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What is happening at LivingHistorySites this summer?

Several new and exciting things! We are looking forward to exploring history on our summer 2014 trip to South Carolina where we will be reviewing various sites in Columbia, the capital of South Carolina and coastal Charleston.....

We are also switching LivingHistorySites.com to a WordPress site that will allow you to search our content easier. Recategorizing information for historical sites, great dining locations and all the cool things to do in a particular location. We will have lists by city and by state, with suggested "things to do" and "things to see" packed with interesting tidbits and a realistic timeline!

A NEW Casino threat near Gettysburg Battlefield

Living History Sites has joined the fight to stop a casino from building near the Gettysburg Battlefield. We fought hard a few years ago, joining many local Gettysburg area groups and Battlefield Preservation, to get the word out about the proposed casino. We helped rally living historians, reenactors and homeschoolers against casino attempts.

Once again, we need to stand up to another proposal of a casino near the Gettysburg Battlefield.This time, the target is to take over the Eisenhower Hotel and Conference Center, and turn it into a casino.

We at Living History Sites are currently trying to ferret out information that we can give YOU, to fight this thing! 

Action Plan

1. Call the Eisenhower Hotel and Conference Center, at 717-334-8121, ask to speak to the manager, and flood his voice mail with calls saying NO CASINO.  They prominently feature reenactors on their website and proclaim that "Gettysburg is a national treasure." Good. Let's keep it that way. Send an email too This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2. If you are on Facebook and Twitter join No Casino Gettysburg now, to get real time updates!

3. Join the Civil War Preservation Trust, a wonderful organization that helps preserve battlefields across America, and fights corporate takeover of battlefields. Donations to CWPT are greatly needed, please consider giving.

4. Help us start an email campaign urging anyone you know (Civil War reenactors, living historians, Civil War buffs, history lovers, homeschool families) to take action NOW. Flood the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with emails.

We continue trying to ferret out information about this proposed casino near Gettysburg, and keep you updated on attempts to STOP this travesty. Please check back often!

David LeVan, a Gettysburg businessman, is the pushing to make this happen.  Stop his proposed Mason Dixon Resort - ugh. Another article here.

I have emailed and asked for permission to reprint this article from John Messeder in the Gettysburg Times newspaper here, and will keep it up UNTIL that I hear otherwise.

Casino foes gird for battle

Times Staff Writer
Published: Tuesday, December 1, 2009 7:33 AM EST
They claimed victory three years ago, and they intend to do it again — block a casino from being established in or near Gettysburg.

Gettysburg businessman and philanthropist David LeVan is seeking a license to establish a 500-machine casino based on the current Eisenhower Inn, a hotel and convention center on Emmitsburg Road, south of Gettysburg Borough.

No Casino Gettysburg has, in the past three days, created a presence on Twitter and Facebook — two social networking sites on the Internet — and has created its own networking site. At 4 p.m. Monday, the Facebook site boasted 1,054 members.

“Before Friday night, we had three members,” said Susan Star Paddock, licensed clinical social worker, consultant to social-purpose organizations, and organizer of the No Casino group.

“There’s a lot of energy,” she said.

Membership, according to the Facebook site, includes two officers: Paddock and IT Specialist Rachel C. Evans.

Paddock noted the proposed casino would place an adults-only facility within a half-mile of the Gettysburg National Military Park, and directly on an established Journey Through Hallowed Ground route that connects Gettysburg, at its northern end, with Monticello at the south.

The area also is home to a motorcycle shop, motels and bed and breakfast establishments, a so-called sports complex, and a Boyds Bears outlet.

Susan’s husband, landscape architect James Paddock, acknowledged the other commercial establishments, but he said casinos are different.

“They tend to have problems going in anywhere, like prisons and landfills,” he said, adding casinos also attract such features as “pawn shops and crime.

“I think they’re things that are real,” he said, referring to “all kinds of studies” he said support his belief.

Susan Star Paddock was less severe, but no less adamant in her opposition to the “adult-oriented” nature of the casino business.

“Are people under 18 allowed in casinos?” she queried, adding, “there is a distinction between an adults-only facility and adult entertainment.”

LeVan has been named in at least one other proposal to build a casino in Adams County, near Littlestown. The most recent speculation was that he would link it with Hanover Shoe Farms, a thoroughbred race horse breeding business.

But Susan Paddock pointed out LeVan had not actually applied for a license, or specified a place to locate the gaming facility.

