Civil War Trust to Buy 26 Acres on Baltimore Pike

LoyaltyOfDogs

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#1
Yesterday's Gettysburg Times newspaper reported that the Civil War Trust plans to buy 26 acres along Baltimore Pike near Powers Hill for future donation to the National Park Service. The tracts include the Mulligan MacDuffer adventure golf and ice cream parlor and two noncommercial properties. According to the report, fundraising is going on now for the approximately $400,000 still needed. Thanks to generous early donations and a grant, tthe rest of the funds for the $1.7 million purchase have already been provided.
 

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#5
Please do not think I am being critical of the work that the Trust does. I am not in any way, I admire what they have been able to do. What I am wondering, however, is if there is a finite limit to the amount of land that the Trust intends to acquire in the Gettysburg area? As the battle rage all through the town and beyond, is it the Trust's long-term intention to acquire the whole town as a memorial? Just my thoughts as I read this.
 

MRB1863

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#6
IMHO there have to be certain limits on the acquisition of lands by the Trust (or any other group). As important as preservation is to our honor and continued study of history, it is not possible to save everything. Commerce and "progress" will ever prevail over the sensitivities of our heritage....simple economics. No matter any increase in tourism to Gettysburg, the tax base cannot be eliminated without severely crippling the local economy. That is my 2 cents.....as much as I love to see preservation...
 
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#7
IMHO there have to be certain limits on the acquisition of lands by the Trust (or any other group). As important as preservation is to our honor and continued study of history, it is not possible to save everything. Commerce and "progress" will ever prevail over the sensitivities of our heritage....simple economics. No matter any increase in tourism to Gettysburg, the tax base cannot be eliminated without severely crippling the local economy. That is my 2 cents.....as much as I love to see preservation...
I was just wondering if anyone knew what is the ultimate plan of the Trust. I would think it had to remain in the less developed areas surrounding the present park area. I guess I should be less lazy and investigate this on my own!
 

Tom Elmore

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#8
The target properties are along the Baltimore Pike adjacent to Power's Hill and includes a hilltop where a two-gun section of Battery M, 1st New York Artillery (of the Union Twelfth Corps) under Lt. Winegar was posted to fire upon the Confederates attacking Culp's Hill on the morning of July 3.

(New York at Gettysburg, III:1265) "the sections of the battery (there were only two sections since the severe losses of men and horses at Chancellorsville) were placed, - one, the right section, under Lieutenant Woodbury on Powers' Hill, and the other, the left, under Lieutenant Smith, and accompanied by Lieutenant Winegar, commanding battery, upon the McAllister Farm on the hill just in the corner of the Apple Orchard, a few rods to the right of the road leading from the Baltimore Pike to the McAllister House."
 

pamc153PA

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#10
I personally like this idea, since my "special place" on the battlefield is Power's Hill, but there is another side to this, as there usually is. If the land is bought by the CWT, it is taken out of the tax base for the town. Gettysburg already is having some issues with decreasing tax base (other businesses closing, along Steinwehr and other places), and after all, this is not just one big battlefield--it's a place where people live and need to make a living. So there's always at least two sides to the story. Just saying.
 

unicornforge

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#11
..... What I am wondering, however, is if there is a finite limit to the amount of land that the Trust intends to acquire in the Gettysburg area? As the battle rage all through the town and beyond, is it the Trust's long-term intention to acquire the whole town as a memorial? Just my thoughts as I read this.
An acquaintance in town has a house, shop, and museum that he says the Park Service has been vigorously after for many years. His expectation is that once his elderly father passes, that they will be forced off their land by taxes, and that the Park Service will finally acquire the family's property. Some locals have told me that they are convinced, that the Park Service's goal seems to them to acquire all of Gettysburg and turn it into Gettysburgville complete with paid reenactors, sort of like Williamsburg ..... Personally, I would not know what the truth is, but I suspect that they may be correct.
 
