Looking for a leisurely, relaxing activity for the last weekend in May? History buffs, families with young children, and just about anybody would enjoy spending an afternoon at Athens State Historic Site, watching demonstrations, sampling the food, walking the trails, and just enjoying springtime in the park.
“War’s Eve At Athens,” a depiction of what life might have been like in the days leading up to the Civil War, will be held from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, May 30-31, at the Battle of Athens State Historic site in northern Clark County.
During the mid-1800’s, the townspeople of Athens, many of them former Southerners, went about their daily business while talking about the political unrest in the state, and preparing for what was to come.
At the May event reenactors in period dress will be located at the historic Thome Benning, McKee, and Townsend Gray houses, as well as the foundations of other sites at Athens to demonstrate some of the trades and businesses that existed there around 1861.
A “General Store”, sponsored by the Friends of Athens will be located at the shelter house, built on the site of a general store that existed at Athens during the mid-1800’s. The store will sell period goods and bakery items such as period candies, cookies, pies, breads, honey, and candles, soaps, children’s toys, and household foods and goods that would have stocked a general store during this period.
Demonstrations by reenactors will include: wagon making – showing the re-assembling of a period wagon using the existing framework and wheels; stone masonry and brick setting using period tools; workmen will mark corners to indicate the location of business at Athens during the time of the Civil War; an undertaker’s parlor with display of period stones and a demonstration of how coffins were made during the mid-1800’s; chair caning, and great wheel spinning.
The military aspect will center around the McKee house, and focus more on the politics of the time and preparation for battle.
Refreshments of the period will be served at the Thome Benning and Townsend Gray houses.
The Battle of Athens State Historic Site is located ten miles north of Kahoka, and four miles east on CC. For more information contact site administrator, Jerry Toops or site interpreter, Jo Bryant at 660-877-3871.