“Now there is no application, but there is a specific site,” she said, “and a ... strong push to get an amendment to the table gaming legislation.”

The amendment would allow LeVan, who missed the previous application deadline, to seek the requisite state license.

Paddock pointed out Gov. Edward Rendell initially wanted the table gaming legislation passed “by Thanksgiving; now he wants it by Christmas.”

It is being discussed, along with the amendment, and Paddock said she feared it would come out of committee and be approved before the public had a chance to react.

In the 2006 application, LeVan proposed to build a casino, spa and hotel in the northeast quadrant of the U.S. 15/30 interchange.

Supporters said the facility would attract gamblers from the Baltimore-Washington, D.C metro areas, as well as areas closer to Gettysburg.

They also touted the union laborers who would build it and the high, for Adams County, wages of the employees who would staff it.

Led by No Casino Gettysburg and funded in part by Civil War Preservation Trust, opponents pointed out the adult nature of the facility, and noted efforts in Maryland to establish slot machine gaming in that state, separated only by a state line from Adams County.

The state gaming commission ended more than 18 months of controversy in December 2006 when, following a script clearly written during the board’s executive session the previous night, it awarded its two available “at-large” casino licenses to Mount Airy No. 1, in the Poconos, and Bethlehem Sands, in the Lehigh Valley.

By direct implication the controversial application for Crossroads Gaming Resort and Spa was denied, in part because of the strength of opposition to it being built near Gettysburg.

Paddock said her group’s early organization would be letting “letting legislators and Gov. Rendell know how we feel (about) any possibility of having a casino that close to hallowed ground.”

She called the battlefield “part of a public trust” established by Congress, and by implication by the people of the United States.

She noted the other businesses in the area of the Eisenhower Inn have in common, “you can bring children.

“I’m just saying that it doesn’t fit ... across the street from a teddy bear shop and a sports complex, and if they build a water park, (then) a water park,” she said, “and it especially doesn’t fit a half-a-mile from our national treasure.”

According to published reports, LeVan has an option to purchase the Eisenhower Inn complex if he is successful in his quest for a casino license.

Readers may contact John Messeder at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Wondering how much it costs to drive somewhere?

If you are like most of us, you wonder how much it REALLY costs to drive somewhere! Oftentimes, we guess and come up with an amount, which ends up having nothing to do with reality.

A friend shared this quick and handy Cost To Drive website with Living History Sites, so we can share it with our readers! Now you can know exactly how much it will cost to drive from one historical location in the United States, to the next living history site you want to see!

 Enjoy and happy trails!!

Historical Christmas Happenings in NE TN

It is truly the most wonderful time of the year! Our family absolutely loves celebrating all of the historical Christmas happenings in Northeast Tennessee, and we will be covering all of these places for LivingHistorySites.com! Join us for a few weekends of “Time Travel”at local destinations, enjoying living history. Travel easily from the western frontier around the time of the Revolutionary War, all the way up to the Civil War, with many stops in-between!

Candlelight Christmas Dec 4 & 5th, Dec 11 & 12

Join the Cobb family as they celebrate Christmas in the 18th century, before the heavy commercialization we know today. For the Cobbs 1791 was a special Christmas; Governor Blount has just returned to Rocky Mount, bringing his family from North Carolina. Music, dancing, decorations, and sacred tales will all be part of your experience on this magical candle-lit evening.

Time: Tours begin at 4:30 each night.  The last tour starts at 8:00.
Reservations are highly recommended.
Cost: $7.00 for adults and $5.00 for children ages three to seventeen.
Group rates are available for groups of twelve or more that make reservations
Members are admitted at a discount.
Other discounts do not apply.


Exchange Place ~ Kingsport TN

December 5, Saturday 10-4:00, Special Yule Log Ceremony at 4:00 pm

Enjoy “Christmas in the Country” at the Exchange Place. Period crafts, cooking, beautiful handmade wreaths and a mid-19th century Christmas celebration for the whole family! http://www.exchangeplace.info


Tipton Haynes Historic Site ~ Johnson City

December 5, 2009

Visions of Christmas 1859 – Saturday (cannot confirm times at this printing, has been 2pm-6pm in the past. Join the Haynes family as they celebrate a Civil War Christmas, right before the war actually broke out. Holiday music, refreshments, and activities in the museum for children. This is an absolutely DELIGHFUL event! Admission charged. http://www.tipton-haynes.org/


