Round Top, Pennsylvania

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Round Top

1904 map depicting Round Top buildings along the Taneytown and Wheatfield roads (right).
1904 map depicting Round Top buildings along the Taneytown and Wheatfield roads (right).
Etymology: "Round-Top R. R. Station"
Round Top is located in Pennsylvania
Round Top
Round Top
Coordinates: 39°47′41″N 77°13′59″W / 39.794792°N 77.23305°W / 39.794792; -77.23305Coordinates: 39°47′41″N 77°13′59″W / 39.794792°N 77.23305°W / 39.794792; -77.23305
CountryUnited States
Establishedc. 1880
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
Area code(s)717
GNIS ID1185538 (1979)[2]

Round Top is a populated place in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, near Little Round Top. It is notable for two Battle of Gettysburg hospitals, the 1884 Round Top Station, and several battlefield commemorative era attractions such as Round Top Park and the Round Top Museum. The unincorporated community lies on an elevated area of the north-south Taneytown Road with 3 intersections at Blacksmith Shop Road to the northeast, Wheatfield Road (west from "Roundtop"), and Sachs Road (east from "Sedgwick").[3]


After an 1808 proposal,[4] the Taneytown Road was constructed southward from Gettysburg past the east of the Round Tops and by 1858, 2 crossroads had been built to the area with 3 homes (north-to-south: "Geo Bishop", "E. Brickert", & "J. Group") that would become Round Top:[5] Wheatfield Rd on the west across the north foot of Little Round Top to the Emmitsburg Road and Sachs Rd eastward across Rock Creek.[5] In 1884, the Gettysburg and Harrisburg Railroad built a steamtrain railroad to the Round Top Station, which operated until c. 1942 when the branch's abandonment application was filed.[3] In 1894 on a different railway from the west, the Gettysburg Electric Railway began trolley operations to the station.[G 1]

Sedgwick Post Office
After an 1884 refreshment stand opened in a "shanty at the base[which?] of Little Round Top",[6] the 1884 house[G 2] of postmaster Lewis A. Bushman [4] was announced on July 20, 1886,[7] as the location for the Sedgwick Post Office,[G 3] which opened on August 2.[5] In addition to serving the local area until Rural Free Delivery began, the post office was the transfer point for mail southward on the Taneytown Rd to Horner's Mill near Rock Creek and its subsequent 1890 Barlow post office. Bushman offered the Sedgwick Post Office and Store Room tract for sale with a chopping mill, peach orchard, and warehouse on July 28, 1891;[G 3] and S. V. Bushman had the merchant license in 1892 [6] and sold the tract to James F. Rider in 1901.[G 4] Rider, who near Round Top in 1888 had sold his father's tract of 13 acres (5.3 ha) with "lot of fruit and grapes",[7] operated the Sedgwick store through 1915;[8] and Charles C. Rider offered the tract with 8 room house for sale in 1928.[G 5] The tract was purchased by the Round Top Museum owners in 1965[G 4] and was transferred along with the museum to the GNMP in 1971.
Round Top School
The one-room 1889[9] Round Top School was where the 1892 township citizens group formed to oppose the Gettysburg Electric Railway (cf. United States v. Gettysburg Electric Ry. Co.).[8] Teachers included William A. Taughinbaugh, Elizabeth Lott, John W. Black (in 1903), Mary Rudisill (1909), Myrtle L. Shealy (1922), Martha Epley (1928), Mary L. Leas (1936) & Robert Ellis Fisher (1937,[G 6] 1938), Mrs Marion Millhimes (1942), Frances Gilbert (1947), and Mrs. Mary B. Trout (1948). The school closed in 1948, was sold in 1952,[G 7] had renovations planned in 1972,[9] and was deemed historically "not significant" in 2004.[9]

Visitor attractions[edit]

In addition to the 1884 Round Top Park and 1888 Round Top Museum (Little Round Top Hotel) with the adjacent Rosensteel Park, the community had 2 additional recreation groves:

Dr. Hudson's grove
"Dr. Hudson's grove"[G 8] was a picnic area with a boxing arena and 1898 social hall that was established by veterinarian Edward Hudson.[11] Hudson's new stable at Round Top had burned down in 1897, [10] and in January 1900, a tavern license was refused for Hudson's hotel.[12] On April 25, 1900, the Hudson property with the 60 ft × 30 ft (18.3 m × 9.1 m) Hotel Sedgwick and stable was next to the school and offered for sale by the Sheriff;[13] and after being unable to sell the property by July 4, 1900;[11] Hudson leased the grove in 1902 from the Gettysburg and Harrisburg Railway, and later offered his owned tract with "Store Room" for sale in 1905.[14]
Cunningham Grove
Cunningham Grove east of Little Round Top[15] was used for picnics as early as July 26, 1879.[G 9] After the 1904 eminent domain jury for United States v. Five Tracts of land was formed[16] regarding Reynolds Grove and a Round Top tract,[17] the "tract of land belonging to Florence and Georgianna Cunningham"[18] (different from the "Round Top Park property of [the] Gettysburg and Harrisburg Railroad")[19] was transferred on September 18, 1905.[12] In 1923, the funfair for the Adams County firemen's convention was held in the woods across from the Rosensteel pavilion with a "barker's alley" that included ten-pin stands, blanket and Kewpie doll wheels, knife and cane stands, and "Hit-the-Coon" games (2,000 cars were parked in 3 fields).[G 10]

