Footnotes from the Foothills

On the Foothills Artists' Tour: Hobbit House Pottery

On the Foothills Artists’ Tour: Hobbit House Pottery

By Karen Hendricks

“Over the river and through the wood,” begins the beloved holiday poem about Thanksgiving travels. It could also apply to the adventuresome Adams County tour known as the Foothills Artists’ Studio Tour, always held the weekend before Thanksgiving. This year’s 10th annual tour, Nov. 19-20, links the homes and studios of about 10 artists dotting the picturesque landscape of western Adams County.

In the shadow of South Mountain— the northernmost Appalachian Mountains—the tour is more of an experience than an artist tour, mixing all genres of art with historic homes, unique studios, winding back roads, countryside vistas, conversations, and Continue reading


Authentic Flavors, Family, and Achieving the American Dream

By Karen Hendricks – Did you know that Mexican restaurants are the third most popular type of restaurant in the U.S.? According to figures from 2014, there are 54,000 Mexican restaurants across the country. Interestingly, a huge market share–74 percent–are independently-owned.*

One fine example can be found in Gettysburg, PA: At Tania’s Mexican Restaurant, it’s all about authentic flavors, family, and achieving the American dream.

Continue reading

Footnotes from the Appalachian Trail

View from Pole Steeple

View from Pole Steeple

By Karen Hendricks – I’ve been fascinated by the Appalachian Trail since my elementary school days, when I created my first ever science/research fair project on the A.T. So when I recently had the chance to write a magazine article on “the most popular hiking trail in America,” I jumped at the chance and was fascinated all over again, some 35 years later. Continue reading

At the Crossroads

At the CrossroadsSpring… a time for renewal, rebirth and growth. Everything about spring seems to contradict all of my preconceived opinions of hospice care. But after researching my latest story for Celebrate Gettysburg magazine, and meeting some of the most compassionate people on earth (really!), I have a new opinion and reoriented beliefs about hospice care. Springtime truly is the perfect time to read about hospice care–celebrating quality of life, honoring life’s journey, and touching lives. Continue reading

Adams County Icons: From Battlefield to Barns

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York Springs Landmark: The Trostle Barn, currently undergoing rennovations

By Karen Hendricks

I won’t ever look at a barn the same way again. These days, while I’m driving through central PA and beyond, I can spot and ID the traditional Pennsylvania Barn–all thanks to Curt Musselman, Historic Gettysburg-Adams County (HGAC) board member and Barn Preservation Project chair. Curt “schooled me” on the subjects of barn preservation, types of barns, and the importance of documenting these historic structures dotting our rolling agricultural landscape. He’s the driving force behind the HGAC’s Adams County Barn Registry. It was all part of a freelance assignment for Celebrate Gettysburg magazine.

Barn expert Curt Musselman

Barn expert Curt Musselman

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HGAC is selling 2014 calendars featuring Battlefield Barns as a fundraiser–Call 717-334-5185 for more information.

Click here to read the full article, These Old Barns: Preserving Adams County’s Agricultural Icons. And what a thrill… the story was selected as Celebrate Gettysburg magazine’s cover story in the current January/February issue.

Celebrate Gettysburg mag cover Jan-Feb 2014

Cover Photography by Bill Dowling; Barn owner John Trostle is pictured.

I also interviewed Jayne Shord, owner of perhaps the most meticulously-preserved barn in all of Adams County. It was a treat, to tour her beautiful property, Beech Springs Farm, located in Orrtanna, PA. I first met Jayne several years ago when she hosted a dinner including then-Governor Edward G. Rendell and the awarding of the Pennsylvania Culinary Art Award. Since then, the property has grown even more beautiful under Jayne’s expert guidance–including her talent for gardening and her oversight of Beech Spring Farm’s barn preservation project. Below is a collection of photos I snapped while interviewing her back in October. (Click on any photo to open a gallery.)

Also in October 2013, Gettysburg’s tourism community was in the grips of a government shutdown. What could have been a crippling event for a community dependent upon the flow of visitors across the hallowed battlefield, turned out to be an experience that bonded businesses together and produced creativity, resilience and perseverance.

Click here to read Gettysburg Tourism Community Rallies Amid Government Shutdown, featuring stunning photography by Casey Martin.

More to the Stories…

Click here for more Shutdown Stats & Quotes

And click here to learn about the 5 types of barns found in Adams County, the benefits of barn preservation, and a few more stories behind the people interviewed in the article.


