ALBG Actions and Resolutions 1939-1916

Note: the minute books of the organization these years do not exist.  Records that appear below were culled from a variety of sources, predominantly newspaper of accounts of meetings and actions of the Association; letters to and from the National Park Service on a variety of issues and fragmentary records in the Association archives

1939        Aug 4 TOWN FOLDERS:  President Allison announced that a contribution from the Association treasury of $40 was being made towards the $500 needed to fund the 50,000 special Gettysburg Folders.(Gettysburg Times, Aug 4, 1939, p1; Gettysburg Compiler, Aug 19, 1939 p2 Most of the folders are to be sent to the Pennsylvania Building at the New York World’s Fair.)
1939        Apr 24 RADIO PRESENCE: Battlefield Guides Association at a recent meeting decided to take part in a 30-minute “going forward program” for Gettysburg that will be broadcast over a Baltimore radio station weekly for eight weeks. It was chosen for its advertising potential for both the town and the guides. (Gettysburg Times – April 24, 1939 and Gettysburg Compiler – May 6, 1939)
1939        Apr 24 ASSOCIATION ADVERTISING: President Allison reported at a recent meeting  that “in the last ten years the Battlefield Guides Association has spent more than $1,500 in membership in the Chamber of Commerce and other publicity programs. Apart from this, the guides advise tourists daily to stop in the town and furnish free information to nine out of every ten cars that approach the town.” “The guides are rendering invaluable service to the traveling public and ask the cooperation of all concerned.” (Gettysburg Times Apr 24, 1939, p1 and Gettysburg Compiler May 6, 1939)
1938       Apr 5 BOROUGH PARKING METER ISSUE: Borough Council discussed the issue of placing parking meters in town. Councilman Clyde Berger said the BGA approved the meters and that many individual guides favor the meters and have offered to carry a supply of nickles to deposit in the meters for tourists. Councilman Frank B. Slonaker said the matter had never been put before the Guides’ Association.  (Gettysburg Times, April 5, 1938, p1)
1937       Jun 12 SOLICITATION WARNINGS: Newspaper article mentions several close calls and near accidents at the battlefield guide stations. Corporal J. G. Warren of the highway patrol warned that arrests will be made if guides persist in stopping motorists on the highway to solicit battlefield trips. (Gettysburg Compiler,  June 5, 1937, p4)
1937       Mar 26 OPENING OF GUIDE STATIONS: About 40 members of the BGA met Friday evening at the Eagle Hotel for their regular monthly meeting and heard plans about the opening of the two entrance stations being erected on the battlefield.  A committee of six guides was appointed by President Allison to meet with Supt. McConaghie to prepare a program for the opening of the stations on the Emmitsburg and Chambersburg Roads. Committee: Edmund Power, Logan Irwin, Roy Wolf, Benton Gilbert, John Hamilton and Wilbur Mehring.  (Gettysburg Times, Mar 27, 1937, p1; Star and Sentinel – April 3, 1937, p4)
1936       Nov 27 MONEY RAISED FOR EXPENSES OF PROJECT: Letters of appreciation were read at the meeting from participants in the Shenandoah Valley Days. 40 members were in attendance. Also raised $150 which was assigned as the BGA’s cost of entertaining the visitors from the south. Other routine business was transacted. (Gettysburg Times, Nov. 28, 1936 p1)
1936       Oct 23 ENDORSEMENT OF SHENANDOAH VALLEY DAYS PROJECT: At a special meeting of the BGA the membership “heartily endorsed plans” for Shenandoah Valley Day to be observed here Nov 5 and 6. Seventy-five leaders of the famous Valley District will be here as guests of the community.  The members voted to cooperate in every way possible for the the entertainment of visitors. (Gettysburg Time, Oct. 23, 1936 p1)
1936       Aug 13 RESOLUTION OF OPPOSITION TO DIRECTIONAL SIGNS PASSED: At a special meeting of the BGA the committee of Clyde Bream, Lloyd Hartman and Leander Martin presented the resolution of opposition to the NPS directional signs. They were appointed at the special meeting two weeks ago. It was passed by the membership and presented to Superintendent James R. McConaghie. It consisted of a preamble containing 17 reasons for their opposition and concluded “in our opinion the public should be encouraged to take a licensed battlefield guide at Gettysburg rather than be encouraged not to take one.” It further expressed opposition to the “erection of wooden directional signs (arrows) on the battlefield and any other wooden signs in the future.” (Gettysburg Times, Aug 8, 1936 p1; Star and Sentinel Aug 22, 1936 p4)
1936       Aug 8 OPPOSITION TO ERECTION OF DIRECTIONAL SIGNS: At a special meeting of the BGA at the Eagle Hotel the guides went on record as opposing the erection of directional signs placed by the NPS to direct visitors over the battlefield. The NPS has been placing those signs for several months and is doing so to help non-guided visitors to get around the 16,000 acre battlefield in a circuitous route.  (Gettysburg Star and Sentinel, August 8, 1936, p3)
1935       Aug 15 ENDORSEMENT OF 75th ANNIVERSARY PLANS: At a special meeting at the Eagle Hotel the BGA officially endorsed the plans for the observance of the 75th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg and the proposed joint reunion of the Blue and Gray.  (Gettysburg Times, August 16, 1935, p1)
1935       June 28 ASSOCIATION APOLOGY: At a meeting it was decided that the Association send a communication to the director of the NPS “At the dinner to the members of the National Park Service held Monday evening, June 24, there was brought to the attention of the battlefield guides attending, the report of improper conduct on the part of one of the guides while accompanying a visiting party over the battlefield. We felt deeply chagrined.” (Gettysburg Times, July 5, 1935, p1; Star and Sentinel July 6, 1935)
1935       Apr 26 SHENANDOAH VALLEY GOOD WILL VISIT COMMITTEE: President Allison appointed a committee to secure guides to visit the Shenandoah Valley on a good-will tour next month, May 16-17 and a second group a week later.  The committee consisted of Clarence Swinn, J. H. Kadel, John E. Slaybaugh, James Howe, Wilbur Mehring, and Robert Bollinger. 30 LBG’s reported present at the meeting in the Eagle Hotel  (Gettysburg Times – April 27, 1935, p1; Gettysburg Times May 4, 1935, p1 – Reported that as of now no interest in the trips and in danger of being cancelled. Gettysburg Times of May 14, 1935, p1 reported 55 signed up to go including 35 guides. Gave complete itinerary. Gettysburg Times, May 21, 1935 p1 reported need ten more for second good will tour. The first was a “huge success.”)
