May 12, 2009 Dot Willsey Uncategorized
The 17th Annual Peterboro Civil War Weekend adds the commemoration of Abraham Lincoln’s 200th Birthday and the recognition of the 150th anniversary of John Brown’s Raid on Harpers Ferry to its programs for Saturday and Sunday, June 13 and 14, 2009, as well as presents new exhibits.
At 11:30 on both days of the event Jack Baylis and his grand daughter Jessica, portraying Abraham Lincoln and Grace Bedell, will tell the story of why President Lincoln had a beard. President Lincoln will stroll the green in Peterboro during the weekend giving children copper portraits of The Great Emancipator.
At noon on Saturday, June 13, Milton C. Sernett, Ph.D. professor emeritus Syracuse University will present a free lecture with illustrations on The Civil War of John Brown at the Smithfield Community Center, 5255 Pleasant Valley Road, Peterboro.
John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry Oct. 16, 1859 was one of the sparks that ignited the Civil War. Brown’s visits to Peterboro were to secure the support of wealthy abolitionist Gerrit Smith of Peterboro who was the primary financial backer of “The Secret Six” that supported Brown.
Sernett’s presentation will be the beginning of an afternoon open house hosted by the Cabinet of Freedom for the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum. Banners of hall of fame inductees, displays on slavery and refreshments will be available. Parking and admission are free.
Postal cancellations for Lincoln’s 200th birthday and for the 150th year of Brown’s raid will be available during the weekend.
In the evening at the Smithfield Community Center the 77th N.Y. Regimental Balladeers will present a concert “Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory: Lincoln & The Music of the Civil War.” The Balladeers use original Civil War music arrangements and lyrics to convey the thoughts, motives and sorrows of the men and women during the war. The music is presented as it would have been performed in camp or the family parlor. Admission to the 8 p.m. concert is $ at the door.
The Stewards of the Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark will be hosting sites on the newly acquired estate. The Gerrit Smith Land Office, which is nearing completion of its Heritage NY site development, will be open.
“Journey to the North: New York’s Freedom Trail,” an Underground Railroad exhibit will be featured at The Lodge. This exhibition was developed for the New York State Historical Association by students in the Cooperstown Graduate Program in History Museum Studies with support from the New York Council for the Humanities and Heritage New York. At The Barn, Denise and Rod Richer will provide an antique tool display.
Throughout the Civil War Weekend the Civil War Heritage Foundation will have rows of tents with military and civilian portrayals of generals, officers, enlisted men, politicians, musicians, doctors, nurses, and children. All day long demonstrations at the annual event show how soldiers lived in camp and prepared for battle.
A skirmish is held both days at 2 p.m. Ladies of the camps will demonstrate the tasks of daily life in the mid 19th Century. Daughters of the Union Veterans, Sons of the Union Veterans, and Revolutionary War re-enactors are among the groups that will set up for the weekend.
Ghost Seekers of CNY joins the activities for this first time this year. Especially for children, there are period games all weekend and military activities on the green at 12:30 both days. Period crafters and Civil War Round Tables will set up. Historical shopping is provided by large sutler tents filled with merchandise that the merchants following the troops would have provided.
The Peterboro Area Museum is open both days on the east side of the green. The Peterboro United Methodist Church will be grilling hamburgers, hot dogs and sausage again and Howards’ Creamery will be hand dipping ice cream. The Smithfield Volunteer Fire Department Chicken Barbeque begins at noon on Saturday. Ma & Pa’s Kettle Corn will also be opening The Spud Shack.
Peterboro Civil War Weekend is an educational and fundraising event sponsored by the Town of Smithfield, the Smithfield Community Association and private donors. Proceeds from the event support the preservation and promotion of the heritage of the Town of Smithfield. During the event Peterboro relives the period of the mid 1800s when the hamlet held national recognition because of Gerrit Smith’s Underground Railroad station, the visitations of famous abolitionists, and the connection with John Brown that sparked the War Between the States. Peterboro sites are on the Heritage NY Underground Railroad Trail and on the National Park Service Network to Freedom National Underground Railroad Trail.
Saturday June 13 hours for the event are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday June 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults, $3 for ages 6 to 12, and free for children under 6. The $5 admission tickets for the 8 p.m. concert on Saturday are available at the door. Parking is free.
For more information: 315-684-9022, and www.sca-peterboro.org