Celebrate Gettysburg magazine / Beech Springs Farm /

Historic Gettysburg Adams County / Shriver House Museum

Hickory Hollow Farm Horse Tours / Gettysburg Tour Center

Word Clouds… in the Forecast

By Karen Hendricks

Welcome to “Gettysburg Social!” This column examines the latest social media trends, while highlighting Gettysburg and Adams County businesses. This article was first published in Celebrate Gettysburg magazine, Sept/Oct 2013. 

Word clouds are a tech trend that’s “forecasted” to continue and grow in usage. And this is one type of cloud that definitely includes silver linings!

Chances are you’ve seen a word cloud recently—on social media, in a presentation, in advertisements or as artwork. These clusters of words are usually grouped together in a theme, with a handful of words appearing especially prominent. Word clouds can also be called tag clouds or word art.

Lincoln Word Art

For a Gettysburg-themed word cloud, I entered the text of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address into, which also let me select a likeness of Abraham Lincoln’s face as the shape.

Many of us are in “back to school” mode, and learning about word clouds is a valuable lesson with implications for students of all ages, as well as those in the business community. Here’s a basic primer:

  • Go to one of several websites that generate word clouds:,,, or the kid-friendly
  • Type in text of any kind: answers to a poll, text from a speech, a chapter from a literary work, or even a website URL.
  • The website will generate a word cloud, pulling the most frequently-used words into a jumble.
  • You can even customize the colors, font and shape of the word cloud.
  • Save the word cloud into a jpeg or other file of your choice, or save the URL generated.

Need a few ideas to get you started? Use a word cloud in the opening slide for your next presentation or PowerPoint to emphasize your main points, create a customized word cloud for your website or blog header, or see what words are trending within an industry or within current events (enter into tagxedo, for example). Teachers could create word clouds based upon students’ answers to a question to see the most popular responses. Or you can create word clouds as works of art based upon your favorite poems or literary works, and frame them. The sky’s the limit!

For previous Gettysburg Social articles, see:

Apps Put History at our Fingertips

Blogging: from Battlefields to Bliss

Springtime Tweets

Introducing Gettysburg Social: Pinterest

Apps Put History at our Fingertips

By Karen Hendricks

Welcome to “Gettysburg Social!” This bi-monthly column examines the latest social media trends, while highlighting Gettysburg and Adams County businesses. This article was first published in Celebrate Gettysburg magazine, July/August 2013.

The saying goes, “Everything old is new again,” and how very true when new technology aids us in better understanding American history. With the 150th anniversary of the Civil War upon us, I thought it would be highly appropriate to examine a tech trend that can literally put history at our fingertips.

Apps, short for application programs, are downloaded to mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets, and they aid us in everyday tasks such as finding directions, checking the weather or alerting us to the latest news. Lots of apps also entertain us. Angry Birds, anyone?

Gettysburg 150th Walking Tour

Gettysburg 150th Walking Tour

Apps are tailored for our various devices—primarily Android devices or Apple products, such as iPhones.  In 2008, when the iPhone launched, there were 800 apps available. Just five years later, that number has exploded to 775,000 according to Apple.

So, going back in time 150 years, I wonder what Abraham Lincoln would think about mobile devices aiding in our study of his Gettysburg Address and specific events from the Civil War…

Whether you live in Adams County or are visiting, here are three mobile apps—all free and available for iPhone, iPad or iPod—that can enhance your appreciation of Gettysburg’s history. (Tip: Connect ear buds to your device for optimal experience.)

Gettysburg 150th Walking Tour: Developed by the Gettysburg Convention & Visitors Bureau, this app features a tour of key downtown Gettysburg landmarks with voiceover narration.

PA Markers: Stories Behind the Signs

PA Markers: Stories Behind the Signs

The Civil War Trust’s Gettysburg Battle App: Stories, videos, audio, maps, facts and images work together to bring the Battle of Gettysburg to life in two key locations—Devil’s Den and Little Round Top.

PA Markers: Drive any given stretch of roadway in Pennsylvania, and you’re bound to see navy blue historical signs. This app, developed by public radio and television station WITF, provides brief history lessons behind all 500-plus signs in the Keystone State.

Two additional apps fill the gaps in your travels in Adams County and beyond: The new Celebrate Gettysburg magazine app puts every issue conveniently at your fingertips and the Maryland Civil War Trails app takes you across the Mason-Dixon Line for history, events, restaurants and much more. 

Do you utilize apps while traveling and exploring? Feel free to leave a comment and share your favorites!

For previous Gettysburg Social articles, see:

Blogging… from Battlefields to Bliss

Springtime Tweets

Pinterest: Introducing “Gettysburg Social”