1935       Apr 26 DONATION TO SONS OF VETERANS: Association voted a contribution of $50 toward the expenses of the Sons of Veterans reserve camp to be held here in connection with the annual state convention of the GAR in June. (Gettysburg Times – April 27, 1935, p1)
1935       Mar 28 FAM TRIP TO SHENANDOAH VALLEY: Another item of business was the planning of another joint BGA / Chamber of Commerce Fam trip to sites in the Shenandoah Valley including a drive along the newly opened Skyline. Two parties of 30 guides and 30 Chamber of Commerce members each will travel, The guide planning committee consists of William Allison, Moses Bair and Wilbur
Mehring.  (Gettysburg Time, April 3, 1935 p2)
1935       Mar 28 RESOLUTION TO GETTYSBURG POLICE: Resolved at the BGA business meeting to urge the Gettysburg Police Department to “show more courtesy to visitors, especially in regard to our traffic regulations and violations thereof.” An officer reported “With no uniform system of traffic lights in Gettysburg it is manifestly unfair that the police should arrest a tourist who unintentionally drives past either one of the two signal lights…tourists who are fined for such violations take away a very unfavorable impression of Gettysburg.”  60 members were in attendance. (Gettysburg Times, April 1, 1935, p1)
1935       Jan 10 LETTER FROM PRESIDENT TO THE COMMUNITY: President Allison wrote an open letter to Gettysburg:   “The Gettysburg battlefield, for the past 20 years, has had a guide service licensed by the government and under supervision of the war department, until the recent transfer to the national park service of the Department of the Interior. One hundred men have passed the examinations authorized by the Secretary of War in 1914 and held at different times in the offices of the National Park Commission. These licensed guides have conducted thousands of tourists over the battlefield, continually selling Gettysburg and its battlefield to people of all classes, with but very little complaint from either the tourist or the department. These men are courteous to the public, directing people here, there and everywhere. How far to this or that place, the best route, etc.  All this in the day’s work. Answering questions about the battlefield to hundreds of tourists who do not employ a guide but ever gentlemanly to the traveler. The guides earn and spend in this community approximately $100,000 annually, The greater part of it directly or indirectly benefits every person in this community. This costs Gettysburg nothing. The guides buy their uniforms, secure their license and operate without any other expense. The guides cooperate with the citizens and ask the same in return. Many tourists are skeptical about employing a guide and occasionally ask a citizen if it is necessary to have a guide to visit the battlefield. In the past, many have informed the visitor that it was not necessary. At the same time it is doubtful if the informer could find his or her way around the field. Yet they undertake to inform the tourist that it is not necessary to employ a guide.  The tourist who visit the field without a guide often leave Gettysburg disappointed because of not having been able to find their way therefore they see little and learn less. During the past year the guides have entertained 90,000 visitors, and there have been but two minor complaints. Is that not a recommendation? The Battlefield Guides contribute to every good cause in the community. They are an asset, not a liability. If they bother you in soliciting remember that they are out there to make an honest living and every dollar they earn remains in Gettysburg. Mr. Citizen, they need your help! Don’t knock, boost the service, it will look better for the town and its people. Use the slogan: “Get a Guide and See the Battlefield.” (Gettysburg Times, Jan 10, 1935 p1-2)
1934       Apr 27 PROPOSAL FOR CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: Membership appointed a committee of guides to confer with the Chamber of Commerce officials relative to having their contribution to the billboard’s expense apply on membership in the Council. Also requested that $50 of their contribution be applied towards five memberships in the Chamber. (Gettysburg Times April 28, 1934 p1; Gettysburg Times May 1, 1934 p1 reports the Chamber Accepted the Offer.)
1934       Apr 27 BILLBOARD PLAN: Members temporarily approved a proposal to erect four large billboards on the outskirts of town on four leading highways. They voted to solicit $3 from each of the 88 members of the association as their portion of the expense incurred in erecting the signs. (Gettysburg Times, Apr 28, 1934 p1)
1933       Jun 22 PRESIDENT ALLISON HIRED BY NPS: President William H. Allison was named historical technician of the Civilian Conservation Corps reforestation camp here.  The work projects are intended to beautify the field and restore many sections to their original state, such as they were during the three days’ battles.  (Gettysburg Times, June 22, 1933 p1; Gettysburg Star and Sentinel, June 24, 1933; Gettysburg Times, Jan 22, 1936 p1 mentioned “Junior Historians will conclude work here on Jan 31.  It is not known if they will be appointed again. Gettysburg Time Jan 27, 1936 p1 states changes in administration means both Junior Historians will remain on staff for now.)
