As I continue my tour of some of the most historical places in America, I also continue my tour of some of the coolest tattoo parlors that these cities have to offer. Let me start by saying that if you haven’t visited Gettysburg, PA, I highly recommend it. It’s drivable and so full of history! That’s if you’re into anything that has to do with the Civil War. Anyway, on a recent visit to the highly haunted and historical city of Gettysburg, we stumbled across an amazing tattoo shop called Fine Line Tattoo Company. We actually were driving by it on the Baltimore Pike and said, “Wow, that’s an odd looking building… Oh my God! It’s a tattoo parlor!” The architecture of the shop will grab your eye immediately, which is actually a great marketing move on their end. I’m not sure if it was intentional or not, but it certainly drew us in.
We walked in to see that there were a few people waiting to be tattooed and the place seemed busy, so this was going to be a short visit. Ask a few questions, take a look around and we were out. I have to say, though, seeing that this shop was this busy on a weekend was a good sign and proved that we made the right decision to stop in. We walked into a small waiting room on the left and a glass display table in front of us, which displayed various pieces of body jewelry and other fun stuff. The walls were adorned with all types of framed art and wall-hanging portfolios of some flash art for customers to look at. Behind the glass display case were private rooms where all the magic happened. You can hear the buzzing as you walk in and that’s when the salivating begins.
Fine Line Tattoo was opened by Jess Maggard back in September 2006. Jess was busy tattooing a customer when we stopped in, but he did come up front for a minute to say hi to us. The person up front told me that Jess says that he opened the shop with the intent of creating a relaxed, ego-free tattoo studio in one of the most historic places in America. From the looks of things, I’d say he accomplished just that.
According to the shop’s website, Jess has 17 years of tattooing under his belt and has a love for old school traditional tattooing. Fine Line Tattoo is mainly a custom shop and the person at the front desk told me that they can take any flash art and manipulate them to make them custom artwork. Joining Jess in his shop are two other artists, one of whom is Don Sonn, a fellow Jersey boy who made his move to Maryland back 1992 looking for a fresh start. (By the way, Maryland is literally 10 minutes away from Gettysburg! I found this out through a heated argument that I regretfully lost.) He did his tattoo apprenticeship in 2003 and has been tattooing ever since. Don likes the grey washing and dark tattoo work. And then there’s Brandi Cooper, who is the newest artist to the group. She’s been tattooing since 2008, but has grown so much since then and loves every style and aspect of tattooing, whether it’s black and grey, traditional, or new school. There’s also a piercer in the shop; it’s none other than Jess’ wife, Kathleen Maggard.
Jess said that he and his crew have a combined 25-plus years of industry experience and that his artists are well-versed in all styles, ranging from old school to new school, grey washing, vibrant color, bio-mech, realism, and portraits. Everything is done on a custom level. He was also more than proud to tell us that his entire staff was and is American Red Cross certified annually in the blood-borne pathogen and disease transmission. When it comes to sterilization, the shop uses a two-step sterilization process. First, they chemically sterilize followed by steam autoclave sterilization. The autoclave machines are spore tested monthly by a local lab. The bottom line here is that this place is not dirty at all!
The person at the front desk told us that Jess prides himself and his shop on the customer’s experience from their free consultation with each artist to the tattoo process to the aftercare. When I asked about appointments, she told me that walk-ins are always welcome, but appointments will be taken first. And if you can see what we walked into, you’d realized that this shop was BUSY! Their age policy is the same as in any state. A parental consent form must be signed for anyone under the age of 18. As far as prices, Fine Line Tattoo Company was pretty comparable to its peers.
If you ever make it to historical Gettysburg, PA, and you want to get some ink done, I would highly recommend checking Fine Line Tattoo Company out. The shop is located at 1865 Baltimore Pike in Gettysburg. They are open Monday through Saturday, 12 p.m. until 9 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. until 6 p.m. If you’d like some info on the shop or would like to make an appointment, log onto finelinetattoocompany.com or call (717) 334-4449.
Well, I’m off to check out my next tattoo spot! Who knows what state it will be in! If you have a tattoo shop that you want to suggest, please e-mail me the name of the place and whom I should ask for at email@example.com.