New England During the Civil War

Living History Gives Educational Insights Into Life in Another Time

Storrowton Village Museum will present an interactive, educational tour titled “Storrowton and the Civil War,” Tuesday, May 19 from 6-7 p.m., offering an inside look at how folks in the Northeast coped with the Civil War and the absence of our men who were called to duty or joined the patriotic fervor.

Participants will meet “townspeople” and hear their personal stories and points of view regarding the Civil War. Storrowton Village volunteers will be portraying the characters of the time as our visitors travel through the Village’s historic buildings meeting residents, shopkeepers, farmers, family members, and tradesmen along the way, all with information and their own experiences to share.

The tour will begin in the Storrowton Village Meetinghouse with the reading of a speech given at Springfield Town Hall on the occasion of the death of President Abraham Lincoln. It will then move to the Blacksmith Shop where folks will learn about job opportunities and the increase in manufacturing during the war and how that impacted tradesmen.

Continuing on to the parlor of Potter Mansion, visitors will gain insight into the women’s efforts to support troops through sewing and making clothing, which was in scarce supply and learn about the newly created Freeman’s Bureau and its efforts to educate freed slaves. The next stop will be the Potter General Store for an ear on a conversation between a shopkeeper and customer about the separation of the southern states, lack of cotton textiles, and how suppliers and consumers from both the North and South were affected. The tour concludes in Gilbert Farmstead, where the group will experience the family’s preparation for the wake of one of their members who died while in service to his country.

The storytelling tour recognizes the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Those who are intrigued and fascinated by Civil War history and want to learn more about life during this period, are urged to attend this unique and educational learning experience. Storrowton Village plans to present four such programs each year.

Reservations are required and the price to attend is $8 per person. Please note: The program contains vivid descriptions of wartime violence and injury that may not be suitable for young audiences. Those interested may call the Village at 413-205-5051 or email for more information.

Storrowton Village Museum, an educational arm of Eastern States Exposition and located on its grounds in West Springfield, Mass., presents hands-on school programs and guided tours of its historic buildings throughout the year as well as seasonal 19th century-themed events. It is the site of Storrowton Tavern/Carriage House and Storrowton Village Museum Gift Shop and is a picturesque, popular site for weddings held in its Meetinghouse and Gazebo. For more information, contact Storrowton Village Museum at 413-205-5051, weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

– Submitted by Catherine Pappas

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