In this modest weatherboard house, constructed ca. 1820, Mary Virginia "Jennie" Wade was born on May 21, 1843. Wade, the second of six children of James and Mary Filby Wade, spent her childhood here, attending local schools and helping with her father's tailor shop. In 1854, the family moved to a new house on Breckenridge Street.
During the Battle, "Jennie" and her mother were visiting the home of sister Georgia Wade McClellan (now 548 Baltimore Street). There, on the morning of July 3, 1863, while working in the kitchen, Jennie was killed by an unknown Confederate sharpshooter, becoming Gettysburg's only civilian fatality of the fighting.
In the early 1920's, John White Johnston, a Rochester, New York businessman who had become fascinated with the Wade story, purchased this house and the Breckenridge Street house. On May 21, 1922 he dedicated a bronze plaque here in a ceremony attended by Georgia Wade McClellan.