Gettysburg Hotel, Est.1797

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Discover Gettysburg Hotel, Est. 1797, which began as a tavern on what is now known as Lincoln Square, Gettysburg's historic town center.

Gettysburg Hotel, Est.1797 was constructed in the years following the American Revolutionary War, when the United States won its independence from Great Britain.

Gettysburg Hotel, Est. 1797 began as a tavern on what is now known as Lincoln Square, Gettysburg's historic town center. Scott's Tavern was built in 1797 by James Scott, and in 1809 it was acquired by William McClellan, a former York County sheriff who renamed the tavern, the Indian Queen. After 1846, it was called the McClellan House for its owners, the McClellan brothers.

During the summer of 1863, the building witnessed one of the most pivotal events in the American Civil War: The Battle of Gettysburg. Confederate troops swarmed the town of Gettysburg during a three-day battle where 160,000 Americans lost their lives. Right across the street at the Wills House, President Abraham Lincoln penned the famous Gettysburg Address, which he would later give at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery.

The 1890s brought about an impressive renovation of the old building that the new owner christened the Gettysburg Hotel, and it remained as such throughout the majority of the 20th century. By the time the 1900s rolled around, Gettysburg Hotel boasted electric lights, steam heat, hot and cold baths, and a fine restaurant. In 1955, it became a temporary White House while President Eisenhower recovered from a heart attack in Gettysburg. President Eisenhower and his wife Mamie were Gettysburg Hotel's last guests in 1964 before the owner closed its doors. The old building was ravaged in an unfortunate fire in 1983.

Through an initiative of Gettysburg College, Gettysburg Hotel was carefully restored in cooperation with the Historic Architectural Review Board. Opened in 1991 as Gettysburg Hotel, the grand new building faithfully recaptured its historic past. A full renovation was completed in 2012 to strengthen the hotel’s position as a premier destination, while maintaining the historic integrity of the property.

  • Famous Historic Events +

    During the summer of 1863, the building witnessed one of the most pivotal events in the American Civil War: The Battle of Gettysburg. Confederate troops swarmed the town of Gettysburg during a three-day battle where 160,000 Americans lost their lives. Right across the street at the Wills House, President Abraham Lincoln penned the famous Gettysburg Address, which he would later give at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery.


  • Famous Historic Guests +

    In 1955, the hotel became a temporary White House while Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States, recovered from a heart attack in Gettysburg. President Eisenhower and his wife Mamie were Gettysburg Hotel's last guests in 1964 before the owner closed its doors.


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Nobody Asked Me, But...


Hotel History: The Gettysburg Hotel, Est. 1797 (1797), Gettysburg, Pennsylvania*



By Stanley Turkel, CMHS



The Gettysburg Hotel is located on the site of Scott's Tavern built by James Scott in 1797. A former York County sheriff, William McClellan, acquired the tavern in 1809 and renamed it the Indian Queen. After 1846, the McClellan brothers changed the name to the McClellan House.



During the summer of 1863, the Union victory at Gettysburg was the turning point of the Civil War, which ended Confederate General Robert E. Lee's second invasion of the North. Gettysburg was the war's bloodiest battle with 51,000 casualties over a brutal three-day period. At the end of the battle, some 22,000 wounded remained on the fields where they fell. Nearby field hospitals, houses, churches and other buildings were inadequate to house and treat these wounded soldiers. On November 19, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln delivered his brilliant Gettysburg address at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery which was completed in March 1864. He had written the speech at the David Wills house across Lincoln Square from the McClellan House doors.



In the 1890s, a new owner replaced the old tavern/inn structure with an imposing building called the Gettysburg Hotel. By the early 1900s, the hotel had electric lights, steam heat, hot and cold baths and a fine restaurant. In 1955, the hotel served as President Dwight Eisenhower's national operations center while he recovered from a heart attack. In 1964, Eisenhower and his wife Mamie were the hotel's last guests before the owner closed its doors. The building became an apartment house until it was ravaged by fire in 1983. The Eisenhowers owned a farm adjacent to the Gettysburg battlefield which served the President as a weekend retreat and a meeting place for world leaders. It is now the Eisenhower National Historic Site.



