The Seminary Ridge Museum is housed in the oldest building on the Gettysburg campus of the United Lutheran Seminary. Below is a list of milestone dates in the building's history.
1826: Samuel Simon Schmucker establishes a Lutheran Seminary in Gettysburg, PA. The first classes are held in the Gettysburg Academy building on High Street in Gettysburg.
1831-1832: The first Seminary building is constructed and opened west of town, between the Chambersburg and Hagerstown Pikes. Pennsylvania (Gettysburg) College is founded by Schmucker in the Gettysburg Academy building.
1833-1834: Two brick homes are constructed on either side of the Seminary building as housing for professors. These three buildings will be the only ones on the grounds for the next forty years.
1863: The Battle of Gettysburg. The Cupola of the Seminary building is utilized as a lookout post by Brigadier General John Buford and his Signal Officer, Lt. Aaron Jerome. From the evening of July 1 to July 5, the building is in Confederate hands, but is occupied by hundreds of wounded United States soldiers. The U.S. Army retakes the building after the Confederate retreat and, until mid-September, the building is one of the largest field hospitals in Gettysburg. After the last patient leaves the building on September 16, classes begin within eight days.
1864: All exterior damage as a result of the battle is repaired.
1894-1895: Valentine Hall is constructed just south of the original building and becomes the administrative center of the Seminary. The original building is renovated for use as a dormitory.
1954: The original building, now known as "Old Dorm," is condemned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Seminary is ordered to bring it up to code or stop using it as a dormitory. The Seminary board initially votes to raze the building.
1959: The Adams County Historical Society reaches an agreement with the Seminary to lease "Old Dorm" for $1 per year and use it as their headquarters.
1961-2011: "Old Dorm" is used as the Historical Society's headquarters, meeting space, archives and museum.
1976: During the Seminary's 150th anniversary, the original building is officially renamed "Schmucker Hall" in honor of the founder and first president, Samuel Simon Schmucker.
2011-2013: The Historical Society moves out of "Old Dorm" and a year-and-a-half long renovation is completed to modernize the building.
July 1, 2013: Schmucker Hall reopens as Seminary Ridge Museum.
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