Some more info on the old Dobbin House diorama at Gettysburg


A vintage photograph of the Gettysburg Battlefield Diorama in the old Dobbin House on Steinwehr Avenue in Gettysburg.

Background post: The long gone Dobbin House diorama at Gettysburg

A Charge! reader sent me some interesting information on the Gettysburg Diorama that used to be located in the historic Dobbin House in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The diorama was constructed by a York, PA, man, Curvin Heiss and his son. Heiss hard carved the molds and then cast the figures. He and his son Curvin Jr. then hand painted the 54mm Civil War figures.


At 50 cents admission for an adult, the Dobbin House diorama was reasonably priced for the era. Constructed in the 1950s, Heiss sold the building, museum, and diorama in the late 1960s. The diorama was dismantled and moved in 1977.


Here is an article about the diorama from a Baltimore newspaper during the attraction’s heyday.


And, here is a compilation of material on the old Dobbin House, which includes a grainy old photo of Heiss and his son standing over what appears to be Big and Little Round Tops.


And finally, here is the memorial tribute to Curvin Heiss, Sr., whose vision, patience, and creative skill made this diorama a wonderful memory for thousands of visitors to Gettysburg during the Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson administrations – the “golden age” of the budding American tourism industry.


Three of Curvin Heiss’s creations… may somewhere his little men still be providing enjoyment for someone!


Categories: Civil War dioramas, Civil War toys, Gettysburg | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Post navigation

3 thoughts on “Some more info on the old Dobbin House diorama at Gettysburg

  1. Noel

    Thank you for putting all this together in such an appealing form, Scott, and for your ongoing attention to dioramas of the past!

  2. david childers

    thanks for posting the diorama pictures. I’d like to see some other issues of Great Battles In History, if there be such. very cool stuff. David Childers

  3. G. Craig Caba

    Scott: Great talk to Harrisburg CWRT; thank you. Just wanted to note there is a LA Tiger’s Memorial Collection in the J. H. Wert holdings (that I have). Sometime this spring or summer you are welcome to visit and I shall pull from storage the box. There are some fascinating items. The musket has ‘stripes’ and there is a silver engraved imported revolver and
    a bottle of wine (so toast victory -?) with New Orleans label — lot’s of small items too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at The Adventure Journal Theme.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 63 other followers

%d bloggers like this: