The CVRR's Role in Battlefield Tourism

Pine Grove residents at Gettysburg

Residents of Pine Grove and Laurel posed in front of a cannon and monument at Gettysburg National Battlefield Park, c. 1900.

The South Mountain Railroad played a crucial role not only in the development of heritage at Pine Grove, but also in the establishment of Gettysburg as a state park.  In September 1882, the Gettysburg and Harrisburg Railroad (G&HRR) was incorporated to build a twenty-two mile line from South Mountain to Gettysburg.  The construction for this line was completed, dedicated, and opened to the public in 1884.  The idea of promoting Gettysburg was popular.  Jay Cooke underwrote a four-mile extension from the station at Gettysburg to Round Top on the battlefield and the superintendent of the G&HRR himself lobbied to have the battlefield established as a state park.  

While the line operated independently, it relied on assistance from the CVRR to connect to larger railroads in Harrisburg. This connection prompted the development of guide services and helped sell tickets.  In 1888, for the 25th anniversary of the battle, the line hauled 137,358 passengers to the site.