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“The Only Home the Eisenhowers Ever Owned -”

Eisenhower National Historic Site
Ranked #9 of 108 things to do in Gettysburg
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: President Eisenhower used this farm as a retreat from the White House, then retired here.
Reviewed April 9, 2013

Although I was spending the week in the area with Road Scholars on a program focusing on the Civil War, this was an excellent change of pace. To access this home and farm, you need to take a shuttle bus from the Gettysburg Visitor Center (see separate review of that attraction). During mid-March, the bus only runs hourly, but is more frequent in peak tourist season. Bus was a little worn out, but the driver provided a nice overview (he indicated that normally there is a recorded presentation, but it was not working).

After about a 10 minute ride, you arrive here. There is a very (very) small museum - size of a living room and a short video. The Park service personnel conduct regular tours of the first floor house, but the second floor is self-guided. You can also tour the farm, Ike's putting green, BBQ, the garage, the secret service area, the helicopter landing pad, etc.. The Park person who did the first floor tour for us was great - educational, but entertaining.

Truly a great time, only wished that I could have stayed longer - due to my own time limitations, I was not able to tour the farm part and see the pedigreed Angus cattle. This is still a working farm. You should allow, at least, two hours to do justice to this place.

Although I am a history buff, I'm not interested in "modern" history - anything after 1930 or so I usually find boring. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised about how enjoyable this tour was. Although the house is large (compared to standard houses) and is definitely upper class, I was amazed at how ordinary it looked. It felt like real people from the 1950's and 1960's lived here. Everything from the TV where Ike watched Bonanza and Mamie enjoyed her soaps to the paperback Westerns (Zane Grey, etc.) in Ike's bedroom! It was interesting to see his paintings all about - from the sunroom to the bedrooms. Although there are national treasures here, such as a fancy Persian rug that the Shah of Iran gave Ike, there are also very ordinary ash-trays (Ike and Mamie both smoked). This place truly felt like a home and not a Presidential Mansion.

Mamie's love of pink is particularly noteworthy in her bedroom (and also see her linen closet). Also, she collected knick-knacks, everything from valuable china to cheap plastic trinkets - fascinating! It was neat to see things that I actually own also - a Fenton glass shoe! I also really enjoyed seeing Ike's office (aka the temporary White House) and seeing where Ike received a phone call about the Soviet Union capturing U2 spy plane pilot.

Leave some time to stop at the book store / gift shop at the Farm as this is the only place in Gettysburg that you will find anything much about Eisenhower. (The main store at the Visitors Center does not carry anything about Eisenhower).

Really enjoyed this and highly recommend you visit here. I found the simplicity and down-to-earthiness of this place worth the visit.

2  Thank CynthiafromOhio2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"secret service"
in 57 reviews
"working farm"
in 38 reviews
"living room"
in 33 reviews
"putting green"
in 25 reviews
"retirement home"
in 25 reviews
"world leaders"
in 21 reviews
"visitor center"
in 101 reviews
"original furnishings"
in 17 reviews
"black angus"
in 13 reviews
"presidential history"
in 18 reviews
"the barn"
in 37 reviews
"step back in time"
in 36 reviews
"house tour"
in 23 reviews
"his life"
in 14 reviews
"park ranger"
in 38 reviews
"self guided"
in 36 reviews
"nice tour"
in 18 reviews
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845 - 849 of 1,012 reviews

Reviewed April 2, 2013

Shame on us!!!! On all of our previous trips to Gettysburg, we concentrated on the battlefields and little else.

Things changed last month, however, when we discovered this historic site. I don't know how we had missed it for so many years, so I want to let you know about it.

The Eisenhower Farm is definitely one place that you need to include in your visit to Gettysburg. Not only is the home so interesting to tour (it was wonderful to see how a US president could have such a warm and humble retreat!), but the park rangers actually invited us to explore the entire site........from the huge backyard ...to the former security building... to the working farms...to the outside guest house...to the garage with Dwight's vehicles.

Get the picture???? Yes, this is definitely a place where you can explore to your heart's desire! Family members, young and old, would really like to explore this site, I am sure. If you visit in the spring, you might luck out and see a mama cow delivering a calf as you walk by the fencing of the farm pastures. It has happened very often!

It's so great that this site is continuing the farming ventures of the Eisenhowers .........with both the animals that they are raising and the crops that they are planting.

Kudos to them!!!!

3  Thank LivinglifeinPA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2013

So simple in some ways! The decor is stuck in time and I appreciate that. I see why General and Mrs. Eisenhower loved this place. The view is unbelievably beautiful. The tour is simple and the guides provide little insight but it is a nice visit. It's unfortunate you cannot see more and get closer to the cars, etc...

1  Thank Kelly B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2013

I love that this house is set up as if Ike and Mamie might be around the corner -- things on the bedside table, for example. The tour guides were enthusiastic and knowledgable. And I learned more about a president I thought I know lots about already. Absolutely worth doing!

2  Thank janebeard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 25, 2013

This was the highlight of our trip as we had never been there before. The home is beautiful and the rangers and volunteers are so full of information. We were within inches of the desk where President Eisenhower conducted official business. Mamie's taste is everywhere- and we learned a lot about her- and how she ran her home. Fascinating.

1  Thank Debbie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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