Lydia Leister, widow of James and mother of five children, bought a small farm along Taneytown Road in 1861 that would become a famous landmark during the Battle of Gettysburg just two years later.

During the Battle of Gettysburg, Lydia Leister and her family were displaced from their home along Taneytown Road when Union Gen. George Meade and his staff occupied it as a headquarters location. The house’s position behind the center of the Union lines resulted in considerable damage to the land and farm buildings. By 1874, Leister had recovered financially and was able to build a two-story addition to the east side of her house, which can be seen in the image above. Fourteen years later, the aging widow sold her farm to the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association,  which preserved it as Meade’s headquarters. Leister moved to town, taking the non-historic addition to the house along with her. She continued to live there until her death at the age of 84 in 1893. What a feat it must have been to move the structure from Taneytown Road to its new location on Emmitsburg Road!  

Did you know?

The structure still stands today and is owned by the Dobbin House Tavern as the Gettystown Inn Bed & Breakfast at 71 Steinwehr Ave.


About Author

Jessica Dean

Born and raised in Adams County, Pennsylvania, Jessica and her husband, Troy, created Celebrate Gettysburg magazine in 2007. Before starting the publication, Jessica was the art director for Frederick Magazine, a successful regional publication based in Frederick, Maryland. She was the president for the AIGA Blue Ridge chapter and has won numerous awards for her graphic design. Always eager to give back to the community, Jessica has helped to promote many local activities and has volunteered her design services to a variety of regional nonprofit organizations. She lives in downtown Gettysburg with her family.

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