Adams County Crop Hop gets you down on the farm

The passport features more than 20 local businesses. More are expected to join as the farm and market trail grows.

Adams County is making it easy for families to visit the farms that surround them, but you’ll need a passport.

Starting May 6, families have been able to download a passport to their mobile phones for an agritourism tour called the Adams County Crop Hop.

All it takes is a name and an email address to get a link that opens the passport, which users can access at any time. You can read it here.

The passport features more than 20 local businesses. More are expected to join as the farm and market trail grows.

“The Adams County Crop Hop will tie many of the hands-on and immersive experiences that we have at our various farms and markets into one agritourism experience for locals and visitors alike,” said Karl Pietrzak, president of Destination Gettysburg, which launched the crop hop.

“We are very excited to launch the Adams County Crop Hop and add even more agritourism experiences to get our visitors out into the scenic Adams County countryside,” he said.

Destination Gettysburg was awarded a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to help it promote agritourism in Adams County.

“Our quality of life in Adams County is enhanced beyond measure by agriculture,” Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said.

“Our farm markets, nurseries, orchards, stables and farms represent not just fun places to spend an afternoon, but the value of the wide-open green spaces that feed our senses and our economy. Destination Gettysburg’s Crop Hop will be a great way to support the agriculture businesses that represent our proud past, our prosperous present and our promising future.”

Adams County receives over $1 million in CHIRP grants

More than 60 Adams County tourism and hospitality-focused businesses will receive a share of $1.1 million through Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program (CHIRP).

Applications opened last month to receive a grant from CHIRPS’ $145 million, approved by the legislature in February. Grants were awarded in increments of $5,000 and range from $10,000 to $40,000. The successful businesses represent hotels, bed and breakfasts, restaurants, bars and campgrounds.

Adams Economic Alliance, the designated Certified Economic Development Organization for Adams County, announced Wednesday that it would distribute the funds to 64 businesses in the county.

“Tourism is one of Adams County’s top three industries, and since our economy relies heavily upon visitors, it therefore also relies on the businesses who welcome, feed and lodge them,” said Robin Fitzpatrick, president of the Adams Economic Alliance. “I am thankful this money will help 64 Adams County businesses remain viable.”

As One Management, which operates the Hilton Garden Inn, Gettysburg’s Holiday Inn Express & Suites and Gettysburg’s Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, will receive $50,000 for the three hotels through the program.

As One Management employs nearly 50 people. Nimesh Shah, a managing partner at the company, said that it plans to use the money for payroll and to create a safer environment for staff and guests.

“The past year has been brutal to our industry. One of the only bright spots has been the help we have received from Robin Fitzpatrick, Kaycee Kemper, and the entire Adams Economic Alliance team,” he said. “Even with the current uncertainty around travel, we are optimistic that Gettysburg will be a popular destination for lots of visitors this summer and we are excited to host them all.”

The nine Adams County businesses to receive the most in CHIRP funding include:

  • The Flying Bull, Gettysburg, $40,000.
  • Hospitality Management Corp. -Atland House, Abbotstown, $30,000.
  • Battlefield Bed & Breakfast, Gettysburg, $30,000.
  • The Pub & Restaurant, Gettysburg, $30,000.
  • Dobbin House Tavern, Gettysburg, $30,000.
  • The Gettysburg Hotel Est. 1797, Gettysburg, $25,000.
  • Appalachian Brewing Company of Gateway, Inc., Gettysburg, $25,000.
  • C&D Bar and Grill, Inc., New Oxford, $25,000.
  • General Picket’s Buffet, Gettysburg, $25,000.


He dreamed of working in Gettysburg, now he’ll lead the Gettysburg Foundation

Sunrise on a cannon at the national park in Gettysburg. PHOTO / FILES

Wayne E. Motts, CEO of Harrisburg’s National Civil War Museum for the last nine years, and licensed guide at the Gettysburg National Military Park for 33 years, has been chosen to become president of the Gettysburg Foundation.

