To help commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, U.S. Congressman Scott Perry (PA-04) recently introduced legislation to preserve the Lincoln Train Station. President Abraham Lincoln arrived at the Lincoln Train Station on November 18, 1863 prior to delivering the Gettysburg Address the following day.
"The Battle of Gettysburg marks a turning point in American history," said Congressman Perry. "By preserving the Lincoln Train Station, I hope to inspire my fellow citizens to learn and appreciate the significance of the Gettysburg Campaign, the Gettysburg Address, the Civil War and the bravery of the soldiers who, in President Lincoln's words, "gave the last full measure of devotion."
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Lincoln Train Station also served as a hospital during the Battle of Gettysburg, transporting wounded soldiers after the battle. The Lincoln Train Station is now operated by the Gettysburg Convention and Visitors Bureau and is owned by the Borough of Gettysburg. The Borough of Gettysburg approached Gettysburg National Military Park about incorporating the station within GNMP to better ensure its preservation. The National Park Service plans to utilize the station as a downtown Gettysburg information center. The Gettysburg Foundation, a non-profit partner of the park, has secured the funds necessary to purchase the train station from the Borough of Gettysburg and donate it to Gettysburg National Military Park once the boundary legislation is passed.
Congressman Perry's legislation (H.R. 1513) also expands the boundaries of GNMP to include 45 acres of donated land along Plum Run in Cumberland Township. This property abuts land already owned by the National Park Service. Although both properties in question involve willing transactions, Congressman Perry's legislation specifically forbids the use of eminent domain for acquisition of either property and will not utilize any federal funds.
The Gettysburg Foundation and Gettysburg National Military Park are commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery with special events and programs, including new exhibits, National Park Service interpretive programs, living history events and family activities. Congressman Perry applauds their efforts to increase public understanding of the heritage and lasting significance of Gettysburg and Gettysburg's place within the context of the American Civil War.
"The Gettysburg Foundation is grateful that we can help the National Park Service acquire important and significant properties, such as the Lincoln Train Station and Plum Run, which is also owned by the Foundation," said Joanne Hanley, President of the Gettysburg Foundation. " We are committed, as a partner of Gettysburg National Military Park, to ensuring that the Train Station is preserved in perpetuity and is available for future generations to learn about the incredibly monumental 24-hour visit to Gettysburg by President Lincoln. His Gettysburg Address, which he delivered while here, still inspires and resonates in the hearts of Americans today."
Congressman Perry's legislation will be referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources for consideration. Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey have introduced similar legislation this week in the U.S. Senate.