Through the initiative of the new owner, Gettysburg College, the hotel was carefully restored in cooperation with the Historic Architectural Review Board. Featuring 119 traditionally-appointed guestrooms, the hotel now includes a fitness center, rooftop swimming pool and an old English pub. All suites have fireplaces and whirlpool baths. There's a cannonball from the battle of Gettysburg that's still embedded in the brick wall across the street.



The historic Gettysburg Hotel underwent a multi-million dollar renovation with completion in early 2013, just in time for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Renovations of the 119-room hotel linked the destination to its historical past, while allowing it to remain relevant and competitive today. The renovation touches all areas of the hotel including the guestrooms, meeting and banquet space, lobby and the restaurant. Architectural changes introduced a more open lobby space with a fireplace, communal table and added technology that served as both a living room and a gathering space for guests. The existing tavern space was expanded and a new dining experience introduced to hotel guests, visitors to the city, and the local community. The hotel acquired the Gettysburg National Bank building circa 1814, which now provides a magnificent ballroom for weddings, social events and upscale meetings. The Gettysburg Hotel is managed by the Connecticut-based Waterford Hotel Group.



The Gettysburg Hotel is subsidiary of Gettysburg College and is within walking distance of the College's Majestic Theater, as well as the battlefield, attractions, shops and restaurants of the historic town of Gettysburg. The hotel's location and proximity to Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Harrisburg and Hershey make it an ideal spot for traveling to a variety of historic sites and places of interest.



*excerpted from his book Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels East of the Mississippi



*****



About Stanley Turkel, CMHS



Stanley Turkel is a recognized consultant in the hotel industry. He operates his hotel consulting practice serving as an expert witness in hotel-related cases and providing asset management an and hotel franchising consultation. Prior to forming his hotel consulting firm, Turkel was the Product Line Manager for worldwide Hotel/Motel Operations at the International Telephone & Telegraph Co. overseeing the Sheraton Corporation of America. Before joining IT&T, he was the Resident Manager of the Americana Hotel (1842 Rooms), General Manager of the Drake Hotel (680 Rooms) and General Manager of the Summit Hotel (762 Rooms), all in New York City. He serves as a Friend of the Tisch Center and lectures at the NYU Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism. He is certified as a Master Hotel Supplier Emeritus by the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association. He served for eleven years as Chairman of the Board of the Trustees of the City Club of New York and is now the Honorary Chairman.



Stanley Turkel is one of the most widely-published authors in the hospitality field. More than 275 articles on various hotel subjects have been posted in hotel magazines and on the Hotel-Online, Blue MauMau, Hotel News Resource and eTurboNews websites. Two of his hotel books have been promoted, distributed and sold by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (Great American Hoteliers: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry and Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels East of the Mississippi). A third hotel book (Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels in New York) was called "passionate and informative" by the New York Times. Executive Vice President of Historic Hotels of America, Lawrence Horwitz, has even praised one book, Great American Hoteliers Volume 2: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry:



  • “If you have ever been in a hotel, as a guest, attended a conference, enjoyed a romantic dinner, celebrated a special occasion, or worked as a hotelier in the front or back of the house, Great American Hoteliers, Volume 2: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry is a must read book. This book is recommended for any business person, entrepreneur, student, or aspiring hotelier. This book is an excellent history book with insights into seventeen of the great innovators and visionaries of the hotel industry and their inspirational stories.”

Turkel was designated as the “2014 Historian of the Year by Historic Hotels of America,” the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This award is presented to an individual for making a unique contribution in the research and presentation of history and whose work has encouraged a wide discussion, greater understanding and enthusiasm for American History.



Works published by Stanley Turkel include:



Most of these books can be ordered from AuthorHouse—(except Heroes of the American Reconstruction, which can be ordered from McFarland)—by visiting www.stanleyturkel.com, or by clicking on the book’s title.



Contact: Stanley Turkel



stanturkel@aol.com/917-628-8549

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