1933       Jan 9 ELECTION MEETING: President William Allison, Secretary Wilbur Mehring, and Treasurer Frank B. Slonaker were relected by the 50 members in attendance at this meeting. Supt Frank Barber planned to address the meeting but could not make it. Adjournment after routine business was conducted.  (Gettysburg Times, Jan 10, 1933 p1; Gettysburg Star and Sentinel  Jan 14, 1933)
1932       Sep 16 GUIDE SOLICITATION: Superintendent Barber sent a letter to President Allison that there was a complaint that guides are soliciting at the intersection of York and Hanover Streets in Gettysburg, contrary to the wishes of the Highway Department. He suggested moving closer to York and Stratton.
1932       Jun 21 GUIDES DRIVING VISITOR’S CARS: In response to a request from Supt Davis asking for justification of guides driving, the Association responded: 1) tourists coming from Washington have guides there drive their cars and expect the same here; 2) many guide jobs are lost when a guide informs the tourist that he is not permitted to operate their car; 3) it is confusing to the stranger to drive and get a clear conception of the battlefield; 4) many parties drive a great distance to get here and are tired when arriving. They hire a taxi to see the field and do without the guide’s service. (In July permission to drive was declined by the War Department)
1932        Jun 10 VISIT TO BEDFORD: Guides were asked to accompany members of the Chambers of Commerce to visit Bedford to discuss mutual tourism concerns. President Allison felt upwards of 50 guides may accompany the group. They were invited by the Bedford Chamber who termed the event on Monday, June 27 – “Gettysburg Day” (Gettysburg Times, June 10, 1932 p2; Altoona Mirror, June 16, 1932 p3; Bedford Gazette, June 17, 1932 p.1 – Gettysburg Times June 28, 1932 relates story of trip. Bedford C of C came to Gettysburg May 1933  Gettysburg Times May 10, 1933 p1)
1932        May 9 GUIDES DRIVING VISITOR’S CARS: BGA Secretary W. H. Mehring reported in a letter to Col. Davis that the following resolution was passed by the Association “That the Gettysburg Battlefield Guide’s Association take up the proposition with Col. E. E. Davis, Supt. of the Gettysburg National Military Park that a guide when requested can drive for tourist. The guide on trip to notify on Park Official.” (Letterhead lists William H. Allison, President; Moses E. Bair, Vice President; Frank Slonaker, Treasurer; and W. H. Mehring, Secretary.)
1932       Mar 14

GUIDE STATIONS ESTABLISHED:  At the meeting it was announced Col. E. E. Davis, superintendent announced the guide stations for the year 1932:

  • Emmitsburg Road – present to be continued.
  • Hagerstown Road – present near Reynold’s Avenue to be continued.
  • Chambersburg Pike – present station just west of Stone Ave to be continued.
  • Harrisburg Road – present station near the juncture of the Harrisburg Rd and the road leading to the hill on which was located Jone’s Artillery Battalion will be continued.
  • York Pike – station will be established in the 200 block on York Street from a reasonable distance to the east of premises number 236 on York Street.
  • Baltimore Pike – station will be established on the east side of the pike about 400 feet north of its juncture with Slocum Avenue at the double gate in the iron fence.
  • Gettysburg – around center square and on nearby street intersections subject to further regulation by the office.

(Gettysburg Star and Sentinel, March 19, 1932 p4; Gettysburg Times Mar 12, 1932 p1; Gettysburg Times Mar 15, 1932 p1)

1932       Mar 14 COMMITTEE CLARIFICATION: Benton D. Gilbert reported for the committee that appeared before the Borough Council asking for no time limit on solicitation. In explanation of the apparent disagreement between members Allison said councilmen misunderstood John Slaybaugh when he made a suggestion as a private citizen and not as a representative of the committee. (Gettysburg Star and Sentinel, March 19, 1932 p4; Gettysburg Times Mar 12, 1932 p1; Gettysburg Times Mar 15, 1932 p1)
1932       Mar 14 CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: At a special meeting President Allison encouraged guides to join the Chamber as they often came to their assistance  on several occasions. Last year between 75 and 80 guides took out $10 individual memberships. At this meeting 16 guides signed up.  (Gettysburg Star and Sentinel, March 19, 1932 p4; Gettysburg Times Mar 15, 1932 p1)
1932       Mar 8 AMENDMENT TO SOLICITING ORDINANCE: Borough Council passed the amendment to the solicitation ordinance dropping the 6 o’clock prohibition. Benton Gilbert spoke for a committee of three guides (Lloyd Hartman and Charles Kennel) asking that part be dropped as prohibiting evening solicitation would cost thousands of dollars. He claimed the Guides Association was opposed to this provision  and that Slaybaugh was speaking for himself and not the organization. The amendment was passed prohibiting solicitation  on crossings or street intersections or within 10 feet thereof; in center square  more than 25 feet from the curb line and on any street more than 10 feet from the curb.  (Gettysburg Times, March 8, 1932  p1)
1932       Jan 18 SOLICITATION ISSUES: A delegation of the BGA consisting of John E. Slaybaugh, Frank Slonaker and Ray Miller met with Superintendent  E. E. Davis, Burgess C. A. Heiges and four borough councilman.  They proposed some suggestions to be adopted and strictly enforced including painting white lines in the square ten feet from each corner to keep guides from soliciting at street corners.  They also suggested a rule to stop guides from soliciting  at 6 PM. (Gettysburg Times, January 20, 1932, p1 and Star and Sentinel January 23, 1932 p3. This was acted upon at the Council Meeting in Feb. Gettysburg Time, Feb 2, 1932 p1.)
