20th Anniverary Open House

On the evening before Remembrance Day, Friday, November 18, the Shriver House Museum will hold an open house from 5-8 pm in celebration of the 20th anniversary of telling the story of the Battle of Gettysburg from the civilians’ point of view, through the eyes of the Shriver family.

On this very special occasion, visitors are welcome to stroll through all four floors of the Shrivers’ home. One of the oldest and wealthiest families in Gettysburg at the time, the Shrivers built one of the finest homes in town in the summer of 1860 - just months before the Civil War began.

In addition to door prizes and refreshments, Nancie Gudmestad, director of the museum and author of “The Shrivers’ Story,” will be on hand to sign copies of a newly updated version of her book which recounts the harrowing experiences of the Shriver family during and after the battle.

It was 1996 when Del and Nancie Gudmestad purchased a vacant house in the heart of Gettysburg with the intention of using it as a backdrop to tell the other side of the battle story - from the perspective of the people who endured those three days of terror in July 1863. The house had been abandoned for nearly 30 years; it had missing window panes, no electricity, no water, no heat and a serious leak in the roof. At one time about 30 cats lived in the deserted house. But, they saw this uninviting fixer-upper to be just perfect for their needs. 

“As anyone who loves old homes knows, the only thing to be counted on during any restoration is that it will take twice as long and cost twice as much as originally calculated,” said Gudmestad. We had no idea who lived in the house during the battle, only to discover the extraordinary story of the Shriver family during the painstaking 8-10 hour/day, 6 day/week restoration.” 

Today, tours of the house offer special insight into the lives of the people of Gettysburg and how the Civil War, and in particular the Battle of Gettysburg, affected them. Step back in time to get a glimpse of the lifestyles, customs, and furnishings of the 1860s.
Free. Refreshments. Door prizes.