By Jody Miller
BATH TWP. - One hundred and fifty years after The Battle of Gettysburg, the Civil War will come to life Aug. 10-11 at Hale Farm & Village’s annual Civil War Reenactment and Encampment.
“This is a huge event for Hale Farm & Village,” explained Jane Mason, director of communications and marketing for the Western Reserve Historical Society. “It is the largest annual Civil War Reenactment in Ohio, and we expect this year to be especially popular … with the re-creation of the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg being configured within the village.”
The weekend-long events begin Fri., Aug. 9, with "Civil War Education Day" in partnership with the 6th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry for a sneak peek into the making of a reenactment. Visitors can observe Union and Confederate camp set-up, meet soldiers and civilians in period dress, and enjoy all that Hale Farm & Village has to offer.
During Saturday and Sunday, the sights and sounds of The Battle of Gettysburg will be reenacted at 2 p.m. both days. This year, the reenactment will use all locations of Hale Farm & Village property to recreate the engagements during the first day of The Battle of Gettysburg and to ensure that visitors can get up close and personal with this year's reenactment.
More than 500 reenactors will be at the encampment, and visitors can walk through the campgrounds and talk with those dressed in period clothing and uniforms.
Chris Smith is a reenactor planning to take part in the event at Hale Farm & Village.
“Living history allows you to taste, smell, and feel a part of what they must have gone through,” said Smith. “Now when I read about the soldiers, I can better grasp their experience in some small fashion. I've beenthathot. I've beenthatcold. I've beenthatdirty and wet."
Other highlights of the weekend include Camp Chase Fife and Drum corps, shopping on Suttlers Row with vendors of Civil War era merchandise, cavalry mounted and foot soldier drills, and a chance to see the weapons and uniforms of the Civil War.
Prior to the Battle Reenactment on Saturday, Ohio's Civil War 150th Advisory Committee will present Hale Farm & Village with a Heritage Award in recognition of efforts commemorating Ohio's Civil War involvement.
Advance tickets are available for the weekend-long event. For adults, a two-day ticket is $15 ($10 for one day) and children two-day admission is $7.50 ($5 for one day). Each day offers activities for the whole family and the opportunity to experience the life during the American Civil War.
Hale Farm & Village is located on 90 acres in the Cuyahoga Valley. Its 32 historic structures, farm animals, heritage gardens, food preparation, and early American craft and trade demonstrations make the site a living history museum in the heart of what was the Connecticut Western Reserve. Hale Farm & Village is located at 2686 Oak Hill Road.