Park Service Committed To Protecting Country Club, Andrew Scot Pitzer, Gettysburg Times, April 26, 2010.
Even though the Gettysburg Country Club was recently sold to a private developer, the National Park Service is continuing its fight to protect the 120-acre property.According to Gettysburg National Military Park Supt. Bob Kirby, the park is in discussions with the property's new owner, Woodhaven Building & Development LLC, of Maryland. Previous attempts by the park to acquire the land west of Gettysburg were unsuccessful, since the closure of the 60-year-old Country Club in 2008. "It's an item of great important to the park," said Kirby, adding that the park is "considering its options."
The property, along Chambersburg Road, is within the park's 6,000-acre boundary, but is not owned by the Park Service. There are about 690 acres of land within the park's boundary that are privately-owned, such as the Country Club. "We don't have any federal protection on it right now. That's what we're trying to do: acquire it by fee - buying it outright from the owner - or acquiring an easement which would protect it from further development or subdivision," explained GNMP spokeswoman Katie Lawhon. "Right now, we don't have either one," she said. "We've been directed to do something about it," concluded Lawhon, noting that the site is listed as a "high priority" in the park's land protection plan of 1993.
Both Lawhon and Kirby noted that real estate negotiations involving the park are private, so they were unable to divulge specific information. The 120-acre site is often referred to by the park as the "field of Pickett's Charge on the First Day" of the three-day Battle of Gettysburg, in 1863. "It's renowned for being a costly part of the battle, with those wounded and captured," said Lawhon.
The club went bankrupt and has remained closed since May 2008. A sheriff's sale in Jan. 2009 failed to produce any significant offer. The Maryland based Woodhaven Building & Development obtained the property for $1.45 million from Susquehanna Bank in March. The club sits on the site of the historic Abraham Spangler and Harmon farms, where Confederate soldiers advanced and retreated during the Civil War battle. Now, the property includes a nine-hole golf course, tennis courts, a swimming pool, other recreational areas, including a renovated clubhouse.
Text Source: Gettysburg Times
Image Source: GNMP