The Foundation owns and operates the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center in partnership with Gettysburg National Military Park, and the Eisenhower National Historic Site.  The organization’s Board of Directors named Motts to lead its preservation and educational mission, including the Rupp House History Center, the George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital and the Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad Station.

“We are proud to have Wayne lead our operations into the future,” said Barbara Finfrock, co-chair of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, in a written statement announcing the appoitment. “Wayne has been a champion of Gettysburg for many years, and we are confident in his vast knowledge of history, leadership experience and talents as our new president.”

Motts, who previously served as executive director of the Adams County Historical Society in Gettysburg said he was honored by the appointment. “I look forward to working with the Foundation’s board, staff, volunteers and key partners— especially Gettysburg National Military Park and the Eisenhower National Historic Site—in advancing the Foundation’s mission,” he said in a statement. “As a small boy dreaming of one day living and working in Gettysburg, my life now comes full circle with this wonderful opportunity.”

Wayne E. Motts, to become president of the Gettysburg Foundation. PHOTO / PROVIDED

Motts received his Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Military History from The Ohio State University and holds a Master of Arts in American History from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. He is also the author of several books and articles on the Civil war, including Trust in God and Fear Nothing: General Lewis A. Armistead and Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg: A Guide to the Most Famous Attack in American History, which he co-authored.

Motts has also appeared on numerous television documentaries.

“We are thrilled to welcome Wayne to our team, especially during this critical time as we emerge from the impact of the pandemic,” said Craig Bashein, co-chair of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. “His enthusiasm and passion for sharing the importance of the Battle of Gettysburg in the greater context of the American Civil War and our country’s history, combined with his keen understanding of museum and nonprofit operations makes him an ideal candidate to join us as our new president.”

Motts will assume the responsibilities as the Foundation’s new president May 24, 2021.


York-Adams home sales up 30% over 2019

November home sales in York and Adams counties rose almost 30% over last year, as the central Pennsylvania real estate market keeps on sizzling.

More specifically, they jumped 34% in York County, from 461 to 620, and 8% in Adams County, from 103 to 111.
Through November, 6,026 York County houses have sold in 2020, which is 2% more than in 2019 at this time. In Adams County, the market is also 2% ahead of last year’s pace, with 1,135 settlements.

“As we have been monitoring the activity in the housing market all year, it’s been incredible to see how well the market has performed and continues to do so in the winter months,” Heather Kreiger, president of the Realtors Association of York & Adams Counties, wrote in an email.
The association provided the monthly report in a release, which also shows the median sale price climbed 8% in York County, from $185,000 to $200,000, through the first 11 months of 2020. In Adams County, the increase was more pronounced, from $200,000 to $223,500, a spike of 12%.

“We are on pace to close out the end of the year setting record high median home sales prices and record high number of home sales in both York and Adams counties,” Kreiger said in the release.

“2020 has been an incredible year in real estate,” she continued. After a strong start, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, slowing down what would normally be a busy spring season.

Since June, however, “the market took a quick turn upward and has not let up since,” Kreiger said.

It’s been a year like no other, she said.

“In 2020, we’ve witnessed the tightest and fastest moving real estate market in York County history with single-digit average days on market and only about a month’s worth of supply available,” Kreiger wrote.

“Even with the COVID shutdown … the housing market was still able to bounce back, ending the month of November at a 2% increase year-over-year.”

Pending sales fell from the previous month, so maybe a slight decrease in sale activity could be on the horizon, she noted. However, Kreiger believes December will still be very strong.

Is the rise in median sale prices going to push some entry-level buyers away? If the shortage of homes listed for sale continues to be paired with high buyer demand, “we will continue to see increases in the median home sale price month over month, which could price some buyers out of the market,” she wrote.

In this real estate climate, buyers “are likely going to face the challenges of multiple offers on a home,” she added, “some of which may contain escalation clauses, no contingencies, quick settlements, etc.”

