Stone Walls at Gettysburg get a Facelift

  This stone wall along Taneytown Road at the Frey Farm is among three that will be rebuilt.

This stone wall along Taneytown Road at the Frey Farm is among three that will be rebuilt.

Gettysburg, Pa. – This summer and fall, Gettysburg National Military Park will be rebuilding stone walls in three locations on the battlefield:

  • along Emmitsburg Road south of the Peach orchard;
  • along the Slyder Farm lane; and
  • along Taneytown Road.

The project is part of the park’s long-term battlefield rehabilitation program to bring back missing features on the battlefield landscape that played a role and shaped the outcome of the 1863 battle.

 The project will rebuild 1,467 linear feet of missing stone walls including: Snyder farm fields along the Emmitsburg Road; and along the lane to the Slyder farm. The locations and alignments of the walls will be based on historic photographs, maps, including the G. K. Warren Map, the U.S. War Department survey maps of 1893-1895, and the 1863 period plans prepared as part of the Gettysburg Battlefield Landscape Treatment Plan.

The height and appearance of thee rebuilt walls will be based on historic photographs and described in the Cultural Landscape Report Record of Treatment (2018).

The American Conservation Experience (ACE) is providing an 8-person work crew of young adults for the project.  The program helps eliminate backlogs and engages young adults in conservation experiences with the National Park Service.   ACE is modelled after the Youth Conservation Corps.

Safety hazard along Taneytown Road:  The historic stone wall on the west side of Taneytown Road, immediately north of the Peter Frey (Biggs) barn is tumbling down the embankment and onto travel lanes of Taneytown Road (SR 134). Under the direction of the National Park Service, the work crew will dismantle the existing stone wall and move it approximately five feet west to allow space for the wall to be rebuilt using dry laid wall techniques and to avoid future safety concerns of rocks tumbling onto the roadway. This section of wall is 363 linear feet, beginning at the existing post and rail fence near the barn and ending at the first gate opening north of the barn. The rebuilt stone wall will use existing stone currently in place along this alignment.

Gettysburg National Military Park will have two ACE crews this summer.  The first group arrived in early May and is already working with the park’s resource management division, rehabilitating historic woodlots at Culp’s Hill.  Last summer at Gettysburg, an ACE crew treated non-native invasive vegetation and cut brush to help maintain historic Gettysburg landscapes.

“The work done by ACE helps improve the appearance of the Gettysburg battlefield and contributes to our preservation efforts,” said Chris Stein, acting superintendent at Gettysburg National Military Park. “The project also provides an opportunity for youth to engage in shared environmental education and stewardship of our national parks.”

 The newly rebuilt stone walls will be constructed using new material that meets the Secretary of the Interior Standards for Rehabilitation. Archeological testing will be completed prior to installation of missing walls. Existing walls will have metal detection survey work completed prior to the walls being rebuilt.

Gettysburg National Military Park preserves, protects and interprets for this and future generations the resources associated with the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg, during the American Civil War, the Soldiers' National Cemetery, and their commemorations. Learn more at www.nps.gov/gett.