1931       Sep 26 GUIDE CENTRALIZATION PLAN OPPOSED: A local merchant and anti-guide individual pushed the War Department and the local Chamber of Commerce to remove the guides from the streets and concentrate them in one central location. Guide Association President William Allison spoke in opposition to this. The decision was for the Chamber to Oppose the plan which killed it.
1931       Sep 17 GUIDE OPPOSITION TO CENTRALIZATION: At a special meeting of the Guides Association 85 guides attended and passed resolutions curtailing practices on the part of individual guides which the members blame for  the agitation for centralization. Another resolution was passed condemning the practice of “Short Tripping” a practice of a small proportion of guides. Visitors whould be given as many hours as they desire to see the field and that decision should rest with them and not the guide. Guides who violate this should lose their license. They decided to appeal to the Chamber of Commerce  (New Oxford Item, Sept. 17, 1931 p3)
1931        Jul 3 BATTLE COMMEMORATION SERVICE: The Battlefield Guides Association held a service at the Virginia Memorial at 7:00 PM. Guides met at the Court House on Baltimore Street and marched in a body to the battlefield. Rev. Howard S. Fox, pastor of Trinity Reformed Church opened the service over which Col. E. E. Davis presided. Professor G. C. Bassett, head of the pyschology department at Gettysburg College was the speaker who commended the guides for honoring the men of the south. William Tawney, a battlefield guard, placed a wreath on the Virginia Memorial while a trio from the Boy’s Band played “Carry Me Back To Ol’ Virginny” At the conclusion of the program the band played the National Anthem.   (Gettysburg Times, June 30, 1931, p12 and Gettysburg Star and Sentinel, July 11, 1931 p3))
1931        Apr 9 REQUEST TO DECLARE HOLIDAY PERIOD: A petition, signed by 58 guides was presented to Superintendent Davis asking him to declare the period from June 27, 1931 to July 5, 1931 as holidays for the purpose of allowing guides to make four trips each day rather than three. (Guide Archives)
1931       Mar 19 GETTYSBURG CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: An article on the Chamber of Commerce membership drive has the Battlefield Guides Association as one of the enrolled members. (Gettysburg Times, Mar 19, 1931 p1)
1931       Feb 14 INJUNCTION AGAINST LICENSED GUIDE: J. Warren Gilbert was served with a temporary injunction issued by the United States Distirct Court enjoining him from continuing as a guide. The charges were insubordination and disobedience. He failed to take parties to Culp’s Hill and Little Round Top and in being disciplined used derogatory language to Col, Davis.  This is first time injunction has been used against a license guide. It was previously used against an unlicensed guide -Powers Pittenturf.  (Gettysburg Times, Feb. 14, 1931 p1 and Gettysburg Times, February 28, 1931 p1)
1930        Jun 30 ASSOCIATION PARADE: Paper announced the program of exercises to be held by the Gettysburg Battlefield Guides Association at the North Carolina State Monument to take place on Thursday evening, July 3. The exercises will be proceeded by a parade forming on West Middle Street at the Court House at 6:30 o’clock. The Boys Band will furnish music for the marchers. Arriving at the new $50,000 memorial dedicated last summer the exercises will open with a selection by the band. The Rev. Earl J,. Bowman, pastor of St. James Lutheran will be the speaker. Frederick Hughes will recite the poem “The Blue and the Gray” and a wreath will be laid on the memorial. Cars will be furnished to take guests to the exercises. Guides are asked to furnish cars and to meet at the Court House shortly before 6:30 in uniform. (Gettysburg Times, June 30, 1930 p1)
1930        Jun 12 BATTLE COMMEMORATION: Col. E. E. Davis reported for many years people have asked if there are any commemorations of the battle. “I am almost ashamed to tell them there are no such exercises.” He asked local “patriotic” organizations to plan something. The BGA and Firemen both responded with the firemen holding exercises on July 2 at 6:30 o’clock and the BGA will hold its exercises at 7 o’clock on July 3.  (Gettysburg Times, June 12, 1930 p1)
1930        Apr 4 MEETING WITH WASHINGTON GUIDES ASSOCIATION: A presentation by some Washington DC guides was made on the benefit of their association. President W. H. Hickey and five other Washington guides were present representing an organization of 137 members. Col. E. E. Davis urged all Gettysburg Guides to join the local association. Rufus Bushman, presides over 25 members, about a quarter of those licensed felt if a majority of the guides were members it would be a step forward towards achieving what the Washington group has.   (Gettysburg Times, April 5, 1930 p1)
1929        Jul 1 SHORT TRIPPING CONCERN: A letter was written to Col. E E Davis from the Secretary “At a regular meeting of the Guides Association it has been decided that the Sec. of the Association inform you in writing concerning the method and manner in which some of the guides are conducting their parties over the Battlefield. Instead of following the route as handed down by the Commission some of them are going over the field back ward omitting certain important portions of the field, completing the trip in from 45 minutes to one hour and five minutes and charging $3 for their services. We feel the tourists in such cases are not getting the service due them and respectfully request you to prevent same if within your power to do so. We also pledge our selves that if by your request we will be willing and ready to present you the names of the violators” /s/ J. Guy Wolf, secretary. (Led to the issuance of Circular #2 July 7th forbidding this practice)
1929       Mar 26 SUPPORT OF PLAN TO SAVE MEADE’S HEADQUARTERS: The Battlefield Guides Association joined several other groups in endorsing and approving a project to preserve General Meade’s headquarters. Resolution read as follows: “We, the members of the Guide’s Association of Gettysburg, PA. urgently request that the building occupied by Major-General Meade as his headquarters during the Battle of Gettysburg be preserved as a museum and earnestly request that Congress take suitable action in favor thereof.”  (Gettysburg Times, Mar 26, 1929, p1)
1928       Aug 17 DONATION OF TIME: Battlefield Guides Association hosted a group of several hundred orphans from Erie. Walter Reynolds, Rufus Bushman, Harry Rhine, William Shealer, Joseph Brieghner and Leslie Vaughn offered a tour and a wreath laying at Strong Vincent’s statue took place. (Gettysburg Times, Aug 17, 1928 p1)
1928       Apr 2 SUPPORT FOR H.R.12104: Be it resolved: By the Association of Battlefield Guides of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania that the Association unqualifiedly endorses the provisions of H.R. 12104. A bill to regulate guide service on National Military Parks, memorial battlefields and National Monuments under the administration of the Secretary of War, introduced by Mr. Kendall and referred to the Committee on Military affairs, as a measure necessary to the proper and efficient administration of the Gettysburg National Military Park of benefit to the visitors thereto and of the guides in their work. Be it further resolved: That this Association urges the Senators and members of Congress from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to make special effort to secure the earliest possible enactment of this urgently needed legislation.(Handwritten: Passed April 2, 1928 Rufus H. Bushman, President; J. Guy Wolf, Secretary.) 
