Did you know there is a museum in Gettysburg, that depicts that batters of the Civil War through the use of soldiers that are cats? Well, in July of 2018, we got to visit this museum, and let me tell you, it is true!
The Civil War Tails at the Homestead Diorama Museum is located in a building that used to be a part of the National Soldier' Orphans' Homestead complex. We will talk about that more later, but in 2013, twin sisters Rebecca and Ruth acquired the building. The sisters had many passions growing up, and Rebecca wanted to live in Gettysburg for a long time.
Their interest in the Civil War began when they were 11 and Rebecca read two biographies; one on General Robert E. Lee, and the other on General Ulysses S. Grant. As kids, they made various things out of modeling clay, and they grew up with cats. So, they combined the three interests and started making little clay cats in uniforms with beards.
As they kept reading about the Civil War, they continued to make the soldiers, and before very long they had hundreds of cats in uniform but nothing to do with them. They continued to read, and made more cats, and before much longer they began to setup dioramas showing scenes form the Civil War. In our following video, we will take you inside this unique museum, to see that Cat Soldiers of Gettysburg.
If you are in Gettysburg, you can stop by and visit this museum for yourself. They are located at 785 Baltimore Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325. Check their website for times and days that they are open. They also have a Facebook Page as well.
If you do get a chance to stop it, you will be amazed at the creativity and time that went into making these displays. At think at this point, they have probably lost count as to how many cat soldiers that they have created.
As promised, I wanted to talk a little bit more about the building where this museum is housed. Those of you into the paranormal, may have heard about the orphanage in Gettysburg. We will be doing some future and and posts about that building; however, this building was part of the original complex.
The formal opening of the National Soldier's Orphans' Homestead was on November 20, 1866. The Homestead provided a good home and a fine education for approximately 200 children over the next decade. In 1869, the building that houses the museum was built as a dormitory for the girls. The building was built at the back corner of the Homestead, so that the two buildings formed an L. When the orphanage closed the homestead buildings were sold and eventually the lot was divided. In 1903, the building was made into a duplex and it was moved a little ways up the street. In 1915, it became the first B&B in Gettysburg. Why are we documenting this information here? Well, if you know the story behind why the orphanage closed (which we will cover later), then you know that this building may have seen some of that controversy as well. Either way, it is still an interesting story about that building, and now, what is housed inside of it today.