A recent work trip had me passing through a town I had been interested in visiting for quite a while. With my family recently going through the US Citizenship process we had lots of American History to read up on. One of the most important battles in our country’s history was the Civil War and one of the battlefields was not only a turning point but the location of President Lincolns most important speeches.
Gettysburg Pennsylvania is a few hours away from where we live in Jersey. As I planned out my trip for work I noticed that one of the routes had me passing right through the center of town. I wasn’t going to have a lot of spare time on my trip but not knowing when I would be able to come back gave me enough incentive to stop for a bit and collect some pressed pennies. Going through my usual preparations I checked online for a complete list of machine locations, marked them on a map and started organizing the appropriate change needed for each machine.
The day of my trip came and after my meetings I headed into the heart of Gettysburg which had me drive through the famous battlefields.
Most of the penny machine locations were located along two streets that connected like a “Y”. This made it quite a bit easier to start at one end and make my way around. My first stop was the Lincoln Train Museum.
I parked in their lot and headed to the front door but as my luck would have it I was there on the one day of the week they weren’t open. The penny machine was located just inside the door teasing me.
I took the above picture of the machine from outside which is why it looks a little far away. After I got home I put together a package with a letter and some coins mentioning I had stopped by when they were closed, and asking if someone would press a set for me. A week or so later the coins arrive back along with some nice reading material about the museum.
The designs included President Lincoln, a Steam Engine and the 1899 Maryland & Pennsylvania Bobber Caboose that is available at the museum to explore (ahem when it’s open of course).
I left my card at the Train Museum and started walking since everything now was pretty close together. Located on the next block was the Gettysburg Heritage Center. I had read online this used to be a Wax Museum with animated scenes from the Civil War but those were all long gone. There was a tour you could take but due to time constraints I just stuck to the gift shop.
The machine was located near the admission counter right next to the tour entrance. I have come across these style of machines from time to time and always find them a little hard to use and the pennies usually press short.
However this machine actually surprised me and worked very nicely. The staff member that was at the counter told me they had just serviced this machine which may have been why it worked so well. These pennies have images of Two crossed Civil War swords with Gettysburg across the top, the Lord’s Prayer, My Lucky Penny with four-leaf clovers, and a special coin to cash in for a Free Hug and Kiss anytime … anywhere. I really should have pressed more of that one!
A short ways away was my next stop the Gettysburg Diorama. As the name says this place has a scale model of the Battle of Gettysburg. It is over 800 square feet and includes a light and sound show. You get a bird’s-eye view of the entire battlefield which is a really cool way to see it all at once.
Just inside the front door is the penny machine. No admission is required to use the machine, but the cost to see the diorama is only about $7 and I would recommend taking a look at it really is pretty impressive.
This machine has only three designs which include Gettysburg 150th Anniversary, Civil War Soldiers, and Abraham Lincoln. After I was done with the diorama I headed out to my next stop.
The Gettysburg Ghost Tours as you can see from the sign in the above picture is a Candlelight Walking Tour at night.
In case a Ghost Tour isn’t your thing, worry not the penny machine is located outside so you don’t even need to go in.
Four coin designs are available at this location which include: The Gettysburg Ghost Tour logo, a Cannon, the United States & Confederate flags, and Abraham Lincoln (this is a popular design here). The next machine was literally right next door.
It’s a little store called Bases Loaded. Just like the Ghost Tours their machine is located right outside and can be used even when the store isn’t open.
The machine is a Penny Pincher four design model. It was a little squeaky as I turned the handle to press my designs but the end results came out pretty good.
My last stop before taking a break was a little more of a hike. Only a few blocks but I ended up spending much more time inside than I had anticipated.
The Antique Center of Gettysburg was an amazing trip back in time. But first a little business, as soon as I walked inside the penny machine was located to the left.
The machine only had one design available, but as you can see in the picture above they also had 2×2 elongated cardboard coin holders. I thought this was actually pretty clever by the store especially since I had yet to see a pressed penny booklet anywhere.
The penny had an image of the National Tower Gettysburg with a cannon and the United States and Confederate Flags. With the penny safely stored away I was initially going to head back outside, but the draw of the antique items in this store drew me further inside. I was just mesmerized by the things they had in there that were all from the Battlefield. From musket balls and other civil war weaponry, to union army metal plates and canteens. I probably could have stayed in there for an hour at least, but kept my visit to about 20 minutes and I had only scratched the surface of what they had available for purchase.
Eventually I did head back outside and started to visit the last half of my stops before I needed to head home.