Gettysburg Times (Newspaper) - February 7, 2012, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania VOL. 110, NO. 32 Deaths ................................. A2 Opinion ............................... A4 Sports ............................ B1- B4 Feb. 7, 1862 - The USS Conestoga captures three Confederate ships on the Tennessee River. CSA troops set their ships on fi re; the Samuel Orr, loaded with torpedoes, explodes. Bermudian boys tie record for regular season wins — SPORTS, Page B1 Northern and Gettysburg boys and girls basketball teams square- off in a double- header tonight at Jeff Cook has the call starting at 7: 30 p. m. at www. gettysburgtimes. com/ gtlive. Classifieds ................. B7 Comics ................................ A7 Crossword ......................... B7 Untold stories M ARK W ALTERS / G ETTYSBURG T IMES Pictured is the entrance to what will soon become the visitors center for the Gettysburg Black History Museum, which will open this year after a several- year process. The visitors center will be located at 102 Old Gettysburg Village, 777 Baltimore Street in Gettysburg. BY MARK WALTERS Times Staff Writer It was on a West Africa shoreline where Ron Bailey had his midlife crisis. He stood on the coast, where his ancestors last saw their homeland prior to being shackled and shipped west to be enslaved, and convulsed into tears. “ To be reconnected to the soil,” Bailey told a crowd of roughly 50 in attendance Monday afternoon at the Rotary Club of Gettysburg’s meeting at the Gettysburg Hotel. “ It gave me a deep sense of home.” Bailey, just a couple weeks shy of turning 60, has lived in Adams County with his wife for six years, and after those six years, is ready to begin to present a project that he sees as much bigger than him. The Gettysburg Black History Museum will be opening its doors this year at 102 Old Gettysburg Village, 777 Baltimore Street, an arm’s length from J’s at the Village. It is a project that will entail artifacts and physical objects, of course, but what Bailey is more excited about is the stories being told about what he referred to as “ a city that so commonly attracts the eyes of the world.” Having grown up in southern Virginia in what could be described as a scene out of “ Remember the Titans,” Bailey did not meet a white person until he was 16. He lived through the integration of the 1960s, feeling void of the “ Old Country” mentality that many other nationalities have. “ We didn’t have a sense of that,” said Bailey, President and CEO of the Gettysburg Black History Museum. “ We were referred to by a lot of different names and my grandmother didn’t like some of the newer ones. My birth certi fi cate says I’m ‘ colored,’ but that was a while ago. We used African- American for our identity.” He said the museum is an ongoing project, and while Monday’s announcement may be “ big news,” there will be more to come. Bailey wants to tell stories of Gettysburg’s black past. Stories that have seldom been told. Some have maybe never been told at all. Others have likely been swept under the rug, put on a shelf or fallen on deaf ears. Stories like that of John Hopkins, a beloved, black janitor who was hired by Gettysburg College for $ 15 per month. He was one of the last janitors that maintained the small, liberal arts school without the help of a staff. It was just him sweeping the halls of Pennsylvania Hall and mowing the lawn around the campus. According to Dr. Charles H. Glatfelter’s “ A Salutary In fl uence: Gettysburg College, 1832- 1985,” Hopkins was referred to as “ Jack the Janitor” as well as the vice president of the college after he returned to Gettysburg following the 1863 battle between Union and Confederate troops. Hopkins, who lived on South Wash- Gettysburg Black History Museum to fi nally open S UBMITTED P HOTOGRAPH Pictured from left are: Rotary Program Chair Dave Laughman, Black History Museum CEO Ron Bailey and Rotary Club of Gettysburg President Pete Ricker after Bailey announced Monday that the Gettysburg Black History Museum will open this year. “ We welcome a more inclusive approach to the interpretation of Gettysburg’s past. ( Black history) is something that was a big part from the beginning but has been largely invisible.” — Dr. Michael Birkner, Gettysburg College ( See BLACK HISTORY on Page A8) Principal Litten to retire BY JESS HAINES Times Staff Writer After 16 years at the helm of Gettysburg Area Middle School, Principal Steven P. Litten is retiring. His retirement, which was accepted unanimously by eight members of the Gettysburg Area School District’s Board of Directors present at Monday night’s meeting, is effective June 30, 2012. Board member Keith Bruck was absent for a family commitment. Litten, 56, has been the principal at the middle school since he joined the district in 1996. A Gettysburg resident, he moved to the district from Missouri after suggestion from family in his hometown of York. “ I will miss it tremendously, but it’s time for somebody else to take over the helm,” said Litten after Monday’s meeting. “ I wouldn’t trade any of it.” Litten shared he plans to run a Lawn Doctor franchise he recently purchased from a friend. “ It’s fertilizer and weed control and that kind of stuff,” he explained. Although he originally planned to wait for retirement until after the proposed new middle school was fi nished, he said he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to purchase the business. “ If not for this, I would have stayed for the building project,” he said. “ I took it as a sign.” J ESS H AINES / G ETTYSBURG T IMES Steven P. Litten will retire from his position as principal of Gettysburg Middle School at the end of this year. ( See LITTEN on Page A8) S UBMITTED P HOTOGRAPH Shining Stars Therapuetic Ministries hopes to take their equine center, shown here, indoors by building a new facility. The nonpro fi t is struggling to fund necessary bonding for the project. BY JENNA STINSON Times Staff Writer A local nonpro fi t organization has hit a snag in the plans to build an indoor arena at the Freedom Valley Worship Center. Shining Stars Therapuetic Ministries provides therapy through equine interaction and riding. The plans for this construction have been in the works for quite some time. “ We started this process six years ago this spring; it feels like one hoop after another,” said Executive Director Brandy Crago. The building process has come to a halt because the organization has been unable to obtain the $ 317,000 necessary for bonding. “ We have the money and we have the building, we just need the permit. We have been, and still are, trying to get bonding. We have to do this before the township will let us build,” said Crago. The township can not approve the project without the bonding. “ It is just part of the process. We can not of fi cially sign without bonding,” said Straban Township Chairman Sharon Hamm. “ This has put them in a bad spot. The economy and banking system has also made it hard for them.” Crago said that this is an important project, because there is community need. “ According to the recent Census, one in fi ve people have a disability, and we give therapy according to the disability. Our therapy improves cognitive and physical abilities, and we include this in all of our riding. People can really connect to this,” he said. Shining Stars offers different Shining Stars struggles to bond new equine center ( See SHINING STARS on Page A8) 50¢ INSIDE E- MAIL: news@ gburgtimes. com sports@ gburgtimes. com WEB: www. gettysburgtimes. com GETTYSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA • TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2012 Email: phsinc@ centurylink. net Phone: 717- 642- 8500 | 201 East Main Street | Fair .. eld, PA | Web: www. preferredhealthstaff. com “ The Preferred Choice In Home Care” EXCITING NEW SERVICES Massage Therapies * Beauty Shop Visits * Manicures & Pedicures * Nutritional Consultations * Wii Gaming and Activity Visits Preferred HealthStaff, Inc.