The multi-faceted uniqueness of Adams County shows itself in every season of the year. During the fall, the natural history of our area catches our attention. Trees stand ablaze with color, and we see the mountains and forests come alive with different shades of red and yellow. It took thousands of years for time to sculpt the beauty of this area and it seems to grow more splendid each year.

The new Adams County Historical Society Museum, opening in April 2023 on Biglerville Road in Gettysburg, will highlight a section on the natural history of Adams County. The museum will feature a distinctive look at a well-known hallmark of the Gettysburg battlefield, Devil’s Den. This boulder-strewn area is visited by many thousands of guests each year and is one of Adams County’s most impressive natural features. It is the product of powerful geological processes spanning millions of years. Many do not realize it, but the boulders of Devil’s Den formed when liquid magma deep underground forced its way to the surface, then rapidly cooled and hardened into igneous rock about 200 million years ago. Over time, softer sediments around the rock eroded and exposed the boulders we now see in and around Gettysburg. The new museum will also tell the story of how Devil’s Den and other peculiar local rock formations got their names.

Howard F. Burrell is a trustee of the Adams County Historical Society.

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