Schmucker Hall

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Schmucker Hall
Old Dorm (1890s-1976)[1]
Gburg Seminary NE.JPG
Old Dorm was used as the 1913 "Seminary Hotel" for dignitaries at the 50th battle anniversary.[2]:49 A May 1914 colonial portico was added to commemorate the reunion [1] (only the concrete base remains.)[2]
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Adams
Township Cumberland
Campus Lutheran Theological Seminary
Part of Gettysburg Battlefield
Parts Missionary Hall[3]
Historic District
Nearest town
Gettysburg (75000155)
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Location 111 Seminary Avenue
 - coordinates 39°49′55″N 77°14′41″W / 39.83194°N 77.24472°W / 39.83194; -77.24472Coordinates: 39°49′55″N 77°14′41″W / 39.83194°N 77.24472°W / 39.83194; -77.24472 [citation needed]
Lutheran Theological Seminary-Old Dorm
Built 1832
Architect Nicolas Pierce[3]
Architectural style Federal[citation needed]
NRHP Reference # 74001729[4]
Added to NRHP May 3, 1974

Schmucker Hall is an American Civil War site listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Adams County, Pennsylvania, that was constructed as the original Gettysburg Theological Seminary building. Used as both a Union and Confederate hospital during the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg, the facility served as the seminary's main building from 1832 to 1895, then as a dedicated dormitory for students until 1951. In 1960, it was leased by the Adams County Historical Society. Beginning in 2006, the Historical Society, along with the Seminary Seminary Ridge Historic Preservation Foundation, rehabilitated the building for adaptive reuse as the Seminary Ridge Museum . The Adams County Historical Society moved into the nearby Wolf House on the seminary campus preceding the renovation. In 2013, on the 150th anniversary of the battle, the Seminary, the Adams County Historical Society and the Seminary Ridge Historic Preservation Foundation opened the building as the Seminary Ridge Museum. The Museum houses displays about many different aspects of the battle, the seminary, the town, and the civil war, and the struggle among faith groups over slavery, as well as offering tours of the cupola. The exhibit and museum have earned international, national and regional awards and the rehabilitation achieved LEED Certification in 2013.


The seminary opened with 11 students[5] on September 5, 1826,[6] at the 1810[7] Gettysburg Academy building.[8] An 1830 request for proposals was advertised for constructing the "whole building to be 100 feet, viz. the Centre building to be 50 feet square, two stories each 14 feet high--with two wings, 30 by 25 feet, three stories each 9 feet high. The wall of the first story of the Centre building is to be 18 inches thick--the second story and Wings to be 14 inches; to be covered with joint shingles, of white pine."[3] The construction established the seminary campus between the Chambersburg Pike and Nichol's Gap Road west of the Gettysburg borough on a ridge[9] which became known as Haupt's Hill[10] after Herman Haupt built his nearby 1837

Oakridge Select Academy


Battle of Gettysburg
Along with the "S. S. Schmucker" and "C. P. Krauth"[12] professor dwellings of 1833 & 1834[3] (e.g., Confederates ransacked "the Schmucker house"),[13] Old Dorm was used during the Gettysburg Campaign (e.g., the Old Dorm cupola was used as an observatory on June 30.)[4] The nearby area was used by Union artillery July 1 prior to the "last stand of the Union 1st Corps on Seminary Ridge",[14] then by Confederate artillery after being captured in late afternoon. The last patient at the hospital left on September 16, 1863[15] (Colonel George McFarland),[5] and about 70 soldiers died in the building.[6]

Lightning set the cupola afire in 1913 and seminary use of Old Dorm ended in 1954. The 1939 Adams County Historical Society moved to the building in April 1961 and in 1995 began their current 30 year lease[1] (the preceding archive library was in the county courthouse).[7] In 1972, the building was designated an historic district contributing structure by the Gettysburg council[16] (1 of 38 outside of the borough),[8] and in 1976 the Daughters of the American Revolution dedicated the hall's "American Heritage Room".[9] Schmucker Hall was filmed for the 1993 Gettysburg motion picture which depicted its cupola as a July 1 Gettysburg Battlefield "observation tower"[10] (cf. the Fahnestock House).[10] In 2004, Schmucker Hall was designated for restoration by the 1999 [11] Seminary Ridge Historic Preservation Foundation with funding assistance by the Gettysburg National Military Park,[12] and in 2008 the hall's sign was designated in the Historical Marker Database .[8] In 2013, on the 150th anniversary of the battle, the Adams County Historical Society and the Seminary Ridge Historic Preservation Foundation opened the building as the Seminary Ridge Museum. The Museum houses displays about many different aspects of the battle, the seminary, the town, and the civil war, as well as offering tours of the cupola.

