Sunday, November 27, 2016

Places to see about Thaddeus Stevens -- Gettysburg

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Thaddeus Stevens exhibit (by appointment only)


One of the most extensive collections of  Stevens artifacts is owned by the Thaddeus Stevens Society and can be viewed by calling Stevens Society President Ross Hetrick at 717-334-1912 and making an appointment. The collection includes letters written by Stevens, 19th century newspapers about Stevens, prints of Stevens and even two stoves made at his iron mills. Visitors can also see videos about Stevens and buy Stevens souvenirs such as mugs, prints, key chains and T-shirts.

Stoves made at Stevens-owned iron mills. Left -- Caledonia Furnace, Right -- Maria Furnace
A rubbing of inscription on Stevens's grave surrounded by newspaper articles about him.
Newspapers about Stevens's death.
Letters written by Thaddeus Stevens

Caledonia State Park at intersection of Routes 30 and 233


Fourteen miles west of Gettysburg at the intersection of Routes 30 and 233 is Caledonia State Park, the location of one of Stevens's iron mills, which operated from 1837 to 1868. At its peak, the iron mill employed 250 people and spanned 18,000 acres of woodlands needed for the production of charcoal. The only surviving building is the blacksmith shop that is just west of the intersection of Routes 30 and 233. It is open to the public on weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The hours are 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday and from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday. However, these hours are subject to change. It is best to check by calling the park office at 717-352-2161 or the Thaddeus Stevens Society at 717-334-1912.

The park also features a replica of an iron furnace in its main parking lot. From here, people can hike the Thaddeus Stevens Historic Trail and see remains of the operation, such as a hand-dug stream to power a long-gone water wheel, a pond to feed the stream and locks to control the water flow.

Blacksmith shop at Caledonia State Park

The hearth inside the blacksmith shop



Iron furnace replica in Caledonia's main parking lot






Plaque on front of iron furnace show date of founding, 1837


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