Brev. Brig. Gen'l
- Feb 14, 2012
- Central Pennsylvania
Fred and George Thorn's portal forever opens onto Evergreen's side porch. The door behind them, no longer bricked over, enticingly swings on phantom hinges- into Gettysburg's forever summer, 1863.
With apologies to Gettysburg Greg, swear I've been poking around in these old treasures for quite awhile. Evergreen's Gatehouse is a huge favorite; more precisely Peter and Elizabeth Thorn's home. If I can't boast a copy of every, single era photo including one featuring the Thorn family laundry, over five years there are a good number.
I forget who the man is said to be. For some reason not Peter Thorn, who was home on emergency leave from the war or John Maser, Elizabeth Thorn's immigrant father who lived, until July 1st, 1863, in the other side of the gatehouse? No expert here, seems as if, with the boys so close, he would be one of the two.
Favorite? Two small boys dangling legs over the Thorn side, of what was the main, residential entrance. Long bricked over, an identical mismatch on the other side indicates where Elizabeth's parents, the Maser's, lived until July 1st, 1863. Elizabeth moved back in to the Gatehouse July 7th. Her boys, Fred, George and John would have, too- these two must be Fred and George- born 1856 and 1858. Two year old John let loose outside? Thinking not.
' Famous ' for having buried over 100 men, alone, in blazing PA heat while pregnant with daughter Rose, heck, that was just a veritable nightcap- trifecta, on powerful men pushing an immigrant woman through terrifying events centered around her teeny home. Understandably, we have more than one thread on the Thorns!
Harper's illustration, the family home top, right
“everything in the house was gone except three feather beds and a couple of pillows. The beds and a dozen pillows we had brought from the old country (Germany) were not fit to use again. The legs of six soldiers had been amputated on the beds in our house and they were ruined with blood and we had to make way with them.”
Elizabeth Maser Thorn
What a lot these little boys saw.