Kreiger said they should work with their agent and lender to develop the best possible strategies for making offers and – more importantly – sta

York, Adams 6-month home sales fall, but July and August should be strong

Data from the first half of 2020 shows a tale of two real estate markets, according to the Realtors Association of York & Adams Counties: one of a major drop in six-month home sales figures because of the COVID-19 shutdown, and the other of a level of recent activity that should mean strong numbers for July and August – and maybe beyond.

In York County, 2,481 homes were sold during the first half of 2020, 17% less than last year. In Adams, 463 homes were sold in the first half of the year, a 13% decrease from 2019.

“As expected, the number of home sales in York and Adams counties through the end of June (is) down compared to last year due to the governor’s shutdown of in-person real estate activities for nine weeks,” association president Heather Kreiger said in a release.

But the major story right now is that “we’re in a fast-moving real estate market,” Kreiger said in a follow-up interview.

Gov. Tom Wolf lifted many of the state restrictions on the industry May 19, and buyers who were holding back quickly jumped in. That pent-up demand, combined with lack of inventory, is raising home prices, Kreiger said.

The median sales price in York County through June 2020 was $189,900, a 6% increase from the year before. In Adams County, the figure was $214,900, which is 10% more than in 2019. For June alone, the median price in York County was $205,000, an 11% jump from this time last year. The median sale price in Adams County last month – $224,900 – was 15% more than in 2020.

Multiple offers on a single home are a factor in driving up prices, Kreiger said. Low inventory is a chronic problem that predated the pandemic. Kreiger said a review of 12-month rolling averages in York County, shows it has been an issue since 2017. Asked why more homeowners aren’t listing their houses considering it’s a sellers’ market, she said they may be worried about finding a place to live if their property sells too fast.

In June, the average time for a home listed on the market in York County was just 19 days, the release noted.

The best sign, Kreiger said, is that pending sales for York County in June were 911 – the highest for any month in the past five years. “People are actually signing contracts,” she said.

Not all of these will go to settlement, but the number of homes sold in the next few months should reflect this busy pending sale activity.

“Buyers are just coming out of the woodwork,” said Elle Hale, an agent with Century 21 Core Partners in York.

That backlog has created an influx of buyers going after the same houses, she said.

It’s more so in the $150,000-$280,000 price range, which includes a combination of entry level purchasers, move-up buyers and downsizers, said Hale, who’s a board member of the Realtors Association of York & Adams Counties.

Most of the clients she’s dealing with are renters looking for a home, and people moving from the Baltimore area to Pennsylvania. With the cost of houses in York County a lot less than in Maryland, she said, “it just makes sense.”

Here are some other highlights from the Realtors association’s report:
• Among Adams County’s six school districts, the highest increase in median sale price through June 2020 was in Bermudian Springs, $187,900 to $236,900, or 26%.
• The biggest decline in sales for the first six months over last year was Gettysburg School District’s 26%, 160 to 118. Sales in June alone were down 74%.
• Among York County’s 16 school districts, the biggest jumps in median sale price for January-June 2020 were York City, $64,000 to $80,000, and Southern York, $220,000 to $273,900, both at 25%.
• The biggest declines in sales in that period were Dallastown, 31% (322 to 223), and Red Lion, 28% (237 to 170). In June alone, Red Lion was down 52%.

In York and Adams, home sales are flourishing

Shanna Terroso had no idea how good – or bad – the York County housing market would be when Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf lifted some restrictions on the real estate industry May 19.

“We were really strong going into the pandemic,” with one of the best yearly starts in history, said Terroso, executive officer of the Realtors Association of York & Adams Counties. And York County was coming off a tremendous 2019, setting records with 6,441 homes sold and a median sale price of $185,000. “I wasn’t sure what would happen.”

The move by the governor turned out to be a major catalyst, Terroso said. “Since that date, there’s been a huge increase in real estate activity in our community.”

