Courtesy of Don Wiles, Carlisle’s Michael J, and the good folks at militaryhistoryonline.com, I present a few photographs of the old Civil War diorama that once graced the Dobbin House on the south side of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Pictured is a scene of Pickett’s Charge as Rebels slam into the Union II Corps line. Figures are 54mm from various makers.
The diorama was in its heyday during the 1960s when it was a relatively popular attraction. Curvin Heiss was the building’s owner during that time frame, and it housed a museum and gift shop. I remember riding by the Dobbin House during my first visit to Gettysburg in 1968, seeing the large banner hanging from the second story advertising the diorama, and wishing we had the time to stop and see it (we were on a tight schedule, but my Dad bought me a nice box of 54mm Britains “Eyes Right” ACW figures so I could play toy soldiers on the ride to Hershey).
A group of Union soldiers break camp as morning dawns. It’s not nice to blow your bugle directly into someone else ear! Ouch!
Reinforcements file down an old dirt lane to join the growing fray near Gettysburg. A full third of all the men who fought at Gettysburg would become casualties.
Time to pour another round at the distant Rebels!
Fancy duds! This zouave prepares for action.
The Dobbin House museum, gift shop, and diorama closed for good in 1975. Gettysburg resident and wargaming building retailer John Mayer of Round Top Miniatures believes it was moved to another building for storage, but the roof collapsed on it. He is unsure of the whereabouts of these figures today, if they even still exist.
I vaguely recall a small, thin picture book (Golden Book style) with photos of the diorama that my Mom allowed me to pick out and buy to take back to my best friend Mike as a souvenir. I have never seen a copy of that book for sale on eBay or elsewhere.
Anyone else have any photos of this old diorama to share?
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