Wedding Express: Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad Station Ceremonies

If you spend any time looking at wedding magazines, you’ll see they’re full of unique, outdoor venues for ceremonies in every conceivable place from beaches to lakesides, gardens to bridges, barns, backyards, and pergolas. But have you ever considered the drawbacks? No shade, chance of rain, no electricity for ceremony music, renting the extra chairs… there is so much to consider.

Here at the Gettysburg Hotel, we’ve got you covered with a unique outdoor venue that releases you from all the worry and stress. Enjoy a ceremony in downtown Gettysburg at the historic Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad Station, just two doors away from the Gettysburg Hotel. Guests will be welcomed into the gated pavilion and can find a perfect seat to experience your wedding day I Do’s.

The Pavilion is covered, which offers shade for your guests and protects them from any chance of showers. And when you rent the pavilion through the Gettysburg Foundation, your rental covers the use of our banquet chairs when you book your reception at the Gettysburg Hotel! It’s also ideal for your DJ or other live entertainment because there is electricity available at no extra fee.

The preferred DJs, photographers and florists of the Gettysburg Hotel have extensive experience in this space and know how to make it magical. And don’t worry about accidentally seeing your almost-spouse. Our attentive wedding coordinator will make sure you stay separate until the moment you walk down the aisle.

After the ceremony, we will usher your guests back to the Gettysburg Hotel via a tree lined path so they can enjoy your cocktail hour while you stay and have your first photos taken as newlyweds!

In case you’re choosing Gettysburg for the historic aspect, this train station is where Abraham Lincoln arrived when he gave the Gettysburg Address. Join President Lincoln in making your mark in history at this gorgeous and one of a kind venue!

For more information on having your wedding ceremony and reception at the Gettysburg Hotel, contact April Rose, Catering & Events Manager, at or 717-338-5408.


Photographs provided by Martin Reardon Photography, Creative Force Photography, and Leer Photography.

Candy and Fudge and Elephants… Oh My!

Candy, candy, candy… oh, wait, fudge too? And elephants? And an enchanted forest? Who knew an outing to Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium would be an adventure the whole family could love? In fact, that’s their main goal! I recently sat down with Nicole Bucher, co-owner of Mister Ed’s along with her husband Isaac, to get a little history!

It all started 50 years ago with a wedding gift from Mister Ed’s sister-in-law. It was a simple elephant and while he found it strange, she was quick to assure Mister Ed that it was meant for good luck. While on the honeymoon in Williamsburg, Virginia, his fascination with this pachyderm began to blossom and he purchased a few more. Before he knew it, the collection had grown to mammoth proportions, purchasing another everywhere he went. Miss Pat, Mister Ed’s wife, reached a limit when their home was overrun with the collection and told him he needed to find a place to keep his treasures. At the time, Mister Ed was working as a store manager at a Giant Foods in Virginia and thought it was the right time to become his own boss. After a few businesses including some restaurants, they decided a move to Pennsylvania was in order. It was 1975 when that they opened Mister Ed’s: The Territory’s Most Unusual General Store located just down the road from its current location. 9 years later, they moved the store to where it currently stands. While elephants had always been a part of the experience, they didn’t become the focus until the move. At that time, the combination of elephants and candy made for a truly unique destination, perfect for the whole family to enjoy. Over the years, the business has adapted to become what customers want, a wholesome environment for children to dream and explore.

Three years ago, Nicole and Isaac purchased the business of which they’d been a part for a decade. Since then, business has boomed. They’ve added a variety of items to the store, most notably, in my opinion, the truffle case. I can say from personal experience that these are by far the most delectable, mouth-watering truffles I’ve ever sampled and with the most unique varieties. With lots of liqueur flavors including amaretto and champagne, fruit flavors such as cherry and orange, the most popular flavor, hazelnut and a wide variety of white, milk and dark chocolate, it would be impossible not to find a flavor you love.

When you go in the shop, the elephants and sheer volume and variety of candy are admittedly the first thing you see, but their biggest seller is what’s kept behind the counter. That’s right… the fudge. With over 100 varieties, they produce between 1,000-2,000 pounds per week. That’s not a typo… per week! And the crazy part is that it’s all made on property. Cheryl, their fudge master and creator, uses two mechanized machines, which enable her to make 72 pounds of fudge per hour. The fudge is proudly sold all over Gettysburg and is made with only the finest ingredients. All of the cream comes from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia based dairy farms, making them one of the few Pennsylvania Preferred fudge manufacturers.

I asked Nicole what trends she’s seen over the last few years and while I expected the answer to be candy buffets, it’s not. The growing trend is a shift from candy buffets back to individually boxed favors. For this, they offer both fudge and truffles, which are, in most cases, more economical than creating a candy buffet from scratch. “The fudge and truffles have a bigger ‘wow’ factor,” remarked Nicole. “They’re more elegant.”

I asked what the best sellers are and “Fudge!” was the answer without hesitate. Specifically, peanut butter fudge. After that, Goetz caramel creams and root beer barrels come in second and third.

In regards to the most rewarding part of the job, it’s when they can make a personal connection with someone and help to bring joy to a family. “For us, it’s the warm fuzzy. We want to take people back to a time where you can have fun without technology and connect the generations.”

My favorite part of our conversation was a story she told me about how the community rallied behind them when the building burned down on July 5, 2010. They lost over 2,000 elephants, but they received tremendous support from our community and in one afternoon, they had over 100 volunteers gathered together, scrubbing fire damaged elephants with toothbrushes. The community also began donating elephants to help replace and rebuild the museum displays. Today, they have over 25,000 total.

And as if everything they offer weren’t enough, each year they host an enormous Easter egg hunt, summer music in the gazebo, a Great Pumpkin Party and Santa’s arrival. The events are always free and are always geared for children. Look for changes in the coming years to include both the addition of peanut brittle, Nicole’s specialty, as well as a new collection in Miss Pat’s Teapot Museum! I can’t wait to see what they’ll think of next!

Keep up to date with all things Mister Ed’s by following them on Facebook.

GARMA Gives the Gift of Christmas Cheer to Gettysburg This Year!

Gettysburg Christmas TreeThe Gettysburg Area Retail Merchants Association, known to our small town as GARMA, has undertaken a massive fundraising effort to replace Gettysburg’s worn out, but well-loved Christmas Tree.

The iconic tree has served us well, but we’re ready to deck the square, thanks to GARMA’s impressive efforts, with the new 26’ tree.  Join us on November 25th as we light up our town and introduce the tree to its new home.

Holiday music by roaming street carolers from the Totem Pole Playhouse will fill your ears, hot chocolate compliments of One Lincoln will warm your tummy, coffee from the Ragged Edge will waken your sprit, candy and cookies from Kilwin’s Chocolates and Dunlap’s Restaurant and Bakery will tempt your sweet tooth and the magic of the season will fill your heart as Santa’s shanty opens at 5pm.  Be sure to come early for his arrival by Victorian Carriage Company.  And don’t miss out on telling him your Christmas wishes because he’s only there until 8pm!

Interested in taking in a little history that night?  Visit the David Wills House, located at 8 Lincoln Square, for a tour of the house where Abraham Lincoln stayed when he gave the Gettysburg Address.  Sip on local cider provided for the entire family while your children make their very own Victorian Christmas Tree ornament.  On your tour by a National Park Service Ranger, you’ll learn about 19th century holiday traditions and the significance of the David Wills House to our town.  Admission has been reduced to $2 per adult and the tour is free to anyone under 18.

Many of the participating businesses with GARMA will be open late that night to help you celebrate Gettysburg style.  But with all the fun going on, don’t forget to be back outside in the square around 6pm to experience the grand illumination.

For more information on the evening’s festivities or to make a donation toward the final phases of enlarging next year’s tree, please visit or check out GARMA’s facebook page at

Community partners include Kennie’s Markets, Destination Gettysburg, The Ragged Edge Coffee House, Gettysburg Area Retail Merchants Association, Gettysburg Hotel, Kilwin’s Chocolates, Victorian Carriage Company and Dunlap’s Restaurant & Bakery.

2016 Gettysburg Christmas Tree

Apples Abound in Gettysburg This Autumn

Gettysburg Apple Harvest

national apple harvest fest logo 2016The Annual National Apple Harvest Festival is right around the corner, which means it’s time for you to join us in Gettysburg and get your apple groove on! For the past 51 years, the festival has been offering us all the wonderful tastes, sights and sounds of the fall. With a wide variety of demonstrations, live entertainment, hay rides, craft vendors and of course, the amazing food, this is a day the entire family is sure to love.

The festival is located in the heart of apple country and takes place the first two full weekends of October every year. The National Apple Harvest Festiveal is conveniently located just 15 minutes from the Gettysburg Hotel! Come stay with us and prop up your feet after a fun-filled day with your friends.

Tickets for the Apple Harvest Festival can be purchased online at


And the apples don’t end there. Visit our signature Gettysburg restaurant & bar, One Lincoln, and try the Jack’s Hard Cider from Hauser Estate Winery or Big Hill Ciderworks Hard Cider, both locally brewed in the heart of apple country.

Hauser Estate Winery Logo     big hill ciderworks logo

Details If You Go:

October 1-2 and 8-9, 2016
8 am to 6 pm daily… rain or shine
615 Narrows Rd., Biglerville, PA 17307
General Admission: $10
Seniors 60+: $9
Military w/ ID: $9 (at gate)
Kids under 12: Free

  • 300+ Arts and Crafts Vendors
  • Antique and Classic Cars
  • Antique Cider Press
  • Antique Farm Equipment
  • Antique Gas Engines
  • Antique Shingle Mill
  • Apple Art
  • Apple Jellies
  • Apple Pancake Patio
  • Apple Syrup Making
  • Applesauce and Peeler
  • Candied Apples
  • Chainsaw Carving
  • Chicken Barbeque
  • Country Sausage & Ham
  • Free Live Entertainment
  • French Fried Sweet Potatoes
  • Gallery/Apple Memorabilia
  • Hay Rides
  • Kettle Korn
  • Kid Country Barn
  • Native American Dancers
  • Official Souveniers
  • Open Pit Beef
  • Penna Dutch Funnel Cakes
  • Petting Zoo
  • Photo Contest
  • Pie Baking Contest/Auction
  • Pie Eating
  • Pony Rides
  • Pork Barbeque
  • Puppet Shows
  • Ribeye Steak Sandwiches
  • Scarecrows R Us
  • Scrapple Making
  • Strolling Apple, Honey Bee, Worm & Johnny Appleseed Characters


The Gettysburg Story at the Majestic Theater

Filmmaker Jake Boritt used aerial drone cinematography, helicopter-mounted cameras, motion-control time lapse and 3D animated maps to bring the story of the Battle of Gettysburg to life in a way that has never been seen before.

Narrated by Stephen Lang (credits include Avatar, Gettysburg, Gods & Generals), this hour-long documentary gives viewers a perspective to the Gettysburg National Military Park that most have never before experienced to give context to the events surrounding those fateful days in 1863.

The Majestic Theater will offer two viewings (6:30pm and 8pm) of the Gettysburg Story on November 20, 2013 as part of the 150th Celebration.

Tickets are available for in-person purchase only at the Majestic Theater box office at at a cost of $7.50 per person.

For a taste of the documentary, I direct your attention to the trailer below:

The Gettysburg Story – Trailer #2 from Jake Boritt on Vimeo.

Gettysburg Weekend Roundup, October 18 – 20

The weekend is here! If you’re ready to kick off and enjoy yourself, I have the latest roundup of special events, art exhibitions, and more. As always, if you attend any of these events, drop me a note in the comments and let me know how it was.

Friday, October 18
Round Barn of Terror At 7:00 pm every Friday and Saturday in October, the second floor of the Historic Round Barn & Market (2988 Cashtown Road, Biglerville) transforms into a haunted house with a different non-profit organization volunteering their haunting and scaring skills. Tickets are $10 and include a bonfire and outdoor movie theater (weather permitting).

Book Swap
Pages of the Past Bookstore (13 Baltimore Street)is hosting its very first book swap. Tonight’s theme is history, so bring a book that relates to history and your story about why it’s a favorite for you. $20 ticket includes light refreshments, prizes, conversation with other book lovers — and a chance to browse the stacks after hours. Call 717.334.0572 for reservations since space is limited.

Saturday, October 12
Round Barn of Terror Round Barn of Terror At 7:00 pm every Friday and Saturday in October, the second floor of the Historic Round Barn & Market (2988 Cashtown Road, Biglerville) transforms into a haunted house with a different non-profit organization volunteering their haunting and scaring skills. Tickets are $10 and include a bonfire and outdoor movie theater (weather permitting).

Concordia Youth Chorale Concert Join the Gettysburg Foundation for a concert performance at the Lincoln Statue near the entrance to the Gettysburg Visitor Center. Concert is scheduled for 11:30a – 11:45a, so stop by on your way to other spots around the battlefield.

Sunday, October 20
Gettysburg Blue-Gray Half Marathon and 5k
In keeping with the theme that was initiated by the Gettysburg North-South Marathon, this half marathon strives to put a different spin on the same idea. We want to have the North and South battle on the roads of Gettysburg 150 years after the historic battle that defined the future of a young nation. Runners from North and South will compete again under Blue and Gray flags. Cheer on your favorite runner!

Dancing with the Vines at Hauser Estate Winery

Do you like to dance? Or have you been looking for a place to take lessons, but you’ve come up empty?

Hauser Estate Winery‘s Dancing with the Vines could be just the thing for you. Located just eight miles from downtown Gettysburg, the winery boasts some pretty spectacular views from its glass-enclosed tasting room overlooking over over 170 acres of grapevines, orchards, farmland and rolling woodland. This monthly event will give introduce you to a new dance — and there’s wine and cider, too.

This month’s Dancing with the Wines will showcase the waltz, beginning at 6pm on October 9th. The first hour is a casual reception with lessons beginning at 7pm. Cost is $5/person or $8/couple.

What You Need To Know

What: Dancing with the Vines
Where: Hauser Estate Winery, 410 Cashtown Road, Biglerville
When: October 9, 6pm – 9pm

For more information, visit the Hauser Estate website or call 717.334.4888.

5 Things To Do in Gettysburg During the Shutdown

By now, you’ve heard about the government shutdown. Furloughs have affected the National Military Park, Eisenhower National Historic Site and David Wills House, though there are some modified tours of the battlefield available.

But let’s look for the silver lining in the midst of all this uncertainty.

If you’re visiting Gettysburg — a day, a long weekend, or even a full week –, there are lots of opportunities to shop, eat, and simply relax. We have farmers’ markets, wineries, orchards, art galleries, and some truly exceptional restaurants. You can enjoy theater productions, concerts, or head out to one of the area’s award-winning golf courses.

Without further ado, here are my five picks for things to do during the government shutdown:

Visit the Schmucker Art Gallery at Gettysburg College
The 1600 square-foot Schmucker Art Gallery is a lively art space that displays seven to eight different exhibitions each year. Included in the gallery calendar are shows by local, national, and international contemporary artists, a faculty exhibition, a student exhibition, the annual senior art major show, and traveling exhibits of works selected from public and private collections. Melissa Ichiuji’s exhibit currently hanging is exceptional.

Browse the stacks at Pages of the Past Bookstore
Pages of the Past is a history bookstore that carries an extensive collection of history titles ranging from Ancient studies to 20th century. There is an excellent selection of Civil War and American History along with historical fiction titles and history books for all ages. We also carry a large assortment of gift items, including handmade greeting cards, candles, puzzles, maps and posters.

Catch a show at the Majestic Theater
Built by Henry Scharf as an annex to the historic Gettysburg Hotel, the theater seats 1,200 and has proudly served as the cultural crossroads of commerce, college, and community for more than eighty years. You can view the complete calendar here. There’s some fantastic performances coming up.

