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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 great spot for a much needed break from Washington and a backdrop for efforts to reduce Cold War tensions.
Tour the President's home, enjoy a self-guided walk around the farm, or join a park ranger for an exploration of 1950s Secret Service operations or a look back at WWII and Ike's problems as Supreme Commander. Visit the virtual multi-media exhibit that celebrates Dwight D. Eisenhower, his military career, wartime leadership, and popular presidency; and the exuberant, trend-setting First Lady Mamie. Have an intimate visit with Ike and Mamie in their comfortable home, and see Ike's successful cattle operation at Eisenhower Farms. The Farm still maintains a herd of black Angus cattle. It is also home to a variety of wildlife including several threatened species.
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 son. 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 from Allen Redding who, according to son Raphael Redding, "was always very proud of the fact... that he sold to General Eisenhower." The Eisenhowers' retirement was delayed, however, when the General left for Europe to assume command of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
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.
To learn about the history of this site, visit nps.gov/eise.