1928       Mar 23 NEW PARK GUIDE REGULATION: In response to some legal decisions on the validity of the guide licensing regulation the Park Commission revised it. This date the Battlefield Guide Association sent a letter to Hon. John M. Morin, Chairman Committee of Military Affairs, House of Representatives, in support of the bill H.R.12104. The president, treasurer and secretary signed it. Our copy has none of the names.
1928       Jan 19 UNIFORM CHANGES TO BE ADOPTED: Col. E. E. Davis, superintendent, announced President Rufus Bushman, J. A Hotlzworth and E. R. Rinehart would form a committee to suggest changes to the LBG uniform which will be required of all. Col. Davis let it be know he is opposed to the “tin guide badges” which is a source of much contention. He hopes the committee will replace it with an army insignia with the word “Guide” on it. He believes the khaki-colored uniforms now generally worn by guides will be continued with the addition of service stripes and stars to designate longevity.
The Superintendent said he would be in a position in 1929 to require all applicants for guide’s licenses to furnish themselves with the regulation uniform.  (Gettysburg Times, January 19, 1928, p1)
1927       Dec 15 PARK RESPONSE TO UNLICENSED GUIDES: Despite the case against Charles Weikert acting as a guide without a license being quashed by the Federal Court (“in absence of a penalty there is
no case”) the NPS announced “we still have the authority to arrest unlicensed taxi men and other persons from serving as tourist guides and can make such people considerable trouble, although the courts cannot impose sentences of fines for violating park rules and regulations…We have the authority to go before a federal court judge and ask for an injunction restraining an unlicensed person from acting in the capacity of a guide. If an injunction is granted and the unlicensed guide persists in doing business he will find himself in hotter water than if the park authorities were dealing with him” (Gettysburg Times, Dec. 15, 1927 p1; note permanent injunction was used in case of Powers Pittenturf see Gettysburg Times Aug 28, 1928, Sept 8, 1928, Sep 14, 1928, Oct 1, 1928
1927         Sep 9 ASSOCIATION CONTRIBUTION: President Bushman and the Association donated their services to conduct a free tour of the battlefield as part of the town’s reception to the International Motorcaders by furnishing a guide for each car. (Gettysburg Times – Sept 9, 1927)
1927         Aug 8 SOLICITATION VIOLATIONS & SUSPENSION: Borough received word from the War Department that they could not suspend a guide for infractions of borough ordinances. LBG in question was J. A. “Bert” Myrick who was cited for soliciting more than ten feet from the curb, using his uplifted hand as a signal for tourists to stop (guides are to keep hands at side or behind back and ask battlefield guide?” or “guide to the battlefield?”); also cited for unlawful display of his guide badge. On one occasion he caused an accident from a visitor stopping abruptly. Said if borough revoked his solicitation permit they might do also with his license. (Gettysburg Times, Aug 8, 1927 p1)
1927         Jan 4 REVISION OF RULES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING GUIDE SERVICES: Nearly fifty LBG’s in attendance at  what the papers characterized as an “indignation meeting” in regard to problem that confronts them with the complete revisions of rules and regulations governing their services. Guides to be given packs of 100 cards with rules and regs on one side and their names on the other. Greatest problem was a modification of rates: no longer a flat rate of $3 per tour. Now $1.50 for the first hour and $1 for each additional hour or fraction thereof. Number of trips allowed per day increased to four. The meeting was held in executive session and guides present refused to divulge what was discussed. Later reports said they were contacting people in Washington but not sure if that will help. Mr. Storrick, Superintendent of Guides said the rules would be strictly enforced and “If the guides don’t like them they can quit.”  (Gettysburg Times, Jan 4, 1927 p1 and Gettysburg Times, Jan 14, 1927 p1)
1926         Oct 9 GUIDES CONFINED TO THREE HIGHWAYS: State Highway Department report that a compromise was developed in conjunction with th National Park and the Guides Association. There will be solicitation areas laid out on three highways and guides will be confined to those only – no other roads. The three: Lincoln Highway, west of Stone Avenue; Emmitsburg Road, south of the Confederate Avenue, Harrisburg Road, north of Howard Avenue. 500 feet ahead of each station will be a sign calling visitor’s attention to the parking space beyond. “Gettysburg Battlefield Official Guides’ Stations 500 feet ahead. Park at Right. Department of Highways.” The Lincoln Highway station will be 180 feet long; the Harrisburg Road station 65 feet long and the Emmitsburg Road station 135 feet long. The state and the Association will split the cost of the building of the stations proportionately.(Gettysburg Times Oct 9, 1926)
1926         Aug 7 NEGOTIATIONS: Newspaper account mentions guides are confining their solicitation to the borough streets. A committee consisting of VP Frank Lott, Ray Miller and Leander Marting together with Attorney Robert C. Wible visited Captain Price, commander of the Motor Patrol, office in Harrisburg to try and work out a plan to resume their solicitations.  They were told that the “high-handed methods” of the few among them would no longer be tolerated. It was stated the Association was considering court action.
