As early as the late 1700’s slaves were brought to Gettysburg as slave labor. In the course of time others would arrive as free men. It is not widely known that while much of the nation lay in the grip of slavery, approximately 280 African Americans living a mere ten miles north of the Mason-Dixon Line lived as free men and women in Gettysburg. Theirs is a story that has been hidden and marginalized. When brought to light it will balance American History as we know it. Many of the stories about Gettysburg’s African American community have never been told. The stories have been misrepresented or appropriated. When these stories are shared we will compliment the telling of American History as it relates to Black Folk in Gettysburg before, during, and after the Battle of Gettysburg.

May 24, 1945 – June 8, 2024

Ms. Mary Alice Nutter, Gettysburg Black History Museum, Inc. Founding Mother was born and raised in Gettysburg Pennsylvania. Her family lived in Gettysburg since the mid-1800s with a long history of educators and social justice advocates. Ms. Nutter grew up in and was an active member of St. Paul AME, Zion church; where she was a member of the choir, Sunday School Teacher, and supported and encouraged at an early age, by church members to engage and lead to affect social justice in Gettysburg. Her faith is an integral part of her character.

She was the first recognized Black teacher in the integrated Gettysburg Area school system in the late 1960s. She was the first in her family to attend and graduate from college. She was the first in many things in her life. Ms. Nutter worked many years in the Gettysburg community and on local, state, and national levels to support positive change. She is a graduate of the Gettysburg Area schools and went on to earn her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees. Her work experience includes teaching, being one of the first staff members as a social worker for the newly formed Adams County Office for Aging, training, organizational development, school administration, college administration, and many supervisory positions. Ms. Nutter is a lifelong, passionate advocate for youth, access to education, those who feel voiceless, and the underserved folks in our world. Although very unassuming, she has received local, state & national recognition for her fearless championing for many. Ms. Nutter has never been fearful to “Show Up & Stand.”  She has the unique ability to meet folks where they are and go from there.

It is no wonder that she took up the charge given to her by her mother’s kitchen table. Gettysburg has important Black History to share, but it never was words. Gettysburg Black History and American History Now find a way to share this History in our words.” After retiring from Carroll county school System, Ms. Nutter began the journey of developing a Gettysburg Black History Museum, with the dedicated support of the local Black community as well as the community at large.


It is with great sadness that we share the news that Mary Alice Nutter, lovingly known by family and close friends, as Audie, 79, of Gettysburg, PA died Saturday June 8 peacefully in her home. The Board of Directors of Gettysburg Black History Museum are profoundly blessed to have worked with Mary Alice for so many years. She was dedicated to the preservation of Gettysburg’s Black History. We hope to continue her legacy in her memory. Her full obituary can be read here

The Gettysburg Black History Museum. Weaving the threads of our history

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