A Brief History: Standing at the intersection of Steinwehr Avenue and Baltimore Street you will find the historic Rupp House. Giving guests a look at life during the civil war era. The house built on 451 Baltimore Street was inhabited by the Rupp family during the Battle of Gettysburg and now opens it’s lower level as a museum, free to the public. In order to paint a clear picture of what kind of life the soldiers and civilians had to contend with during the civil war the Rupp House History Center features interactive exhibits that use touch, sight, sound and smell to showcase 19th-century culture. The history center also houses a sizable collection of periodicals and maps related to Gettysburg and the Civil war.
The Rupp family, consisting of John and Caroline Rupp, lived in the southern part of town, not far from cemetery hill with their six children aged 6 months to 13 years during July 1863 when the Battle of Gettysburg transpired. The original house that was turned over to John by his father Henry, who had acquired it in 1851, was severely damaged by a gun battle between soldiers that took place at his house during this time. John also took over operations for the family tannery at that time. The Rupp property traces back to the mid 18th-century when it was owned by Rev. Alexander Dobin. The current structure was built in 1868, during which time tragedy would fall on the Rupp house with the loss of their one year old daughter. Six months later the eldest daughter, Caroline May, would also fall prey to misfortune by falling into a pile of hot ashes and suffering considerable burns. Their anguish didn’t end there, in the days from August 31-September 2 two of their sons would lose their lives to encephalitis; followed two months later by John Rupp who passed away November 11, at the age of 46, from dysentery. Caroline was forced to sell most of the property after the death of her husband in 1872, since then it has changed hands many times. The Rupp house now serves as a gathering place for the Friends of Gettysburg after the group obtained the property in 2002 and opening the Rupp house in 2003.
Haunted History: Appearing on many local ghost tours some claims of paranormal activity include the feeling of children’s energy, the energy of an old man believed to be Jonas Rupp, unexplained pipe smells, cold spots, loud noises upstairs and electrical issues. The flowerbeds of the Rupp house are also said to be the final resting place for several confederate soldiers.