1926         Jul 31 GILBERT CASE – SOLICITATION ORDINANCE: J. Warren Gilbert’s arrest and fine for violating the 10 foot line was thrown out by stating that the Borough Ordinance passed August 3, 1915 and amended August 31, 1925 had never been published in the borough newspaper as required by the state code governing boroughs. (Gettysburg Times, July 31, 1926 p1)
1926         Jul 26 SOLICITATION ALONG HIGHWAYS LBG’s were ordered by the state police to stop soliciting along the public highways leading into Gettysburg. This was caused by illegal solicitation practices which led to the state crack down and threat of prosecuting anyone violating this ban. The commanding officer of the State Highway Patrol was solicited near the Reynold’s monument, rode out both Harrisburg and Emmitsburg roads to find the same situation and promptly criticized his local officers for allowing the situation to exist. He ordered it halted. This led to a special guide meeting called by President Bushman and the hiring of an attorney by the Association to investigate options. Attorney Robert M. Wible was retained and they circulated a petition calling on the state to rescind the
road order. This was signed by 121 Gettysburgians. (Gettysburg Times July 24, 1926 p1 and July 26, 1926 and Star and Sentinel – July 31, 1926)
1926         Jul 23 GUIDES FINED FOR VIOLATING SOLICITING ORDINANCE: Reported that LBG’s Bert Myrick and Warren Gilbert were fined $10 by Burgess C. A. Heiges for violations. He had instructed the police to arrest all guides who persist in going more than 10 feet from the curb in solicitation of trips. Solicitation beyond the curb in Center Square and on crossings is prohibited. The fining of two guides “has not brought the desired result and I have recommended to the War Department that licenses for 1926 be revoked of those guides who continue to disregard the borough ordinance. (Gettysburg Times, July 23, 1926 p1. Gilbert chose to challenge fine see Gettysburg Times, July 24, 1926 p1)
1926         Jul 12 QUARTERLY REPORTS REQUIRED: Newspaper article detailed first tabulation of quarterly reports from LBG’s. Mr. Storrick in reported thanked the guides for the care of their records and diligence. He also reported “Attention is also called to the telling if incidental stories connected with the battle. These may be interesting to the tourist but unless they are founded on fact they should not be told. It is understood that in a certain sense a battlefield guide is a government employe. While not in the civil service yet he is granted certain privileges on government property and therefore is under certain restrictions and rules while operating on the battlefield. The War Department has deemed it proper that it should know whether or not the best interests of the tourists is observed in
the operations of the guides, and for this reason quarterly reports are required.” (Gettysburg Times, July 12, 1926 p1; also Star and Sentinel July 17, 1926)
1925        Oct 3 WITHDRAWAL FROM CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: Reported in the paper that someone was elected to fulfill the unexpired term of E. E. Powers as a director. Mr. Power’s position became vacant with the decision of the Battlefield Guides’ Association to withdraw its support from the commerce organization. (Gettysburg Star and Sentinel, October 3, 1925 p4)
1925        Aug 31 BOROUGH ORDINANCE PUBLISHED: An ordinance amending Section 3 of an ordinance regulating soliciting for garages, hotels and boarding houses and for employment as battlefield guides within the borough of Gettysburg, and providing penalties for the violation thereof, approved August 3rd, 1915. Be it enacted and ordained by the burgess and town council of the borough of Gettysburg and it is hereby enacted by authority of the same. That section 3, of an ordinance regulating soliciting from garages, hotels, boarding houses and for employment as battlefield guides within the borough of Gettysburg, and providing penalties for the violation thereof, be amended si that the same shall read as follows: Section 3. That no person, persons or licensed battlefield guides shall solicit on the streets, highways, public square, or crossings within the borough of Gettysburg for a garage or garages, hotel or hotels, boarding house or boarding houses, or fo rthe purpose of securing employment for himself or others as battlefield guide at a point more than ten (10) feet from the curb line, and shall be permitted to solicit only upon such pavements, whether borough pavements or otherwise, where the owners or occupants of the property or pavements abutting or fronting thereon do not object to such soliciting by the person so soliciting. That no person, persons or licensed battlefield guides while soliciting on the streets, highways or public places within the borough of Gettysburg shall prominently display any badge to or make any commanding gesture of the hand to the occupants of any moving automobile. Passed this 31st day of August, A. D. 1925 /s/ Frank R. Peckman, President of Town Council. (Gettysburg Times, Sept. 23, 1925 p3)
1925        Aug 7 BOROUGH ORDINANCE ALTERED: Reported that Association Attorney Wible presented an amendment to the current solicitation ordinance on behalf of the BGA. Freedom of the streets, ten feet from either curb line for guides in proper conduct of their business would be permitted (existing version had two feet). Ordinance also has a provision that in the solicitation of tourists the battlefield guide at all times conduct themselves in a gentlemanly manner and their business in an orderly way. They shall refrain from the improper use of hand gestures or their badge in solicitations. Violations will result in a $10 fine. (Gettysburg Times, August 8, 1925, p1)
