The museum's mission is to provide a unique perspective often overlooked by interpreters of the Battle of Gettysburg. That perspective is "The Civilian Experience" during the battle and in particular, the story of one family, the Shrivers'. Additionally, the museum offers an authentic glimpse of what life was like during the war years. Guides in period attire tell the Shriver's story as they walk through their home. The tour also includes a visit to the garret which was used by Confederate sharpshooters during the battle and the cellar where the saloon is located and locals gathered to escape the fighting.
The home of George Washington Shriver was built in 1860 on what was then considered a double lot on the edge of town. George's intentions were to raise his family here as well as house his business venture "Shrivers' Saloon and Ten Pin Alley". The home was originally built with an adjacent building located steps from the rear of the home and was 16 feet wide by 64 feet long, enough room for two bowling lanes. The bowling alley unfortunately is no longer standing but can be seen in the background of the photograph taken of Lincoln's ride to give his Gettysburg Address. During the winter of 1862, Union soldiers were quartered in the saloon and bowling alley. Letters written home by one soldier in the saloon have just been obtained by the museum and will be on display in the near future. The saloon has been restored to resemble it's original appearance.
The Shriver's house remained virtually unchanged over the years even with several owners. However, in 1905 major changes in the house were taking place which would later jeopardize the structural integrity of the building. The building was divided into a duplex with several apartments in each side. Additions were also built off the rear of the house. Stairways, heating furnaces, entryways, windows, and other changes all were contributing to future problems.
1967 began the rapid deterioration of the building both inside and out as the majority of the house was left vacant. After almost 30 years and several attempts by the Borough of Gettysburg to condemn the property, the house was purchased by a private party in 1996.
Restoration of the property began in 1996 with the intention of restoring the home to it's original 1860 appearance. As with any historic property, this too can be considered a "work in progress". No public funding was used in the restoration of the home. All proceeds from tours, shop sales and contributions are used for the continued preservation, operation and maintenance of the Shriver House Museum.
Saturday, May 22, 2021 at 2:00pm Eastern Time
Thursday, Apr 22, 2021 at 2:00pm Eastern Time
Thursday, Apr 22, 2021 at 3:00pm Eastern Time
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