This amazing property just drips with historical significance! Now offered for sale at just $150,000, this log cabin that was constructed in 1790 — just 7 years after the American Revolution. So it has withstood the test of time and witnessed a lot of history — including, of course, the famous Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. But what makes this property even more remarkable is that Thaddeus Stevens once owned the property. Who was Thaddeus Stevens, you ask?
Well, besides being a handsome brute (see pic at right), Thaddeus Stevens was one of the most powerful members of Congress during the 1860s — the decade of the U.S. Civil War. So it’s interesting that he had formerly lived & practiced law in Gettysburg, which ultimately became the most famous battle site of the that war. Stevens was actually born in Vermont in 1792, but after attending Dartmouth and studying law in York, PA, he moved to Gettysburg in 1816 (at the age of just 24), establishing a successful law practice there. He lived in Gettysburg for 26 years, until he relocated to Lancaster in 1842. Stevens was described as “a witty, sarcastic speaker and flamboyant party leader,” and “the only member of the House of Representatives ever to have been known as the ‘dictator’ of Congress.” Indeed, he “dominated” the House of Representatives from 1861 until his death in 1868. As such, Stevens was instrumental in many important events during the 1860s, including writing much of the legislation that funded the Civil War and being one of the framers of the 14th Amendment of our Constitution (including the historic “Due Process” and “Equal Protection” clauses). Locally, he supported Gettysburg College and sold over 12.5 acres to the new institution.
The house was long occupied by Lydia Hamilton Smith, with whom Stevens had an open-yet secret relationship with. She was his long-time housekeeper and a prominent African-American businesswoman after his death. His friends referred to her as “Mrs. Stevens.” Stevens was recently portrayed by actor Tommy Lee Jones — who won an Oscar for this performance in “Lincoln.”
So obviously, this house is tied to one of the more important historical figures of the American 19th century. But even without that historical importance, it’s a cool-looking log cabin in the heart of Gettysburg — touted as “the most famous small town in America!“ How much better does it get in that price range??? As far as location, it sits at 138 W. Middle Street, in the heart of the Gettysburg Borough. The property sits just 1.5 blocks from Baltimore Street, the scene of a massive street battle of which remnants still exist.
When asked what’s nearby the property, the owner sent me this long list of things within a few blocks: “Coffee houses, a bakery, restaurants and bars, historic Majestic Theater (world class music and theater performances, movie theater), Gettysburg College, Gettysburg Hospital and health care providers, the public library, dozens of specialty retail stores (including antiques, books, jewelry, and gifts), public and professional services (municipal, legal, accounting), historic bed & breakfasts/inns, churches, Gettysburg National Military Park, Soldiers National Cemetery, Lutheran Seminary, and museums!”
Inside, the house features gorgeous hardwood floors, log walls, and “nooks and crannies galore.” The listing Realtor says this home “is like wrapping yourself in a cozy blanket.” It looks like the house has been updated inside while leaving a lot of the “log” elements exposed. According to the listing, the house has a large backyard, 3 off-street parking spaces, central air (despite log walls!), 3 bedrooms, and 1.5 baths. But the best feature in my opinion? The price. To me, $150,000 seems like a steal for such a cool & significant historic property, located in one of the most historic villages in the United States. At first, since it’s a log house, I thought it was probably on the small side, but the house is not even that small . . . the listing says 1,434 sqft — a respectable sized house!
Several more cool photos of the property follow below, but for more info or to inquire about the property, you can get the realtor information and check out a slideshow here.