Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
In 1990, I came across my maternal great great grandfather's name on a monument located out in the area's battlefield. John Keller fought with the 15th New York and one of the battles he fought was here in Gettysburg. I took several pictures of the exact location where his regiment fought.
It is a humbling experience to have stood in the exact location where my own ancestor stood in with gun in hand and/or manning a cannon in this war between states. I also found the monument for the 68th Pennsylvania regiment where my great great grandfather on my paternal side, Alexander Mervine fought in during the Civil War. However, his name was not listed with the group who fought this Battle of Gettysburg even though folklore stated he was indeed at this battle. I took a picture of this list to show that his name was not listed. Unless they forgot to list his name, I can assume Alexander Mervine was not at Gettysburg.
In the meantime, I wanted to share some history on a tavern that I have eaten at on more than a few occasions while out in Gettysburg. This tavern fascinated me because it has been maintained in its original state in the basement of this 1776 building complete with wax burning candles that provided light. The tavern is called Dobbins House and currently it contains nine Bed & Breakfast rooms, a ballroom, dining room, country store and tavern (which is where we ate at) in the main and adjoining buildings on the property.
Reverend Alexander Dobbin and The Historic Dobbin House
"Four Score and Seven Years" before President Lincoln delivered his immortal Gettysburg Address (1863-87=1776), Gettysburg's oldest and most historic building, the Dobbin House, was built. Just imagine the residents of the then eighty-seven year old house who probably sat on the balcony to watch as Lincoln delivered his speech on a bluff a few hundred yards away at the National Cemetery!
Reverend Alexander Dobbin, who built the Dobbin House, was an early frontier pioneer who helped settle and civilize the area. Born in Ireland in 1742, he grew to be a man of keen foresight, a person highly respected by his peers, an educator of men of stature, a Minister and a rugged individual who played a major role in the founding of Gettysburg. After studying the classics in Ireland, Dobbin and his bride, Isabella Gamble, set sail for a new life in the New World. Shortly after his arrival in America, he became pastor of the Rock Creek Presbyterian Church, located one mile north of what is now Gettysburg.
In 1774, the Dobbin purchased 300 acres of land in and around what is now the town of Gettysburg and commenced construction of a farm and the Dobbin House, for use as their dwelling and as a Classical School, today's equivalent of a combined theological seminary and liberal arts college. Dobbin's school was the first of its kind in America west of the Susquehanna River, an academy which enjoyed an excellent reputation for educating many professional men of renown.
Rev. Dobbin needed a large house for his school and family, for his Irish wife had borne him ten children before her early death. He remarried to the widow, Mary Agnew, who already had nine children of her own!
Rev. Dobbin, a short, stout, smiling gentleman who wore a white wig, became a highly respected community leader, as well as minister and educator. He worked diligently to establish in 1800 an autonomous Adams County, which originally was a part of neighboring York County. Thereafter, he was one of two appointed commissioners to chose Gettysburg as the new county seat.
In the mid-1800's, a secret crawl space, featured in "National Geographic", served as a "station" for hiding runaway slaves on their perilous journey to freedom on the "Underground Railroad." After the battle of Gettysburg ceased, and the armies had departed, it served as a hospital for wounded soldiers of both the North and the South.
Today the historic house appears virtually the same as it did over 200 years ago. Its native stone walls, seven fireplaces, and hand carved woodwork have been painstakingly restored to their original beauty and character, with interior decor in the traditional eighteenth century manner. Many of the home's antique furnishings are identical to those listed in the inventory of Rev. Dobbin's estate. The china and flatware exactly match fragments which were unearthed during the re-excavation of the cellar. The servant's period-clothing is completely authentic right down to the tie on pockets!
As a truly authentic colonial tavern, patrons of the Dobbin House may "eat, drink and be merry".
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
Though it is basically about one family's history, there are informational links on her site for other genealogists that may be helpful. Make sure you scroll down to the end of her website to find those "helpful links".