Eisenhower National Historic
250 Eisenhower Farm Drive
Gettysburg, PA 17325
(717) 338-9114 ext. 10
WELCOME to the Eisenhower
National Historic Site
Ike, Gettysburg, and the Cold War
Eisenhower National Historic Site is the
home and farm of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Located adjacent
to the Gettysburg Battlefield, the farm served the President as a
weekend retreat and a meeting place for world leaders. With its
peaceful setting and view of South Mountain, it was a much needed
respite from Washington and a backdrop for efforts to reduce Cold
Eisenhower at Gettysburg
President Dwight D. Eisenhower�s
association with the town and battlefield of Gettysburg began in
the spring of 1915 when, as a cadet at the US Military Academy at
West Point, he visited with his class to study the battle. Three
years later during the First World War, Capt. Eisenhower found
himself back in Gettysburg with his wife Mamie and their first
Despite his hope for duty overseas, he had
been appointed commander of Camp Colt, the US Army Tank Corps
Training Center located on the fields of Pickett�s Charge.
Eisenhower�s orders were, �To take in volunteers, equip,
organize, and instruct them and have them ready for overseas
shipment when called upon.�
At war�s end Eisenhower left Gettysburg
for a new assignment, one of many in a 31 year career in which he
rose to the rank of five star general. After World War II, while
president of Columbia University, the General and his wife
returned to Gettysburg to search for a retirement home.
In 1950, fondly recalling Camp Colt days,
they bought a 189 acre farm adjoining the Gettysburg Battlefield.
Their retirement was delayed, however, when Eisenhower left for
Europe to assume command of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty
Eisenhower returned home to run for the
Presidency in 1952. To kick off his Pennsylvania campaign, he
welcomed state Republican leaders to a picnic at the farm.
During his first term as President, he and
Mamie renovated their Gettysburg home. Much of the original house
was not sound and had to be torn down. The construction was
complete by March of 1955 and the Eisenhowers began to visit on
weekends and holidays.
On weekends, the Eisenhowers entertained
family and friends at the farm. The President enjoyed playing golf
at the Gettysburg Country Club, shooting skeet at his skeet range,
and inspecting his herd of Angus show cattle.
Though Eisenhower used his weekends at
Gettysburg to escape the pressures of the Presidency, work was
never far away. He began each morning with a briefing on world
events. Meetings with staff were common especially during his
heart attack recuperation in 1955 when the Gettysburg Farm became
the �Temporary White House.�
Back in Washington, the President received a
steady stream of dignitaries, many of whom he invited to Camp
David for meetings, then on to his farm. After a tour of his Angus
herd and cattle barns, Eisenhower brought these world leaders back
to the house to sit on the porch. Eisenhower said the informal
atmosphere of the porch allowed him, �to get the other man�s
In 1961, after 45 years service to their
country, General and Mrs. Eisenhower retired to their Gettysburg
Farm. For the next eight years the Eisenhowers led an active life.
The General worked weekdays at his Gettysburg College office,
meeting political and business associates and writing his
He continued to serve as elder statesman
advising Presidents and meeting world leaders. But the Eisenhowers�
greatest joy was to simply spend time on their farm with family
General and Mrs. Eisenhower donated their
home and farm to the National Park Service in 1967. Two years
later, General Eisenhower died at the age of 78.
Mrs. Eisenhower rejected the idea of moving
to Washington to be closer to family and friends and continued to
live on the farm until her death in 1979. The National Park
Service opened the site in 1980.
Things to Do
Eisenhower National Historic Site comprises
690 acres and includes four farms, three of which were used by
President Eisenhower for his show herd of black Angus cattle.
Today the farm is maintained as it was during the Eisenhower years
and the President's home retains nearly all its original
furnishings. You are invited to tour the home and grounds, and
take a walk to the cattle barns and skeet range.
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