Hit the trails at Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve
Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve and Environmental Center is a non-profit education and conservation organization located on 609 acres in the beautiful foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I especially love exploring at this time of year with my camera in hand. In a few weeks, the foliage will be spectacular.

Enjoy a cocktail, conversation and modern American cuisine at One Lincoln
The newly renovated signature restaurant at the Gettysburg Hotel, One Lincoln. Chef Joseph Holmes calls his fare “casual comfort,” but you can be sure that it’s going to be a memorable meal, no matter what you call it. If you’re around for a First Friday, stop by for cocktail and appetizer specials.

Gettysburg Weekend Roundup, September 13 – 15

Apples of Adams County, Pennsylvania, USA
I must say, I adore this cooler weather that’s setting in just in time for the weekend. I’m introducing a new series here on the blog. Sometimes it’s easy to forget about all the events that are happening here in Gettysburg and the greater Adams County area, so here they are all in one place. If you go to any of these, leave a comment and let me know how it was!

Friday, September 13
Hauser After Hours Motown with Tyron at Hauser Estate Winery, 410 Cashtown Road, Biglerville, from 6 pm – 9 pm. This is a free event, with pay per plate food available for purchase. Wine and cider available by the glass or bottle. Call 717-334-4888 for details.

Saturday, September 14
39th Annual East Berlin Colonial Day. A step into the Colonial era with a walk down West King Street in historic East Berlin. The day will feature juried vendors, demonstrations, and musical entertainment. Food available. Proceeds benefit the East Berlin Preservation Society. 8 am – 4 pm. Call 717-259-7049 for more information.

Victorian’s Secret: A Civil War Woman’s Wardrobe. Take an in-depth look at women’s period fashion with a high tea at the Historic Rupp House, 451 Baltimore Street. Sponsored by The Gettysburg Foundation. From 12:30 pm to 2 pm. Call 877-874-2478 for ticket information.

Music in the Valley! Bring your own picnic lunch and enjoy the sounds of Irish trio Fire in the Glen at Reid’s Orchard & Winery, 2135 Buchanan Valley Road, Orrtanna, from 2 pm – 5 pm. Wine and sangria available for purchase until 9pm. Call 717-677-7047 for more information.

Sunday, September 15
22nd Annual Adams County Heritage Festival. Gettysburg Rec Park at Long Lane, from 7 am to 4 pm. Celebrating Adams County’s diversity with crafts, food, and live musical entertainment. Families welcome. Call 717-334-0752.

3rd Annual Mutts, Merlot and Merriment SPCA Fundraiser. Hauser Estate Winery, 410 Cashtown Road, Biglerville, from noon to 5 p.m. Pets welcome. Call 717-334-4888 for details.

A Gettysburg Mainstay: The American Civil War Wax Museum

I’m hoping that everyone had a lovely and restful Labor Day weekend. If you spent it here in Gettysburg, let me know in the comments just what you did. I know there were lots of things happening this past weekend as people were trying to squeeze out the last few days of summer fun in any way that they can.

Fall is perhaps my favorite time of year, and while I’m a little sad that the unofficial end of summer is here, there’s a lot to look forward to. Apple festivals, cooler nights, comfortable sweaters — the list goes on.

Walking around downtown gives me a chance to think about some of the places and attractions around that help define Gettysburg to out-of-town visitors. The Gettysburg Gift Center and American Civil War Wax Museum is one of those places. It’s been a fixture for Gettysburg since opening its doors in 1962, and more than 8 million people have passed through its halls over the years. The self-guided tour recreates history with life-sized dioramas. You’ll come to understand the economic, social and political causes of the Civil War, too.

Through December 31, visitors to the Museum Complex will get a chance to view some Boy Scout memorabilia on loan from Andrew Chernak, including uniforms and insignia over the lifetime of the organization and 50th and 75th Anniversary memorabilia from the Battle on loan from local collector David Loose.

What You Need To Know

The museum is opening daily through the end of December, 9am – 5pm. Admission is $6.95 for adults and $3.95 for youth (6 – 17). Children aged five and under get free admission.

297 Steinwehr Avenue
Gettysburg, PA 17325