1925        Jul 11 REVOCATION OF SOLICITING LAW: President Bushman and Attorney R. E. Wible appeared before Borough Council to secure a repeal of the section of borough ordinance which prohibits guides from soliciting on streets or in front of properties without the permission of the owner. The legal contention is the “Streets are public and anyone has the right to use them.” (Gettysburg Times – July 11, 1925 p1)
1925       Jan 5 SHORT TRIPPING ISSUE: At a business meeting this date Leander Martin reported on a meeting with Supervisor Storrick. Guides who deliberately and intentionally cut part of the field on a tour will be reprimanded for the first offense and dismissed for the second. Traps will be set this season and checks made of guides and visitors. Tourists will be stopped and questioned and asked if they are taking the short trip due to lack of time and ask if they wished to see the entire field. The answers will determine fate of guide. (Gettysburg Star & Sentinel, Jan. 10, 1925 p1)
1925       Jan 5 ADVERTISING SLOGANS OFFICIALLY ADOPTED: Guides adopted the slogan proposed in December “See America’s Greatest Battlefield” Discussion bogged down on the size of the cards to be used and President Bushman appointed a committee to report to the organization in February. (Gettysburg Star and Sentinel, Jan 10, 1925 p1)
1924       Dec 27 UNIFORM ASSOCIATION BUSINESS CARD: At an Association meeting to be held Jan 5, 1925 a vote will be taken on the question of whether or not to adopt uniform personal cards. A committee of Frank Lott, C.A.Sheads and J Warren Gilbert will report favorably on the plan. Only Association members may use the card and it will be countersigned by the member.  One slogan will be “See
America’s Greatest Battlefield” and the other side will say “Gettysburg the Heart of a New America.”  They will encourage all business in town to adopt the slogans. 75 of the 95 guides belong to the Association. Dues in the Association are $3 per year. (Gettysburg Times – Dec. 27, 1924, p1)
1924        Oct 28 ASSOCIATION ANNUAL BANQUET: Fifty members attended this annual event held at 8:00 o’clock at the Hoffman Hotel with Rufus Bushman, president in the toastmaster’s chair. It was touted as “the only organization of its kind in the United States and probably in the world.” A chicken dinner was served and the “Novelty Serenaders furnished the music. Invited guests included Burgess William E. Olinger, President of the Chamber of Commerce, C. W. Cook and William C. Storrick of the NPS staff. Mr. Storrick made a plea for cooperation among the guides in place of “cut throat” competitions. Mr. Storrick praised the Guide’s organization and expressed hope that it would have a long and profitable existance. (Gettysburg Times, October 28, 1924 p1; Gettysburg Times, October 29, 1924 p1; Gettysburg Star and Sentinel, Nov. 1, 1924 p6)
1924         Aug 6 CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: The Chamber of Commerce reorganized and increased the directorate from eleven members to fourteen. Prior to balloting the president said he hoped the membership would agree with him that there should be a representative of the college, one of the farmer and one of the battlefield guide’s organizations. Representatives of all three were elected with E. E. Power serving a two year term for the guides. (Gettysburg Times, August 6, 1924 p1; Gettysburg Star and Sentinel, August 9, 1924)
1924         Jul 8 ENROLLMENT IN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: Seven memberships in the Gettysburg Chamber of Commerce were voted with indications that additional memberships in the Chamber will be taken out. J. Guy Wolf, Lloyd Hartman, John McDonnell, John Slaybaugh, Edmund Power, Rufus Bushman, and Herbert Allison were named as the representatives of the guides in the Chamber. (Gettysburg Times, July 9, 1924 p1; Gettysburg Star & Sentinel July 12, 1924 p5)
1924         Jul 8 DONATION: The forty guides in attendance at the business meeting took up a voluntary collection of more than $18 to assist Richard Myers, of the Playground Lodge, who was said to be seriously ill. (Gettysburg Times, July 9, 1924 p1; Gettysburg Star & Sentinel July 12, 1924 p5)
1924         Jul 8 BYLAWS COMMITTEE FORMED: A committee was formed to draw up a set of bylaws for the organization. It was composed of Lloyd Hartman, John Slaybaugh, Warren Gilbert, M.V.
Fugitt and Rufus Bushman. (Gettysburg Times, July 9, 1924 p1; Gettysburg Star & Sentinel July 12, 1924 p5)
1924         Jul 8 ASSOCIATION REORGANIZATION: Meeting of the newly-organized Gettysburg Battlefield Guide Association. Rufus Bushman, President 40 guides were in attendance. 65 guides are members of the 90 registered battlefield guides. Dues have been fixed at $3. (Announcement made Gettysburg Times, July 7, 1924 p3; Gettysburg Times, July 9, 1924 p1; Gettysburg Star & Sentinel July 12, 1924 p5)
1924         Jul 3 CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SUPPORT: In one of the first actions of the new group the guides voted to lend their support to the Chamber of Commerce drive with each asked to contribute $3. With the sum collected memberships in the Chamber of Commerce will be taken at the rate of $25 each. The guides will designate the members of their organization who will represent them in the Chamber of Commerce. (Gettysburg Times, July 5, 1925 p1)
1924         Jul 3 BATTLEFIELD GUIDES ASSOCIATION FORMED!: The battlefield guides formed their first permanent organization – the first of its kind – with the election of officers. Officers chosen for the young organization were Rufus Bushman, president; William Allison, vice-president; Professor J. Guy Wolf, secretary; and Frank Slonaker, treasurer.
