Thursday, February 3, 2011

A historic Gettysburg hotel

The latest Gettysburg Companion has an interesting article by Battlefield guide John Winkelman about the Wagon Hotel that stood not far from our Welty House, in the angle formed by the Baltimore Pike and the Emmitsburg Road (now Steinwehr Avenue). The Wagon Hotel opened in 1821, built especially to cater for wagonners and teamsters. During the Battle in 1863 it was occupied by members of the 73rd Pennsylvania Infantry, later relieved by others of Coster's Brigade. They were firing at Confederate soldiers who had occupied the town. It seems probable that some of the Union bullets that spattered on the south wall of our Welty House came from the Wagon Hotel, less than a hundred yards away.

After the Civil War the hotel was renamed the Battlefield Hotel, and was destroyed by fire in 1894, four years before our Victorian house was built by banker Charles Toot. A new Battlefield Hotel was built on the site, but was eventually demolished, and the site is now occupied by a Shell gas station. Sic transit gloria....

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