Eisenhower first lived in Gettysburg in 1918 at Camp Colt, the US Army Tanks Corps Training Center where he eventually served as commander. Many years later in 1950, Dwight and his wife, Mamie Eisenhower, bought a farm in Gettysburg, the town they chose to retire in. Today, their home is preserved by the National Park Service as Eisenhower National Historic Site (ENHS). Make your first stop a tour of their home, which looks just as it did when Ike and Mamie lived there.
After you’ve gathered some background information on the Eisenhowers, drive through town to the Gettysburg Presbyterian Church where Ike and Mamie attended church on Sunday mornings. Their pew is marked inside. If you’re visiting during the summer, you can take a Historic Church Walking Tour to learn more about how many of Gettysburg’s churches were used as hospitals during the Battle of Gettysburg. Also swing by Gettysburg College to 300 Carlisle Street. This was once Ike’s office, where he wrote four volumes of memoirs during retirement. Today, there is a statue in his honor outside.
You can see where Ike played golf, at what was once The Gettysburg Country Club, off Route 30. He even played with Arnold Palmer on this Gettysburg golf course. Today, the land is part of Gettysburg National Military Park. Then, catch a film at the Majestic Theater. Ike and Mamie would have date nights here when they were citizens of Gettysburg. And if you aren’t ready to go home just yet, stay at The Swope Manor Bed & Breakfast. This used to be the private residence of friends of Ike and Mamie Eisenhower. It is said the Eisenhowers would often visit their home to play bridge.
To discover more about Eisenhower, schedule a tour with a Gettysburg Licensed Town Historian to learn about Eisenhower’s years in Gettysburg or join ENHS for their Hike with Ike tours over the summer. And schedule another visit to Gettysburg in September for WWII Weekend at ENHS.