1924         Jul 2 ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING CALLED: An ad appeared on page 1 of the newspaper: GUIDES WILL EFFECT ORGANIZATION AT MASS MEETING.For the purpose of effecting an organization, all men following the vocation of battlefield guides have been requested to attend a mass meeting at the Fire Engine House, Thursday evening a 7:30 o’clock, The need for such an organization has
been felt for a long time, one of the guides said this morning, and especially since the number has grown to within a few of the hundred mark. “Cooperation” instead of cut throat competition will be the keynote of our organization after we get going.” another guide said. (Gettysburg Times, July 2, 1924, p1)
1924         Jul 1 GUIDE MEETING: Major W. H. Tipton, battalion commander in the Chamber of Commerce campaign for new members and Dr. Moffett of the state Chamber of Commerce arranged a meeting of the Battlefield Guides at the Fire Engine House at 730 o’clock to discuss the Chamber’s program. (Gettysburg Times, June 30, 1924 p1)
1921      May 11 PETITION TO LIMIT TRIPS: A petition was delivered to the War Department signed by seventy-two guides to limit the number of trips in conducting Tourists over the battlefield “be limited to three trips per day, excepting Memorial Day and legal holidays, when four trips shall be allowed. We believe that this would be a great betterment to the service and afford better protection to the Field. We faithfully pledge our support to this and will report any violations thereof.” (Approved and remained the norm until into the 1950’s)
1917        Jan 3 COMMISSION WILL COOPERATE: Meeting noted that the commission will cooperate. About 20 members were in attendance. Noted the membership is now about 30 with quite a number of applications having been made and pending action.  Newest members are Captain Ziegler, Charles Sheads, Leslie Vaughn and Ralph Butt.
1916       Dec 27 REQUEST TO COMMISSION TO LIMIT LICENSES: Secretary McDonnell was instructed to write to the Park Commission with the following:  to keep on the eligibles list a certain number of guides (100) “as the  most of the guides depend on this occupation for a living and at present we have about a hundred guides which we think this number sufficient to accommodate the strangers who wish to be taken over the battlefield.”
1916       Dec 27 LETTER TO COLONEL NICHOLSON: The secretary was instructed to send a letter to Colonel John P. Nicholson of the Battlefield Commission announcing the formation of the organization and its purposes 1) to cooperate with the Commission in the performance of our duties as guides and 2) to give better service to the tourist.
1916       Nov 27 INSTALLATION OF OFFICERS: Officers were installed by P. Wagaman, a representative of the American Federation of Labor. Mr. Wagaman also presented the charter to the organization, now known as “General George G Meade Battlefield Guides Union No. 15,329, American Federation of Labor”. Hopefully bylaws will be ready for ratification the last week of December.  Noted that
the Association has seventeen members.
1916        Oct 26 PARK GUIDES HOLD PIG ROAST SUPPER:  President Long served as toastmaster of this first social event with 43 guides and guests in attendance.
1916        Oct 23 THIRD ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING: A permanent organization was formed titled the “General George G. Meade Local Union No. 1, Gettysburg Battlefield Guide’s Association” was formed with 16 charter members. Harry W. Long was elected president and James McDonnell, secretary.  Regular meetings will be held monthly on the last Wednesday of the month in the Law Library of the Court House. A committee was formed to write the organization’s bylaws. (Ray Miller, J.C. Reinecked, Joseph Galbraith, Ralph Redding and Frank Shade)  The 16 charter members were Harry S. Long, James W. McDonnell, Joseph Galbraith, Benton D Gilbert, A. H. Butt, J. Warren Gilbert, J. Calvin Reinecker, Edward T. Gilbert, William J. Abel, Ralph B. Butt, J. Ralph Redding, Earl G. McClellan, Frank Shade, Harry C. Gilbert, Curnal L. Butt and Raymond Miller.
1916        Oct 11 SECOND ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING: Met at the Law Library of the Adams County Courthouse but Chairman Long was unable to attend. A letter from the American Federation of Labor was read in reference to the guides becoming members of that order. Another meeting is to be held at the call of the Chairman.
1916        Oct 2 INITIAL MEETING: Met at the Law Library of the Adams County Courthouse to formulate plans for a permanent organization for mutual aid and protection. Harry Long was appointed the Temporary Chairman. Appointed a committee to do this a report back at a meeting on October 11th.  One complaint from a participant “The guide doesn’t have as much liberty as a dog. The dog pays a fifty cent tax and can go where he pleases. We pay one dollar a year and may not leave the sidewalk!”  (Committee named was H.W. Long, A. H. Butt, John Hoofnagle, Ray Miller and Irvin Kelly)
1916        Sep 28

FORMATION OF ASSOCIATION:  The Gettysburg Times reported the guides would meet Monday evening at 8 PM to form an organization. Its stated purposes:

  1. The efficiency of the service.
  2. The improvement of attention to tourists.
  3. For mutual protection.

(The committee making the arrangements for the meeting: Joseph Galbraith, William Shealer, J.W. Gilbert and H.W. Long)