Civil War Road Show kicks off Friday
The Pennsylvania Civil War Road Show rolls into Somerset this weekend for three days of exhibition and re-enactment. The show is hosted by the Somerset Historical Center. (Philip Petrunak)
If so, you’ll have your chance this weekend as the Pennsylvania Civil War Road Show rolls into Somerset for three days of exhibition and re-enactment.
The show, which commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, opens Friday at the Somerset Historical Center and runs through Sunday.
The Mostoller Wild Goose Bean Soup is just one feature of the show that is unique to Somerset County. An exhibit entitled “Frosty Sons of Thunder, the Civil War in Somerset County,” displays nearly 150 photos and personal stories of Civil War veterans from the county.
“Our staff has been working hard to research and gather as much information on the history of our soldiers as we can,” museum educator Mark Ware said.
The historical center’s staff drew on family histories, original portraits, newspaper articles and history books to learn more about the county’s Civil War veterans.
“We really wanted to put a face and a story to the names of these men,” Ware added.
The show is designed to tell the stories — both on the battlefield and the home front — of the many ways Pennsylvania’s men, women, children and communities experienced the Civil War.
Civil War re-enactors will don Union and Confederate period costumes to entertain visitors and answer questions. Many re-enactors have authentic artifacts from the era.
“We’re very proud of the things that have been handed down through our families,” said Ron Bruner, a board member of the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County. Bruner has a knife from the medical kit of his great grandfather, Daniel Bowman, who fought in the war. The blade has Bowman’s initials scratched into it.
Visitors are encouraged to bring family photos or documents from the Civil War era as well to be scanned into the historical center’s database. There is also a video recording booth where visitors can share their personal families’ stories related to the war to be added into the state archives.
Along with the many exhibits, visitors can enjoy a Civil War meal Saturday featuring Mostoller Wild Goose Bean Soup, salad, dessert and beverages of the era.
“It’s a great educational opportunity for families, school students and scout and youth groups,” Bruner said.
The event is offered at no charge and all visitors are welcome, Bruner added.
The show runs daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information on the road show and for a full schedule of events visit www.somersethistoricalcenter.org.