New $5.5M constructing to accommodate Gettysburg battlefield artifacts, fossils and extra

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Historical items hanging from fossilized dinosaur footprints to a program from Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg address will soon find a new home in Gettysburg.

The Adams County Historical Society (ACHS) has announced that they will begin building a new facility starting next year to create a long-term home for their collection. The 29,000-square-foot project is expected to cost $ 5.5 million and be completed in the fall of 2020.

The new location is on Biglerville Road, north of the Gettysburg district and borders part of the battlefield. The current location is in Gettysburg. The main reason cited for the move was the aging of their current facility, which has always been intended as a temporary home.

"Our current facility lacks critical temperature and humidity controls and does not have a fire-fighting system," said Jacqueline White, Chair of the ACHS Capital Campaign, in a press release. "We worry every day that these incredible resources – the soul of Gettysburg and Adams Counties – could deteriorate or be lost if we don't act now."

The goal of the new facility will be to expand the history of Adams County and its people, including the pivotal Civil War battle, as well as offering new hands-on programs and a historical archive.

The fundraiser began with a digital campaign event announcing over $ 2.7 million in gifts and pledges for the new facility. The event included recommendations from popular Civil War documentary Ken Burns, writer Jeff Shaara from Gods and Generals, and actor Stephen Lang from Gettysburg.

According to Burns, "the history of Gettysburg and Adams Counties is not just local history; it is a microcosm of United States history."

"Not only will we save this incredible collection, we will also create a home for the remarkable history of this community," said Andrew Dalton, Executive Director of ACHS, in a press release. "From prehistoric times to the days of Eisenhower and beyond, this will be an experience second to none."

To learn more about the project, visit the Adams County Historical Society website.

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