The community was the eponym for the Round Top hunting [13] and economics clubs,[14] and 20th century retail businesses at Round Top included the 1904-1960 Epley Blacksmith Shop,[15] the 1916 Round Top Fruit Farm,[16] an early 20th-century automobile dealership (#940 Taneytown Road, site of a 1936 barn fire), the brick McGlaughlin general store (#770), and the 1950-1965 Shorty's Repair Shop on the Wheatfield Rd.[17] A fast food concession built in 1962-3 remains on the southwest corner of the Wheatfield and Taneytown roads (#885), north of which is a 21st-century roadside produce stand (#855).


  1. ^ Gitt, Joseph S (February 9, 1884). "Baltimore and Harrisburg Railroad" (Google News Archive). Gettysburg Compiler (published February 19, 1884). Adams County Railroads: Concluded. Retrieved 2011-07-05. In August, 1882, I made surveys [for] the purpose of extending the Gettysburg Railroad [sic] to Round-Top for excursion purposes [by] the “Round-Top Railroad Company,” to build a line from Gettysburg… capital stock, $25,000, and A. W. Eichelberger President. The directors are Wm. Grumbine, Reuben Young, Peter Flickinger, B. M. Wirt, R. A. Eichelberger, H. A. Young, David Wills, H. D. Scott.
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Round Top
  3. ^ Map of Adams County (Map). PA Department of Highways. March 1958.
  4. ^ petition for road (approved), Adams County court, January 1808 term Check date values in: |date= (help) (cited by Geiselman p. 87)
  5. ^ a b G. M. Hopkins survey ( mapviewer) (Map). M.S. & E. Converse. 1858. Retrieved 2011-01-26.
  6. ^ Krauth, Jno M, et al (GBMA secretaries) (January 5, 1892). "Executive Committee Minutes of the Gettysburg Battlefield Association" (transcription by Kathleen R. Georg). Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association. Retrieved 2011-07-05. Resolved, That the chairman of the Board be requested to confer with Gen. S. W. Crawford, as to the conveyance of his property, in front of Little Round Top, commonly known as Crawford's Glen, to the Battlefield Memorial Association. … May 13, 1884…On motion, permission was granted Henry Reister to occupy the shanty at the base of Little Round Top, for the sale of refreshments, provided, that no intoxicating liquors should be sold.
  7. ^ "Sedgwick" (Google News Archive). Gettysburg Compiler. July 20, 1886. Town and Country. Retrieved 2011-07-05. The name of "Round-Top" could not be retained because of another "Round-Top" in the State, and the same was found to be the case in regard to Hancock and Vincent. …Mrs. Lydia Leister…slipped and fell and broke her right limb. (1986 Out of the Past)
  8. ^ "James F. Rider" (Google News Archive). The Star and Sentinel. August 12, 1916. Obituary. Retrieved 2011-02-25. he purchased the store property at Sedgwick, (Little Round Top) and he conducted a general store business there until his health failed.
  9. ^ a b "Round Top Schoolhouse". List of Classified Structures. National Park Service. External link in |work= (help)
  10. ^ "Machine Swerves into Side Gutter". The Star and Sentinel. October 5, 1914. Retrieved 2011-02-24. (The Round Top/Granite Station school closed 1951.)[1]
  11. ^ "We Have Another Park" (Google News Archive). The Star and Sentinel. July 2, 1902. p. 3. col. 5. Retrieved 2011-03-04. Dr. E. D. Hudson has leased a plot of ground from the G. & H. Railway Company at Little Round Top and has fitted the same up as a park and has placed thereon a dancing floor for the use of excursion parties… It is a most pleasant spot for family pic-nics and is something we stood in need of since the abolishing of Tipton's Park last fall."Dr. E. D. Hudson Succumbs to Heart Attack" (Google News Archive). The Star and Sentinel. Retrieved 2011-01-26. "Town and Country" (Google News Archive). Gettysburg Compiler. August 20, 1898. Town and County. Retrieved 2011-07-05. Otto R. Klienke…interred…in Illinois lot of the National Cemetery … A complimentary ball given at Dr. Hudson's new hall at Round-Top Park, Saturday evening, Sept. 3rd. Everybody invited. Good music in attendance.
  12. ^ "Court news" (Google News Archive). Gettysburg Compiler. January 23, 1900. Retrieved 2011-07-04.
  13. ^ "Sheriff's Sales" (Google News Archive). The Star and Sentinel. April 10, 1900. Retrieved 2010-02-22. adjoining Round Top School House ground, the Round Top Branch of Gettysburg & Harrisburg Railroad, and lands of Peter D. Swisher.