Sycamore Shoals ~ Elizabethton TN ~ Christmas at the Carter Mansion

Friday, December 4 and Saturday, December 5 from 6:00 – 9:00pm

Spend an evening in the oldest frame house in Tennessee, built on the frontier around 1775 and widely known for its extraordinary interior craftsmanship.  The Mansion is decorated for Christmas in the style of the 1780s and features costumed interpreters, refreshments, and music to highlight this candlelit evening. www.sycamoreshoals.org


December Muster at Fort Watauga

Saturday, December 5 and Sunday, December 6 10:00am – 4:00pm

Bring in the season with the Company of Overmountain Men during the re-enactment of an 18th century Christmas in the backwoods of Colonial America, featuring living history demonstrations and more. www.sycamoreshoals.org


Old Christmas: Militia Muster at Fort Watauga

Saturday & Sunday, January 9 & 10, 2010 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm  

Christmas isn’t over yet!  European migrants brought Old World holiday traditions to America, from the Dutch Sinter Klaus to the Twelve Days of Christmas.  Discover the English, German, Scotch-Irish, and Dutch roots of our modern holiday celebrations. www.sycamoreshoals.org


Netherland Inn ~ Kingsport

Dec. 4-6 A Flatboat Christmas at The Inn

Featuring the East Tennessee Bluegrass Band on Friday, Dec. 4. Doors open at 5 PM. Music starts 6 PM. Tickets include the band, Tours of the Inn decorated by local Garden Clubs, Wreath Festival & Silent Auction. Refreshments served. Free shuttle transportation from the KCVB offices downtown. Tickets, $10, children under 6 free, are available at TK Hot Dogs, KCVB and Netherland Inn Museum Shop. On Dec. 5 and Dec. 6 the Inn is open featuring all of the above except the ETSU band. Please note: http://www.netherlandinn.com/html/events.html


Davy Crockett Birthplace December 12~ Crockett Christmas

Travel down to the Limestone area, on the way to Greeneville for a “Crockett Christmas.” Enjoy a living history event that with a glimpse of Christmas past on the western frontier. The birthplace cabin will be decorated in pioneer spirit and filled with traditional music and storytelling. Enjoy hot wassail and edibles common to that period. The path to the cabin will be lit by candlelight and a nice warm fire in the cabin and outside the cabin will keep you toasty warm. Event time will be 2:00-9:00 pm for Saturday. For more information http://www.state.tn.us/environment/parks/DavyCrockettSHP/pdf/events.pdf



December 12 at 6 pm

“Twelve Days of Christmas" Night Christmas Parade ~ Saturday December 12 6pm
Enjoy a lighted night parade in downtown Historic Jonesborough -  http://www.jonesboroughtn.org/


Enjoy your “Time Traveling” in the Tri-Cities area this Christmas! Visit our website at www.LivingHistorySites.com for more information on these events!

Summer Presidential Homes Tour ~ Charlottesville Area

Living History Sites is excited to announce our Summer Presidential Homes Tour in the Charlottesville, Virginia area. 

We will be bringing you the inside scoop on our third president Thomas Jefferson's stunning main home, Monticello. We will cover the home, grounds, gardens, slave quarters and what you need to know to get the most out of your Monticello visit. We will also take a trip up to his Poplar Forest summer retreat, an octagonal home! 

Just down the road from Monticello, we will explore James Monroe's Ash Lawn-Highlan, our fifth president and bring you the information you need to know to make the most of your trip to visit these stunning homes. 

Michie Tavern is also on our list, we will be going on a tour of this Revolutionary Era tavern and meeting place that played such an important part in the political arena of it's day. We will try the hearty Mid-day Fare and share the experience with you.

We will spend a day at our 4th president, the "Father of our Constitution," James Madison's lovely Montpelier. We will explore the home he shared with Dolley Madison and share their slice of history with our LivingHistorySites.com readers.

We will also explore the charming city of Charlottesville and bring you face to face with Thomas Jefferson's favorite legacy, the University of Virginia. Living History Sites will explore restaurants, great places to stay. Since it is Emily's birthday, you know we will be looking for a cupcake or two to celebrate her big day!

Americas Favorite Restaurants

Enjoy a new poll by Budget Travel on "America's Favorite Restaurants."

Over 600 people responded and they give you some off beat, frugal ideas for eating out as you travel around looking at Living History Sites all over America!

Great ideas for frugal travel with loads of style!