During the eight weeks of the pandemic prior to May 19, an average 79 homes per week sold in York County, she said. From May 25-31, the total skyrocketed to 254 – an increase of 322%. “I’m so pleased with how quickly the market rebounded,” Terroso said.

“There’s a ton of pent-up demand,” she said. “The pandemic has not been a real estate crisis but a medical crisis.”

And although the real estate market is much smaller in Adams County, sales there also increased dramatically, from 13 sales for the week ending April 5 to 51 sold the last week of May.

“The market has gone from a trickle to a waterfall of business,” Sue Pindle, board president of the Realtors association, wrote in an email.

“Entry-level market properties and buyers are very busy,” said Pindle, an agent with RE/MAX Quality Service, Hanover. “Financing is very affordable.” A conventional fixed-rate mortgage is about 3.5%.

While May 19 gave real estate the green light, with guidelines, York and Adams counties’ move from red to the yellow on May 22 “gave the consumer the confidence to come out.”

The governor’s guidelines include the wearing of a face mask or face covering by everyone at an in-person meeting. Also, no more than three people – a real estate professional and two others – are allowed inside a property at any time. And they should exercise appropriate social distancing.

Like Terroso, Pindle said the May 19 announcement was a game changer. “Realtors have been ready to serve their clients,” she said. Sellers needed to settle their home to move on to assisted living, job relocations, settle estates, and buyers living in temporary housing because of job relocations, including active duty military, medical personnel, law enforcement, education personnel, first responders, firefighters, needed to secure housing.

There have been so many buyers sitting on the sidelines waiting to tour homes in person, Terroso said, and now they can.

The rise in new listings per week – from 30 in early April in York County to 115 at the end of May – may not be enough to keep up with demand, she said. With listings down 25% from May 2019 to May 2020, Terroso is expecting a lack of inventory. That, in turn, drives up prices.

“Realtors could use more homes for consumers to choose from,” Pindle said. “Multiple offers are happening.”

“It’s an incredible time to list your home,” Terroso said.

And while virtual house tours and other technological resources are valuable, they aren’t a substitute for walking through a home and getting a feel for it.

So while there was real estate activity from mid-March to mid-May, it was minimal, because on-site tours weren’t permitted.

Buyers typically want to see a house in person, Terroso said, because “for most folks, it’s the biggest investment they’ll make.”

Crafting company culture at PCI

As Brian Greenplate walks the floor of his company, Precision Cut Industries, he takes time to personally address each employee, asking them about the pace of their work, their needs for the day or their upcoming holiday plans.

The president and CEO of the Conewago Township, Adams County-based manufacturer said he makes a point to know the names of all his 160 employees and to be acquainted with a bit of their background outside of the workplace. It’s more than just a point of pride for Greenplate – it’s what he considers one of the keys to the success of the company that does custom work for businesses around the country.

Brian Greenplate, president and CEO of Precision Cut Industries, watches as employees work on the floor of the Adams County-based manufacturing facility. (Photo Michael Yoder)

Greenplate said he’s proud of the size the company has grown to since he bought it in 2004, expanding to 100,000 square feet of space between three different buildings in an industrial park just west of Hanover. He’s proud of the equipment he’s put in place, including 13 large laser cutters that make everything from specialized parts for satellites to casings that hold glass plates for skyscrapers going up in New York City.

What Greenplate is most proud of is the team he’s built at PCI, calling his workers the company’s most valuable commodity and resource. And to capitalize on that resource, Greenplate has encouraged the development of a cohesive company culture of values and fundamentals that are more than just words on paper.

“The equipment’s there and you need that to do what we do, but I like to think our people are much more valuable than our equipment,” he said. “And with the people being our most valuable resource, how do we, all of us, myself included, behave in a way that helps create customer value as opposed to our equipment creating customer value?”

