Tuesday, April 14, 2009

George Spangler Farm Restoration

CANTON, MA - In recognition of the Tourism Cares for Gettysburg restoration project at the George Spangler Farm, Gettysburg’s Mayor William E. Troxell has proclaimed April 17, 2009 as Tourism Cares Day. Tourism Cares will bring together nearly 300 tourism industry volunteers that day to kick off the restoration of the historic farm, a Civil War field hospital just outside the battlefield boundary lines.

“Tourism Cares is proud to be recognized for its efforts in beginning this historic restoration and preserving Spangler Farm for future generations of travelers,” said Bruce Beckham, executive director of Tourism Cares. “What happened in Gettysburg in July of 1863 changed the course of our nation’s history. Our work here is important not only to Americans but to those who visit from around the world. The more that is preserved, the more authentic the experience.”

The George Spangler Farm was recently purchased by the Gettysburg Foundation to protect the historically-significant site from private development. The 80-acre farm is located at what was the logistical center of the Union battlefield during the three-day Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863. During and after the battle, Spangler Farm served as a field hospital for both Confederate and Union soldiers. Until last year, the site was privately owned and is in need of considerable restoration to bring it back to the authenticity of the farm. Volunteers will restore original buildings, demolish modern structures, landscape, clean up, and much more. The restoration of the property will further the Gettysburg Foundation’s campaign to preserve Gettysburg and give visitors a sense of how the town actually appeared in 1863. The site was the field hospital to the Union 11th Corps. Confederate General Lewis Armistead died in the farm's summerhouse on July 5, 1863. Union General Francis Barlow was also cared for there.

Modern-day technology will be playing its part during the historic restoration as well. Volunteers with 3G cell phones will be able to transmit captioned photos from their phones to a special live web site so that their friends and colleagues around the world will be able to witness the project as it’s taking place. The photos will be available at www.photovision.com/tourismcares on April 17 after 11:00 am.

Tourism Cares is a 501c(3) non-profit public charity that benefits society by preserving the travel experience for future generations by awarding grants to natural, cultural, and historic sites worldwide; by presenting academic and service-learning scholarships to students of hospitality and tourism; and by organizing volunteer efforts to restore tourism-related sites in need of care and rejuvenation. For additional information about Tourism Cares, visit www.tourismcares.org .


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