Waxing Civil War nostalgia

If you’ve ever had a hankering to own a life-sized wax figure from the American Civil War, now is your opportunity.

Lincoln Douglas

(Image courtesy of Gettysburg Heritage Center)

The American Civil War Wax Museum, in Gettysburg, Pa., has changed its focus and its name — it’s now called the Gettysburg Heritage Center — and is going to auction off all but a few of its artifacts on Saturday, March 15, starting at 9 a.m. (snow date March 16).

FutureStake, a Gettysburg business, bought the museum last year, and intends to refocus its storyline to that of the town before, during and after the battle.

“Visitors don’t realize that this was someplace where people lived before the battle, and that the battle completely changed their lives, and that of the town,” said Stephanie Lightner, the museum’s spokesperson.

The auction will allow the museum to redevelop the space, updating it and making it relevant to visitors. Exhibits will depict the town’s history before the three days in July 1863 made it world famous, then show how the town folk endured during the greatest battle of the Civil War, and how they picked up the pieces and adjusted thereafter.

The auction will include approximately 95 life-sized wax figures, as well as antique furniture, light fixtures, backdrops and scenery, old books, oil paintings and some store displays that were used in the former museum’s exhibits.

Museum President Tammy Myers said the contents to be sold “should be of interest to a diverse audience, including theater groups, both community and professional; antique collectors, and those who would like to own a piece of Gettysburg history.”

The museum is currently closed for renovations. The gift shop and the theater will reopen in mid-April, and the gallery portion, where the wax figures are currently housed, will reopen in mid- to late June.

The public may preview the items for sale prior to the auction, on Wednesday, March 12, from noon to 5 p.m.; Thursday, March 13 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.; and Friday, March 14 from noon to 5 p.m. The museum is located at 297 Steinwehr Ave., Gettysbury PA 17325.

To view the catalog online, visit www.paonsiteauctionco.com. The museum’s website is www.GettysburgMuseum.com, or on Facebook at Gettysburg Heritage Center.