The PCI Way

When Greenplate, a former executive with West Manchester Township-based Voith Hydro Inc., decided to make the leap to owning and running his own company, PCI was just a small laser cutting operation operating since 1998 in the Penn Township Industrial Park east of Hanover. PCI had around 25 employees then, and was doing about $3 million annually in sales.

The Precision Cut industries headquarters on Ram Drive in Conewago Township, Adams County. (Photo Michael Yoder)

After relocating the company to Ram Drive on the west side of town, Greenplate began growing PCI. He took over a 30,000-square foot space that formerly housed a clothing manufacturer, and later acquired two more buildings. Steady growth through 2015 allowed him to purchase a Beltsville, Maryland-based metal manufacturer serving customers in the metro Washington, D.C. region.

By the close of 2019, PCI was looking at $32 million in annual sales and around 160 employees, and an annual growth rate of 15% to 20% over the last few years. He expects that growth to continue in 2020. PCI has become one of the largest laser-cutting companies on the East Coast.

“The manufacturing economy has been very strong, so we feel fortunate that we’ve been able to be part of that,” Greenplate said.

But PCI’s success runs deeper than a strong manufacturing economy, Greenplate pointed out. Just a few years ago, he felt like the company was stuck in its mindset and work culture, focusing on values like “quality,” “accountability” and “service excellence” without any plan to see them implemented.

Then he went to a meeting of a Central Pennsylvania chapter of Vistage, a peer mentoring organization where he heard a speaker talk about building company cultures and behaviors that support its values. He enlisted the help of the speaker to take a look at his company’s culture, bringing him in to help move the brainstorming process along more quickly.

PCI’s management team started writing down principles it wanted to highlight, coming up with 30 fundamentals it called “The PCI Way.” Those 30 fundamentals and six values are what drives its culture, emphasizing what’s important to the company and its employees, Greenplate says. “We wanted the behaviors to be actionable and what was important and means something to us.”

Each employee carries a card in their wallet listing The PCI Way principles. The first fundamental is “deliver world-class service,” stating that employees should “do the little things, as well as the big things, that surprise people and create the ‘WOW.’”

The second fundamental listed is “take extreme ownership,” encouraging employees to be resourceful, show initiative and do what is necessary to get the job done.

Greenplate said they focus on a different fundamental each week, with an email sent out to all employees describing the fundamental and its meaning for the company. Throughout the week, “team huddles” with department heads take place to talk about the fundamental and ways to implement it in the workplace.

At week 31, attention is turned back to the first fundamental and the process starts again.

“The values are important, but values on a wall are very different from actions we can take day-to-day, week-to-week about who we are,” Greenplate said. “We think the fundamentals are a key part of our growth and part of who we are and how we create value for our customers.”

A Conversation With: Kay Hollabaugh

Kay Hollabaugh, 63, began working at Hollabaugh Bros., her family’s business, full-time in 1984 and became an owner and board member in 2007. Today she serves as treasurer of the family farm corporation and retail market and office manager.

Hollabaugh earned an associate’s degree in business from Central Penn College. She is also active in several national and international marketing organizations.

She and her husband live in Butler Township and have two adult children — both involved in the family business – and five grandchildren.

Q: What has kept Hollabaugh Bros. growing through the literal and figurative storms of the past five decades?

A: It’s the strength we have within our family. We are hard-working, dedicated people. We believe firmly in the stewardship of our land and try to make our decisions based upon taking good care of that land and doing things to remain financially solvent. We are completely at the hands of Mother Nature and you learn to sway with the wind, and you know there are going to be years that are not as good as others. We also feel very firmly about taking care of our employees. They work very hard for us and we want to do what we can to provide a means of making a living that is good and honest and that they can support their families.

We also work really hard at having our own niches and trying not to interfere with one another’s areas. It’s not always as easy as it seems because of course we all have opinions. We hold regular board meetings where we hash things out and make decisions. I just think it’s the fortitude of our family that has kept us here.

Q: Adams County is known for agribusiness and tourism, but what are some other hidden gems in the business community?

