July 11-14 brings a massive convergence of motorcyclists and enthusiasts from all over the country to Gettysburg for the 18th annual “Gettysburg Bike Week.” There are many activities to experience such as tattoo events, live music, field events, fireworks and much more. New this year is the 2019 Harley Davidson Demo Experience. Test ride your dream bike. If you don’t find your dream bike there, venture out east of town to Battlefield Harley Davidson. Join them July 10 for their “Kick-Off to Bike Week” event. Let’s not forget the Parade of Chrome that takes place through historic Gettysburg Saturday evening starting at 5 p.m. A great way to show off your motorcycle wares.
If you still would like to experience some history while in town, step into many of the beautiful stores and restaurants. Many of these buildings were here during the Battle of Gettysburg, some designated with plaques. While admiring the beautiful exteriors of these buildings, step inside to admire the interiors. Original, exposed brick walls, creaky hardware floors, great food and great shopping await you. Business owners are also making vast improvements to properties in the downtown. Roger Lund has beautifully restored the façade of 13 Baltimore St., once a hardware store, into The Christmas Haus where you can find many handmade, handpicked ornaments from Germany. Most of us remember 19 York St. as the home of the Moose Lodge for many years. Most would agree that it wasn’t the most attractive building in town. After a lengthy renovation project inside and out, it is now home to The Upper Crust, a wood-fire pizza restaurant using fresh, local ingredients. Owner Linda Atiyeh envisioned a fun, family friendly atmosphere with great food and great spirits. A welcome addition to our downtown.
GARMA is an advocate of small business and shopping local. One way that we promote local shopping is with GARMA Gift Certificates. These are purchasable at Artworks, Gettysburg Heritage Center and Goin’ Postal. You can redeem your gift certificates at participating GARMA businesses. For a complete listing of GARMA businesses visit our website, www.gettysburgretailmerchants.com.