HARRODSBURG — “A Taste of Local History” is set for 2-4 p.m. Saturday at the Mansion Museum at Old Fort Harrod State Park. The event will focus on the Civil War in Mercer and Boyle counties.
Union and Confederate encampments will be on site, and storytelling will be done by descendants fo Civil War soldiers. Living history re-enactors will present Lizzie Hardin, Gen. Leonidas Polk, John Marshall Harlan and a Shaker Eldress. John Hunt Morgan’s raids through the area will be the focus of a discussion.
Cost for “A Taste of Local History” is $3; seating is limited.
The first presentations will start at 2 p.m., and the same will be repeated at 3 p.m., so visitors can hear both sides. Anyone interested in attending is encouraged to come early because seating is limited to 20 per room — a total of 40 visitors. The museum will be open for touring before 2 and after 4. Light refreshments will be served. Daily adult admission for both fort and museum is $5.
Knowledgeable Civil War re-enactors are sought from either side of the conflict who might want to “camp out” on the park grounds for the day in their period clothing.
“We are not calling this a Civil War Event because the major focus is not on the war battles, but what it was like to live in the area during this period of time — and a remembrance of those who fought,” said Marilyn Allen, an employee at Old Fort Harrod State Park. “I am sure that there are many in Boyle/Mercer counties who have memorabilia and/or stories that would bring this war closer to home. We planned this project on Memorial Day Weekend because we thought it an appropriate way to honor the war dead of this era.
“The hometown stories would not be a major presentation — those will be going on inside the museum. ... We are just looking for individuals who are interested in casually sitting on the museum porch and sharing some of their family’s Civil War history with our guests.”
Heavy rains or storms will cancel the free outside activities, but the planned presentations still will be available inside the museum (seating for 40 only).
Allen said Memorial Day was added after the Civil War, which she recently found out, but did not become an official holiday until 1971.
For more information, call the museum on weekends at (859) 734-2927 or call the fort office (859) 734-3314 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays and leave a message.
About the performances
The Rev. John Penick (Danville) is portraying John Marshall Harlan. Rev. Penick will present in the Union Room of the museum along with Georgia Riddell, who will be explaining the war/involvement of Pleasant Hill Shakers through the eyes of Sister Jane Sutton, a Shaker Eldress at that time.
A third presentation will be made by Stuart Sanders, a Danville resident, who has written a book about the aftermath of the Battle of Perryville, titled “Perryville Under Fire, the Aftermath of KY’s Largest Civil War Battle.”
Other presentations will be given across the hall in the Confederate Room. All presentations are 15 minutes or less in length.
The other presentation will be: Father Peter Doddema of St. Phillips Church in Harrodsburg, who will portray Confederate Gen. Leonidas Polk, who saved that church from destruction during the war. Bonnie Moore will portray Lizzie Hardin, who, according to Col. Chinn, was “the symbol of a Southern woman’s uncompromising hatred for the Union.” Finally, Confederate re-enactor Gary Moore will give a talk on John Hunt Morgan’s raids through the area and the dedication of Kentucky’s Orphan Brigade.