  14. ^ "Assignee's Sale" (Google News Archive). The Star and Sentinel. February 22, 1905. Retrieved 2011-02-24. EDWARD D. HUDSON AND JENNIE M., HIS WIFE, in trust for the benefit for his creditors … adjoining lands of the Gettysburg Electric Railway Company, Peter D. Swisher and the Round Top Public School property, containing about 44 perches, and [with a 2½] story frame dwelling house and Store Room, good frame Stable and Outbuildings.
  15. ^ Gettysburg National Military Park Commission (July 1, 1920). "Report of the Gettysburg National Military Park Commission". The Gettysburg Commission Reports. Gettysburg, PA: War Department.
  16. ^ United States v. Five Tracts of land (United States Circuit Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania; October 2, 1900). April 20, 1904: "P. M. Bikle...John A. Himes, Kerr Lott...Wm. A. Martin, James F. Bell...John C. Group...and David Maring...have been appointed a jury of viewers to condemn...ten acres owned by Mrs. Cunningham near Round Top".[2]
  17. ^ "Round About Town" (Google News Archive). Gettysburg Compiler. April 20, 1904. Retrieved 2011-02-28. …John C. Group, of Idaville, and David Maring, of Cumberland township, have been appointed a jury of viewers to condemn five tracts of land on the battlefield, ten acres owned by Mrs. Cunningham near Round Top and four tracts belonging to the Land Improvement Co. near Reynolds Grove along Chambersburg pike.
  18. ^ Gettysburg National Military Park Commission (July 20, 1906). "Report of the Gettysburg National Military Park Commission". The Gettysburg Commission Reports. Gettysburg, PA: War Department.
  19. ^ Gettysburg National Military Park Commission (October 21, 1896). "Annual Report of the Gettysburg National Military Park Commission to the Secretary of War, 1896". The Gettysburg Commission Reports. Gettysburg, PA: War Department.
G. "Gettysburg Times Archives". Gettysburg Times. Times and News Publishing Company. Retrieved 2010-02-20. References at the Google News Archive:
  1. ^ "Story of Old Trolley Line Told to Club". April 30, 1952. Retrieved 2011-02-26.
  2. ^ "Improvements". Out of the Past: 100 Years Ago. May 7, 1985. Retrieved 2011-02-24. About 3 o'clock Wednesday afternoon the stable of Mr. George Englebert, on Seminary ridge, took fire…
  3. ^ a b "Private Sale". July 28, 1891. Retrieved 2011-02-23. PRIVATE SALE --OF-- A DESIRABLE BUSINESS RESIDENCE AT ROUND-TOP STATION. THE undersigned offers at Private Sale the Bushman residence at Round-Top. Said residence consisisting of a fine large FRAME HOUSE, including the Sedgwick Post Office and Store Room, good well of water at the door, good Barn, Chicken House, Chopping Mill and all necessary out-buildings. Fruit in abundance, including a good Peach Orchard. About 4 Acres of land and a new Warehouse at the Round-Top R. R. Station. Buildings all built within the last five years. …apply to GEORGE BUSHMAN, SR., OR GEORGE J. BUSHMAN, JR., Mar. 10, 1891. tf. Gettysburg, Pa.
  4. ^ a b Miller, Bernard V (May 19, 1971). "Legal Notices: Action to Quiet Title to Annie E. Riley and S. Vincent Bushman…". Retrieved 2011-10-11. by land…of Gettysburg-Harrisburg Railroad Company North…150 feet…West 171 feet to a stone; thence by land now or formerly of said School District South…116 feet…70 perches   NOTE: This legal notice states an unrecorded 1901 deed "cannot be found", but the position of this 70 perches tract east of the school is comparable to the 44 perches tract east of the school that Hudson & wife offered for sale in 1905 (see "Assignee's Sale").
  5. ^ "Classified Ads. - Real Estate For Sale". January 23, 1928. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
  6. ^ "Re-Name Cumberland Township Teachers". May 20, 1937. Retrieved 2011-04-26.
  7. ^ "Public Sale of Valuable Real Estate". February 8, 1952. Retrieved 2011-07-04. bounded on the North by Donald Swisher, on the South by the public road, on the East by Lawrence Tressler and on the West by U. S. Government and Emory Rosensteel, containing 78 perches
  8. ^ "Lively Reunion". Out of the Past: Twenty-Five Years Ago. September 28, 1927. Retrieved 2011-02-26.
  9. ^ "Local Items". Out of the Past: Seventy-Five Years Ago. June 21, 1954. Retrieved 2011-02-24.
  10. ^ "Plan Big Fair for Labor Day". August 21, 1923. Retrieved 2011-04-26.   "Crowds Attend Annual Picnic". September 4, 1923. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  11. ^ "Round Top District Holds Banquet Meet" (Google News Archive). Gettysburg Times. October 25, 1941. Retrieved 2011-09-01.