Gettysburg: Day 1

The main room of our suite. The window looks out on Breckenridge Street; the Ghosts of Gettysburg headquarters is across the way.

The main room of our suite. The window looks out on Breckenridge Street; the Ghosts of Gettysburg headquarters is across the way.

I’ve known since the beginning of the year that Mom and Diamondqueen were giving me a trip to Gettysburg for my 60th birthday. I was too superstitious to say anything before, though, because I was sure something would happen to derail our plans.

However, Diamondqueen and I are HERE. Naturally, I’m thrilled to visit Gettysburg under any circumstances, but here’s what makes this trip extra special: Diamondqueen chose as our lodgings the Tillie Pierce House Inn! This is a famous residence on Baltimore Street that sat between Confederate and Union lines and served as a hospital for battle casualties.

It’s also notoriously haunted. Whether we’ll have any “activity” to report remains to be seen.

Tonight Diamondqueen and I are alone–no other guests. The innkeeper lives in another house nearby. We can wander at will through the house (not the guest bedrooms, but the various halls and sitting rooms on both floors). It’s beautifully appointed, with loads of antiques. We have one of two suites; ours is named for Lydia Leister, whose farm and house were commandeered for use as Union headquarters during the battle. There’s an enormous bed surrounded by tables and dressers, an old-fashioned wardrobe for hanging up clothes, a small sitting room with a sleeper half-sofa and a small television and comfortable chair. The large bathroom includes a pedestal sink and shower stall. Everything is beautifully done, from the wall colors to the lamps and drapes to the Civil War art adorning the hallways. The main room on the first floor has a mural of local buildings, including various farmhouses and the Evergreen Cemetery gatehouse. There are plenty of books for visitors’ use, including a copy of Tillie Pierce’s own account of the battle of Gettysburg.

The trip here was a little gloomy after starting out in sunshine in Loveland. In Somerset, where we took a break and got gas, the temperature was 39 degrees (it had hovered around 46 degrees till then). However, as we approached  Chambersburg along the old Lincoln Highway, the clouds broke to reveal sun and blue sky and the temperature climbed to the low ’50s.

It continued to feel colder, though, with a stiff wind as we walked down the street to dinner at a local diner. We decided a drive around the battlefield was the best exploration this evening, so we visited favorite sites until it got too dark to see clearly.

Me in our private sitting room--I'm taking the sleeper sofa because of my snoring.

Me in our private sitting room–I’m taking the sleeper sofa because of my snoring.

Now we’re relaxing back at Tillie’s place. Diamondqueen has baseball on the little TV in our sitting room. I’m out in the “public” sitting room off the hall, my netbook propped on the seat of an antique sofa while I sit on the Oriental-style rug and type. I’m going to relax with some needlework and savor the pleasures of this first of four nights in one of my favorite towns.



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