A: There are some new business ventures I certainly would not have thought of 20 years ago that are being welcomed with open arms. Some of them are local restaurants who are really focusing on buying local fruits and vegetables, as well as wineries and hard cideries. Yes, they’re agriculture, but it’s kind of taking things in a new direction. It’s bringing people to the area to sit up to a bar and have a brew and a sandwich or going to a winery and having a glass of wine. We now have places where you can go for a tattoo, a massage, a pedicure or manicure. There are a lot of very nice spas that bring people to the area who perhaps wouldn’t have come ordinarily. One other area that is a benefit economically is the popping up of 55-plus communities. The benefit of living here is you’re an hour and a half from D.C. and Baltimore and northern Virginia, where there’s all kind of social activities and night life, there’s wonderful hospitals, but in an hour and a half you can be in rural Adams County. It’s not history and it’s not agriculture, but it’s really impacting the county.

Q: What makes Adams County a good place to build and/or grow a business?

A: If you’re talking strictly agriculture, we’ve got the perfect county for growing. We’ve got rolling hills, incredible soil and a strong water table. As far as other kinds of business, we have many customers in our market who are willing to drive the hour and a half, because it pays for itself and gets them out of the city and our prices are so much lower. I think we’re just this little bedroom community that is close enough to get to but then they can go back to the city. I think our location has made us really, really popular to grow a business.

Q: What is your favorite social event at Hollabaugh Bros.?

A: Probably my favorite is our Easter event, Hop Along the Bunny Trail. It typically is in late March, early April, when the weather is so ridiculously unpredictable, but I personally love that event because we welcome so many multi-generational families. The child in the stroller, the parents, the grandparents, and they’re all just coming to the country because they want to spend time (together). It’s also our first big event of the season, so we’re usually pretty excited to get the new season underway. I like seeing the smiles on people’s faces and the children hunting eggs.

Cider makers applaud passage of House bill


Ben Wenk is a seventh-generation grower at Three Springs Fruit Farm. Located in Menallen Township, Adams County, the farm grows a diverse selection of apples. (Photo: File)


The state House on Tuesday passed legislation that cider makers hope could raise the profile of Pennsylvania apple orchards and one of their most popular byproducts: hard cider.

The bill, which was approved by the House on a 194-0 vote, would amend the state’s liquor code to define alcoholic cider as a beverage made only through fermentation of apples or pears. The current definition permits cider products to be made with any fruit or fruit juice.

The bill is now heading to the state Senate.

Members of the Pennsylvania Cider Guild, a trade organization for the state’s budding list of hard-cider producers, described the amendment as a top legislative priority for the past few years. The change would put Pennsylvania’s law in line with global industry standards for hard cider.

“The effects, while not immediate, are extraordinary for our industry,” said Ben Wenk of Three Springs Fruit Farm in Adams County, the maker of Ploughman Farm Cider. “It’s instrumental in educating the public about cider, how it’s made and what make it different from wine and beer. It will hopefully lead to cider being shelved with similar beverages, rather than with alternative malt beverages by default.”

Most importantly, he said, the legislation could be a building block for more cider-specific legislation moving forward.

The commonwealth now has nearly 50 cideries, one of the fastest-growing craft beverage categories in the state. But cideries often are overlooked in the craft alcohol industry because they operate under winery or brewery licenses in Pennsylvania.

The guild, of which Wenk is a member, has said it would like to see a separate licensing category for cideries in Pennsylvania.

“If we could find something that would benefit all cideries in Pennsylvania such that they didn’t have to choose winery or brewery licenses, I think we’d want to pursue that,” he said.

Wenk also said the new amendment, known as House Bill 131, would be a big win for apple growers in Pennsylvania.

An estimated 70 percent of Pennsylvania’s apple production comes out of Adams County. Pennsylvania is sixth nationally for cider production and the nation’s fourth-largest apple producing state.

