Several thrilling activities are lined up for this Saturday, Aug. 10, for the first ever LaGrange Civil War History Day (CWHD). There will be an encampment set up on the courthouse lawn, complete with a medical tent and an enlistment tent that guests can experience first-hand.
The community is invited to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, learn about history relevant to LaGrange County, and be entertained by some brilliant performers, artists, and cooks.
At the gazebo beside the courthouse, a keynote address will be given by Senator Sue Glick, as well as a portrayal of the Confederate spy Belle Boyd by Jan Mishler. Music will be provided by the Suite Strings and Hank Gore’s LaGrange County Community Band.
Marc Satterfield, a local businessman and thespian, will provide an enthralling acting performance about the Underground Railroad as well as a slave impression and a discussion of modern freedom. There will also be a rifle salute and wreath laying, honoring LaGrange citizens and the others who lost their lives for their country in the Civil War.
The LaGrange County Public Library will be quite active in CWHD, providing a display of antique toys, daguerreotypes, and Civil War artifacts. Pastor Tammy Lugar from Scott United Methodist Church will demonstrate, teach, and sell her art of German paper cutting, Scherenschnitte.
Also in the library will be Murlyn Myers’ detailed scale model of the LaGrange County Village of Scott/Van Buren, which outlines the town’s historical progression in historical folk art. Children’s author Joan Stiver and illustrator Karen Gruntman will be on hand to sign copies of their book, A Door in the Floor: An Underground Railroad Adventure. Two other authors of Civil War history books, Margaret Hobson and Cheri Mattox, will hold book signings on the courthouse lawn.
Don’t forget to see the artifacts and memorabilia at the LaGrange County Historical Society Museum, as well as a quilting demonstration. For other artistic and historic demonstrations such as wool spinning, blacksmithing, pottery crafting, metal punching, and walking stick carving, take a stroll around the courthouse lawn.
Local businesses have volunteered and donated, and organizations such as Focus LaGrange, the Town of LaGrange, the LaGrange County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and LaGrange County Commissioners, have helped spread the word about this anticipated event.
Jack Miller and Mr. Erik Pearson are the organizers behind the event and funding, and generous grants and donations were given by Esther (Hart) Gates Bower, John Bower, REMC Operation Round Up, and the LaGrange County Community Foundation.
The artists and vendors, many of them involved in mostly larger-scale events, have been giving and supportive in signing up for LaGrange’s Civil War History Day.
Put on your (optional) costume and head to downtown LaGrange on Aug. 10. Grab a map and a program, and go adventuring. You will leave with a better understanding of the Civil War as well as a full belly and appreciation for the 150th anniversary of one of the most pivotal times in our nation’s history.