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The Sherfy Farm - Gettysburg, PA

The 50 acre Sherfy farm is located in Gettysburg, PA. It was owned by Reverend Joseph Sherfy and family, who were pacifists. Joseph had a peach orchard and was a fruit dealer. He never thought his peach trees would become the most famous peach orchard in the history of Civil War.


In 1843, Joseph purchased his land along Emmitsburg Road from his father. During the Battle of Gettysburg, the property consisted of a brick farmhouse, a barn, a canning house, a hog stable, a corn crib and windmill, a bake oven and a privy, a dog house, and a wood shed. The family owned a 16-acre peach orchard in a field across from the farmhouse. These peach trees became famous as the Battle of Gettysburg through what is now commonly referred to as “The Peach Orchard.”


On the morning of July 1, 1863, the Sherfy family heard the first sounds of battle northwest of Gettysburg. That night, Union troops moved into positions around the Sherfy farmhouse. During the Battle of Gettysburg, the Sherfy family provided food and water to Union forces who controlled their land.


By July 2, the Sherfy family remained inside their home until a Union officer encouraged them to exit. The family, who consisted of Joseph and his wife Mary, their six children, and Mary’s mother, Catherine, made the decision to leave and relocate to the John Trostle farm. From there the family fled to Littlestown for the remainder of the battle.


The evening of July 2, the Confederates broke through the Union position. The Sherfy home was badly damaged with bullets, and the peach orchard became a battlefield. Wounded soldiers crawled into the house and barn for protection. The barn burned to the ground during the battle.


On July 6, it was safe safe for Joseph and his family to return home. They returned to a to a house and farm in complete despair. There were bloodstains on the floors and bullet holes inside and outside of the home. There were trenches around the yard where the deceased were buried, and dead horses plagued the property. The peach orchard was destroyed and most of the young trees had been pulled out of the ground or knocked down. The barn and hog stable were burned, the windmill was completely damaged, and several of their animals were killed.


Determined to rebuild, the Sherfy replanted and rebuilt the farm and for years sold peaches from their orchard, branding them as peaches from the original trees on the battleground.


The farm became a popular attraction for Battle of Gettysburg veterans. According to a member of the 687th PVI, Mrs. Sherfy had a wall in her house covered with photos of soldiers she met that fought on her property.


The Sherfys continued to live in the house. The farm became a popular attraction for Battle of Gettysburg veterans. Mrs. Sherfy had a wall in her house covered with photos of soldiers she met that fought on her property. The family lived in the home until Joseph’s death of “typhoid malaria” at the age of 70. The National Park Service acquired the farm in 1969.


Today, the Sherfy property still actively produces produce. The Gettysburg Foundation, with Gettysburg National Military Park and the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College, harvest vegetables, fruit, and herbs in the Sherfy garden. All harvested produce is donated to local food banks and community-based programs like Meals-on-Wheels and the Campus Kitchen.


Located at: Emmitsburg Rd, Gettysburg, PA 17325




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