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Exploring Gettysburg's Neighbors: The Barker House Bed and Breakfast and New Oxford, PA

We start off our journey through Gettysburg and Adams County with our arrival at the Barker House Bed and Breakfast in New Oxford, PA. This was our home away from home for this weekend. Elizabeth and Robert were tremendous hosts to us, welcoming us into their charming bed and breakfast that dates back to 1794 when it was built as an inn by Richard Knight. He sold the home to the Hersh family in 1801, who would hold onto it for more than 150 years. The building consists of a log structure that was encased in brick from the former Alwine Brick Company, which was located nearby. Throughout the New Oxford, you will notice that the majority of structures utilize brick construction from the former brickworks adding a certain stateliness to these already beautiful old buildings. 
Our kind hosts, Robert and Elizabeth. It is clear that they are truly passionate about their enticing bed and breakfast. 
The building has four rooms, in addition to the cottage in the beautiful backyard. It is the second oldest building in the small borough of New Oxford, just a few short miles east of Gettysburg on the Lincoln Highway on the eastern edge of Adams County. 
The center of New Oxford
This historic place is truly a hidden gem and it makes for an excellent launch point to all of the nearby attractions in Gettysburg. In addition to the beautiful architecture, nice little shops, a coffee house, bakery, and more. This area is also an antique aficionado's dream, with many great shops throughout.
The main room area at the Barker House, a stunning room that still has the original wooden floors. This room was originally built to be a tavern area. Now it is a relaxing place to sit and socialize with Elizabeth and Robert, other guests, and to play with their friendly cats, Mattie and Allie.
As can be expected for a building that dates back into the 18th century, this building is abundant with history. The home was commandeered by Confederate General John Gordon on June 27th, 1863, as he and his men occupied the New Oxford during their push north and east to the heart of the Union. The general plotted his army's move eastward to York and beyond. When morning came, they continued their quest eastward, only to be stopped just beyond York by the heroic actions of a Union Militia. The Militia burned a mile-long covered bridge, the Wrightsville-Columbia Bridge, preventing the Confederates from moving north and east, into local places like Lancaster and Harrisburg, and major cities of the Northeast. Due to these efforts, York would be the largest city that the Confederates would seize control of throughout the entire war, and that seizure lasted just 48 hours. General Gordon's army moved back towards Gettysburg for the fateful clash that would force the Confederates back down to the south for good, likely saving the lives of thousands in the more densely populated northern cities. The extra time that General Gordon's army took resting in New Oxford possibly gave the Union Soldiers more time to prevent a Confederate march across the Susquehanna, something that would have certainly ended in a devastating fashion, possibly worse than the events in Gettysburg. 

Once the Confederate armies moved back towards Gettysburg, New Oxford would get caught in the horrors of those fateful days during and after the Battle of Gettysburg, having to help care for the tens of thousands injured and dying soldiers. The days and weeks following the Gettysburg Campaign ended up even worse for the residents in and around Gettysburg as the citizens had to care for the wounded, bury the dead, clean up the mess, and pick up the pieces of their shattered lives in their once idyllic small and agrarian region. It would take years for the area to recover. The citizens of Adams County had to attempt to bury the over 50,000 dead soldiers of arguably several of the worst days of carnage in American History. In the ensuing weeks and months in the dead heat of the summer, disease ran rampant, killing scores of civilians.

The Barker House story is one of redemption. In the wake of one of the worst moments in our nation's history, the Hersh family was able to overcome the struggle and eventually go back to living normal lives. The fitting reuse of this grand building as a bed and breakfast embraces this return to tranquility of the past. There is something truly special about this place.
One of our hosts, Elizabeth, holding one of their two cats and Brit having a blast playing with the cat.  
They have the indenture (contract) for the original sale of the property to the Hersh family. This document is over two centuries old and it is definitely not something you get to see every day!
Here is the view up the main stairway.
There is so much charm here. This grandfather clock dates back to the 1800s and it is a stunning timepiece. The Barker House is filled with charming and wonderful antique touches throughout.
We stayed in the lovely Kent Room. This room is beautifully furnished and truly felt like a home away from home.
The room was was warm and cozy and we highly recommend this place if you are looking for a peaceful respite accompanied by hearty, home-cooked breakfasts near the Gettysburg area.

The dining room is stunning, gazing out onto the backyard. They serve delicious three-course breakfasts, a perfect way to fill up before heading out to explore Gettysburg!
The "Light as a Feather" muffins were excellent, along with these "Heavenly Bananas." The bananas were in a light creme that was simply scrumptious.
The main course, lemon blueberry French toast topped with a lemon sauce and bacon, were made to perfection. Day two of our stay brought us a delicious dish with poached eggs.
We were really sad to leave after two nights at this exquisite and welcoming abode. As they say, we came in as strangers and left as friends.  Elizabeth and Robert were terrific hosts and we are thankful for their hospitality in hosting us, along with Destination Gettysburg. We certainly recommend that if you are visiting the Gettysburg area, be sure to spend a weekend (or longer if you have the time!) at the Barker House Bed and Breakfast.
The Barker House is located at 10 Lincoln Way West, New Oxford, PA 17350

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