External image
1913 photo ("Cupola used by Genl. Lee")


  1. ^ a b "Seminary, historical society renew agreement" (Google News Archive). Gettysburg Times. October 19, 1995. Retrieved 2012-02-23. Beginning in the 1890s…it acquired the name Old Dorm. … Two years later [1976] the Seminary named it…Schmucker Hall 
  2. ^ Beitler, Lewis Eugene (editor and compiler) (December 31, 1913). Fiftieth Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg: Report of the Pennsylvania Commission (Google Books) (Report). Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Wm. Stanley Bay (state printer). Retrieved 2011-08-11. 
  3. ^ a b c Messeder, John (May 13, 2006). "Best View in Gettysburg: ...first-ever cupola tour" (Google News Archive). The Gettysburg Times. Retrieved 2012-02-28. the Lutheran Theological Seminary, initially about 20 acres purchased for $1,166.15 from William McClean and Samuel H. Buehler. 
  4. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  5. ^ "The Gettysburg Seminary: A Brief Review of its History and Needs" (Google News Archive). Gettysburg Compiler. August 18, 1896. Retrieved 2011-08-11. Rev. C. M. Stock…in a recent address to his congregation… Gettysburg and the people of Adams county, including many from Hanover [in York Co.], offered $7,000 in cash, and the trustees of the old academy the use of that building. … The Board, consisting of five pastors and four laymen, met at Hagerstown, March 2, 1826… The institution opened for work Sept. 5, 1826, with 11 students. 
  6. ^ "Gettysburg Seminary to Observe its Centenary" (Google News Archive). The Daily Times. Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. September 18, 1926. Retrieved 2011-08-11. the cupola of the seminary building was used as a lookout point by General Buford and General Reynolds 
  7. ^ Beitel, Calvin Gustavus (1874). A Digest of Titles of Corporations Chartered by the Legislature … (Google books). J. Campbell & son. Retrieved 2011-11-22. 
  8. ^ a b Swain, Craig (October 2, 2008). "First [sic] Home of Seminary and College" ( webpage, marker 12004). Retrieved 2011-08-11. 
  9. ^ Joswick, Dave (editor) (February–March 2008). "Buford's View: July 1, 1863 (advertisement)". The Gettysburg Companion. Times and News Publishing Company. p. 16. 
  10. ^ a b Skelly, Daniel Alexander (1999) [1932 booklet]. A Boy's Experiences During the Battle of Gettysburg. Archived from the original on 2012-02-28. Retrieved 2010-06-01. I went directly across the fields to Seminary Ridge, then known as the Railroad Woods by reason of the 'Old Tape-worm Railroad' being cut through it. Anderson went [southward] toward the Theological Seminary buildings expecting to get (to) the cupola of the building. … I went…over to the court house told them that if they wished they could go up on the observatory of the [Fahnestock] store building. The general dismounted and with two of his aides went with me up onto the observatory. … West Middle Street, which extends in a direct line out to Haupt's Hill 
  11. ^ Mark C. Carnes, ed. (2003). Invisible Giants: Fifty Americans Who Shaped the Nation But Missed the History Books (illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 144. ISBN 9780195168839. 
  12. ^ G. M. Hopkins survey (Library of Congress mapviewer) (Map). M.S. & E. Converse. 1858. Retrieved 2011-11-04.  (image also available at
  13. ^ Wentz, Fred K. "Gettysburg Seminary's Role In a Defining Event". Legacy of the Seminary. Retrieved 2012-02-28. 
  14. ^ "Annual Gettysburg battlefield walks to begin". The Evening Sun. July 1, 2008 or 2008-04-01.  Check date values in: |date= (help);
  15. ^ "Headquarters: Brief History of Schmucker Hall". Adams County Historical Society. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  16. ^ "Borough of Gettysburg …historic crossroads". Borough Office. Retrieved 2011-04-11. 

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