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#12
An acquaintance in town has a house, shop, and museum that he says the Park Service has been vigorously after for many years. His expectation is that once his elderly father passes, that they will be forced off their land by taxes, and that the Park Service will finally acquire the family's property. Some locals have told me that they are convinced, that the Park Service's goal seems to them to acquire all of Gettysburg and turn it into Gettysburgville complete with paid reenactors, sort of like Williamsburg ..... Personally, I would not know what the truth is, but I suspect that they may be correct.
This is what I was wondering, but it does not seem to be a really feasible prospect.
There is a small village in Nova Scotia, that has attempted this. The oldest part of the town has been set aside for a living history museum, but people still live in it as well. As those people leave the private properties, they are bought up by the park management. This is done on a very small scale, however, and the modern town surrounds it. I can't see it working in Gettysburg.
https://sherbrookevillage.novascotia.ca/visit-us
 

Tom Elmore

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#13
I am sympathetic to the town's inhabitants as well, although I would imagine that any property tax losses are far offset by the tax revenues generated by one million plus visitors annually, in which case it seems pointless to bash the goose that is laying the golden eggs.
 

MRB1863

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#14
I am sympathetic to the town's inhabitants as well, although I would imagine that any property tax losses are far offset by the tax revenues generated by one million plus visitors annually, in which case it seems pointless to bash the goose that is laying the golden eggs.
One of the scenarios that makes this option so very economically devastating. Agree with you 100%
 
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#15
I am sympathetic to the town's inhabitants as well, although I would imagine that any property tax losses are far offset by the tax revenues generated by one million plus visitors annually, in which case it seems pointless to bash the goose that is laying the golden eggs.
Would not the sales tax go to the state, whilst the property taxes be apportioned to the town for infrastructure , etc.? I don't know how things work there, but it seems to me that a decreasing tax base would not be offset by state taxes paid by visitors, especially when Pennsylvania has a relatively low tax, from which a lot of things are exempted.
 

MRB1863

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#16
I don't think the coffers are the same for property and sales taxes. But rest assured, undoubtedly, those who watch over us and govern us will be more than happy to provide a tax to compensate for any deficit that may impact their budgets! Perhaps raising money through organizing and advertising to sell tickets to a very large tea party???
 
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Tom Elmore

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#17
Putting the issue of taxes aside, how many residents of the town owe at least part of their livelihood to the revenue generated by the tourism industry - hotels, restaurants, shops? When part of the core ground is paved over for a shopping mall, like the Camp Letterman hospital, or a golf course alters the terrain over which troops advanced, it begins to detract a bit from the overall experience for a visitor. Why not put forth the effort to add to what little core ground remains that has escaped development thus far? It can only to help increase tourism, which translates into jobs and wealth for the residents.
 

MRB1863

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#18
Putting the issue of taxes aside, how many residents of the town owe at least part of their livelihood to the revenue generated by the tourism industry - hotels, restaurants, shops? When part of the core ground is paved over for a shopping mall, like the Camp Letterman hospital, or a golf course alters the terrain over which troops advanced, it begins to detract a bit from the overall experience for a visitor. Why not put forth the effort to add to what little core ground remains that has escaped development thus far? It can only to help increase tourism, which translates into jobs and wealth for the residents.
Tourism does become a "cottage industry" for the bulk of the community. But when it comes to Civil War, personally, I don't think it to be all bad...if it does not adversely affect those who have lived in the area or have had their business in the area. But that is because CW is one of my life passions and henceforth may be somewhat blinded to some of the issues. IMHO, the other side of the coin is that as much as I enjoy going to Gettysburg now, I would not like to see an "enhanced" Gettysburg at a severe cost to property owners who have been there all along.

This issue seems to be a very double edged sword.
 
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#20
Re: taxes....

The acquisition of this parcel of land will remove property tax revenue and it is doubtful if any additional visitors will spend more money ( generating sales tax revenue) because of this purchase. I mean it isn't like someone is going to say, "I wasn't going to go to Gettysburg but if they buy this land I certainly will!"

I don't, in the main, dislike battlefield preservation and have given to CWT to do so. But the reality is parcel by parcel it is unlikely to increase visitors hip and it does reduce property taxes.
 

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