Schmucker House (1833) - Gettysburg, PA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 39° 49.848 W 077° 14.646
18S E 307963 N 4411387
Quick Description: The Confederates ransacked this house during the Battle of Gettysburg. Today, it still serves as a residence and doubles as a contributing structure to this historic district. Recently, the home was restored.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 6/24/2012 6:30:54 PM
Waymark Code: WMEPXR
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Dragontree
Views: 2

Long Description:

The Schmucker House was built in 1833. The home is a huge 10-room or so affair with walk-out patios and all sorts of trendy, early 19th century architecture. The brick dwelling is two-and-a-half stories high with a neat little dormer off to the right and four imposing brick chimneys shooting off the ends, high into the air. A bronze placard placed by the historical society marks this building as a Civil War Building, another was of recognizing contributing structures within this district.

I have been relying on Wikipedia to provide me with some of the structures from this historic district as I still cannot located the nomination form. But, I also went to this link, and clicked on the top hot link and was rewarded with a M.S. Word document which lists several properties added to the district, including this one. It seems this house fell outside of the boundaries but was made to be included anyway.

The Seminary's website also had something to say about this house: Schmucker House was completed in 1833 and occupied by the Seminary's first president and faculty member, Samuel Simon Schmucker. Throughout the Battle of Gettysburg (1863) the house was in the midst of the fighting; as the center of the Confederate line of defense it sustained damage from Union Artillery stationed on Cemetery Ridge and from the Confederate defenders. Today the house accommodates faculty offices, a conference room and a formal meeting parlor. SOURCE

The Gettysburg Daily site offers some interesting details. The damage to the outside of this building was also significant. It would seem this structure has an artillery shell stuck in its south wall, porch level, to the right of the porch door, a testament to its participation in the great battle. The shell was a 10-pounder Parrott shell which would have weighed approximately 9 1/2 pounds. The diameter of a Parrott shells is around 2.9?, and they were around 8 1/2? long. You can actually see this thing shoved in the wall. I included a picture of the shell, courtesy of the Gettysburg Daily.

Schmucker stated that “Thirteen Cannon balls or shells pierced the walls and made holes, several of which were from two to three feet in length and nearly as broad. “…window frames were shattered to pieces, sashes broken, and the greater part of the glass in the house destroyed. The fences around the yard and garden were nearly all leveled with the ground, as well as those around the entire Seminary lands.” The area around the house was also used as a Confederate artillery position on July 2nd and 3rd.

Schmucker was an “outspoken abolitionist,” and it was rumored that this home was used as a station on the “underground railway.” When the Confederates approached Gettysburg in the summer of 1863, Schmucker and his family still living in his home. I suppose the good doctor had the resources to help runaway slaves as he was the second richest man in town. Schmucker accused the Confederates, who occupied his home following the afternoon of July 1st, of destroying much of the furniture, slitting an oil painting of Schmucker’s father with a bayonet, and throwing in various places in and out of the house, his papers and books.

Samuel Schmucker and his first wife had seven children from 1833-1848. In the 1840s, an addition was built on the left (north) end of the house to accommodate his growing family. Dr. Schmucker would eventually have three wives and 13 children.

Another site which speak to the historical nature of this house and the Seminary can be found HERE

Earliest Recorded Date of Construction: 1/1/1833

Additional Dates of Construction:
1840s


Architectural Period/Style: Federal

Type of Building e.g. Country House, Stately Home, Manor:
Home


Interesting Historical Facts or Connections:
Please see entire long description


Listed Building Status (if applicable): Contributing Structure to the Gettysburg Battlefield Historic District

Main Material of Construction: Brick

Private/Public Access: Private

Admission Fee (if applicable): 0.00 (listed in local currency)

Related Website: [Web Link]

Rating:

Architect (if known): Not listed

Landscape Designer (if known): Not listed

Opening Hours (if applicable): Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Tell us about your visit with any details of interest about the property. Please supply at least one original photograph from a different aspect taken on your current visit.
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