The Jennie Wade House
I do not know if I am disappointed or just kind of “eh” about the whole thing. I live fairly close to the Jennie Wade House but had never been and this past weekend in Gettysburg they held the Gettysburg Wine and Music Festival and we decided a few weeks back that we were going to go, so of course I wanted to see the Jennie Wade house I had heard so much about.
Well after getting lost I think it was twice, we finally found it, and I would have to say that the hotel that is mere inches from the structure is to me disgraceful, I mean this is supposed to be one of the big attractions to the area and it is dwarfed by this huge hotel monstrosity. Second I can say that I was disappointed that the gift shop is about 2 feet behind the house and that when we asked about a tour, I did not think the price was too bad, well until you realize that you get a sheet of paper and you get let into the house and then well after a brief intro you are left to listen to a rather spooking looking “soldier” tell you about his time in the war and what happened. Did I mention it is not a real person, it’s a dummy with a freaky person talking overlay on the face, I think they call him Billy.
So what happened so far? Well our tour guide took us in, showed us the first room, told us a story and then another small personal story and turned “Billy” on and left. We were to follow the sheet of paper we were given as our “tour.” So of course I am thinking we paid how much for this? But thought alright I am here, I am going to enjoy every moment. There were no feelings of anything in the downstairs side of what would have been Jennie’s family’s side of the house. So we made our way up the rickety sounding stairs and stopped to admire all the items with me snapping away with the camera. (Funny little side note about the camera, it must have turned off about 6 or 7 times while we were there, but was fine when we left and went other places.)
As we descended the stairs on the other side I stopped and looked back up stairs because I could of sworn I heard a giggle, but when I heard nor felt anything else we continued on to the other two rooms admiring what they used to call a fainting couch that was done in a bold red velvet, it was gorgeous! Then and this is the last part of the “tour” is the basement where Jennie’s body was kept until her burial. (Behind the house, well at least for a little while, which is why I thought the gift shop being there was a bit tacky)
Now the basement of course has a bit of a creepy feel but other than that it was alright. We walked around the other side of the basement and were looking at all the pictures and comments that had been made, and for those of you that have had the feeling before you will understand what I mean, it was like a small stiffening of the spine where you realize someone is behind you and before I could turn around, what felt like a fingernail went down the back of my neck, shivers of course followed and my mom who was with me knew something happened. I just rubbed my neck and told her, while saying how that was just rude.
So while the experience itself was not a bad one, I was disappointed with the total commercialization of the area and that they would charge so much when they do not actually take you on a tour. Maybe it is just me, I am sure others think it is perfectly acceptable to have a hotel and a gift shop mere feet from such a historical site, but I was disappointed none-the-less.
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