The effort to preserve Gettyburg’s historic Lincoln Train Station is on the right track. The U.S. House. Monday night, approved a bill introduced by Congressman Scott Perry to preserve the station by a vote of 396 to 0. President Abraham Lincoln arrived at the Train Station on November 18, 1863, prior to delivering the Gettysburg Address the following day.
“The Battle of Gettysburg marks a turning point in American history,” said Rep. Perry. “By preserving the Lincoln Train Station, I hope to inspire my fellow citizens to learn and appreciate the significance of the Gettysburg Campaign, the Gettysburg Address, the Civil War and the bravery of the soldiers who, in President Lincoln’s words, “gave the last full measure of devotion.”
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Lincoln Train Station also served as a hospital during the Battle of Gettysburg, transporting wounded soldiers after the battle. The Lincoln Train Station now is operated by the Gettysburg Convention and Visitors Bureau and owned by the Borough of Gettysburg. The Borough approached Gettysburg National Military Park about incorporating the station within GNMP to better ensure its preservation. The National Park Service plans to utilize the station as a downtown Gettysburg information center. The Gettysburg Foundation, a non-profit partner of the park, secured the funds necessary to purchase the train station from the Borough and donate it to GNMP once the boundary legislation is passed.
Representative Perry’s legislation (H.R. 1513) also expands the boundaries of GNMP to include 45 acres of donated land along Plum Run in Cumberland Township. This property abuts land already owned by the National Park Service. Although both properties in question involve willing transactions, the legislation specifically forbids the use of eminent domain for acquisition of either property and will not utilize any federal funds. A similar bill introduced by Senators Pat Toomey and Bob Casey is awaiting a vote by the full U.S. Senate.