Gettysburg National Military Park accessible to public during government shutdown, some programs canceled

During the shutdown of the federal government due to the lapse of appropriations, national parks will remain as accessible as possible while still following all applicable laws and procedures.

Open to Public

  • Park roads, memorials, and trails at Gettysburg National Military Park, will remain accessible to visitors.
  • The film, cyclorama painting and museum exhibits at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center remain open and available to visitors.

Closed and Canceled

  • All park programs have been canceled, including Winter Lectures, Reading Adventures for Families, and the Battlefield Book Series.
  • Eisenhower National Historic Site will be closed during the shutdown.
  • The Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg National Military Park, including the Annex, will be closed during the shutdown.

Limited Services

  • Emergency and rescue services will be limited.
  • There will be no NPS-provided visitor services at Gettysburg National Military Park, including
    — public information
    — restrooms
    — trash collection
    — facilities and road maintenance, including snow plowing.
  • Because of the federal government shutdown, NPS social media and websites are not being monitored or updated and may not reflect current conditions.


The NPS will not be providing services for the McMillan Woods youth group campground, including maintenance, janitorial, bathrooms, check-in/check-out, and reservations. However, visitors in NPS-operated campgrounds will not be asked to leave unless safety concerns require such action.

Visitors holding campground reservations should be aware that there is no guarantee their reserved campsite will be ready and available should they arrive during a government shutdown.

For updates on the shutdown, please visit www.doi.gov/shutdown.

McAllister’s Mill Underground Railroad site tours being held Saturdays through August

milltourguideUnderground Railroad (UGRR) tours of the McAllister’s Mill Site in Adams County have begun for the summer.

The site, now a ruin with foundations and waterways still visible, was one of the first stops made in Adams County by people seeking freedom on their flight north from slavery in the South.

About two miles south of Gettysburg, PA and six miles north of the Mason-Dixon Line, McAllister’s Mill provided shelter to hundreds of freedom seekers during the years leading to the Civil War. After receiving assistance at the late 18th century grist mill, the formerly enslaved were guided north through Gettysburg into Upper Adams County to the homes of free African Americans and Quaker Abolitionists, forming critical links in one of the earliest regional networks of the Underground Railroad in the nation.

The property now includes remnants of the mill building and related mill structures, all set amid large boulders that line Rock Creek in a densely wooded area where the mill once stood.

In 2011, the McAllister Mill site, was accepted into the National Park Service National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom (UGRR NTF). This is the first and only Underground Railroad site in Gettysburg to receive formal recognition by the NPS and to be included in the Network to Freedom, which is a nationwide collection of sites that have a verifiable association to the Underground Railroad.

Visit the site

Every Saturday morning at 11 a.m., from now through the end of August, professional guides will lead a one-hour walking tour of the site. Tours leave from the historical marker at the south end of the Mulligan MacDuffer Adventure Golf parking lot at 1360 Baltimore Pike. It is not necessary to make a reservation for the tour.

The walk to the mill from the historical marker at the parking lot is a somewhat strenuous, approximately one-half mile round trip.

Suggested donations for the tour are $5 for students and $10 for adults. The donations made to HGAC will support HGAC’s preservation activities including the Adams County Barn Preservation Project and Grant Program.

Everyone who comes on the tour will receive a souvenir brochure that is generously illustrated with a map, photographs and the art of Bradley Schmehl, one of the nation’s foremost historical artists.

Bring your passport book

This year McAllister’s Mill has been included in the National Park Service’s Passport Stamp Program as a UGRR Network To Freedom site. Visitors who would like to obtain an NPS Passport can purchase one at the bookstore in the nearby NPS Visitor passportCenter, which is one-half mile north of Mulligan MacDuffer’s along the Baltimore.

For more information on the Network to Freedom, please consult the NPS website at www.nps.gov/history/ugrr/. For more information about the weekly tours, or to make special arrangements, please call McAllister Mill UGRR Tours at 717-659-8827.