It’s hot. Really hot. With about 90% humidity. But there is a pleasant breeze blowing down the long roadway bridged over by dense foliage and lined by gardens at the several homes situated there.
In the distance you can hear a harmonica playing, a banjo picking, and soft laughter sporadically coming on the wind from the infantry encampment just beyond the field and barns to the south. Along the fence line right in front of you, horses are snorting, their tails swatting at bothersome flies, as they wait patiently for their call to duty. And men dressed in heavy, dark blue wool uniforms of the United States Cavalry are taking a quiet rest on the shaded porches, talking together quietly, before it becomes time for maneuvers in the farm field just to the east. Women in long dresses and protective wide-brimmed hats stroll gracefully through the shade under the 100 year old trees in the village park just to the west, while children play simple games in the grass.
You have just been transported to mid-1863 in the heat of the Civil War, and you have a unique opportunity to actually interview the people who fought and supported the efforts to re-unite our nation during one of the most horrific times of our history.
This is Civil War Days at Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum. It happens every year in July during what was historically the aftermath of the battle at Gettysburg. Each year, re-enactors, who have taken on the character of an actual Civil War era soldier, gather here to share their passion for history and the lessons learned from it. They eat and sleep in the open, just as they would have in that time of history. And they readily tell stories of real events, if you invite them to do so.
You can even learn unique skills, like blacksmithing on the move or medicine without a hospital close at hand.
It’s as close to being there as you would probably ever want to be. Step back into 1863 to an active military encampment and witness up close cavalry charges, musket fire, and the equipment and tools used to wage war and support the troops involved.
You can talk to both civilian and military re-enactors to learn what life was really like at the time of one of the most devastating and transformational events in American history. Tour the camp, interview the re-enactors, and get a “safe” taste of military and civilian life in the mid-1800s. You can also take horse-drawn wagon rides through the property.
There are even children’s activities, including historic games that even help your children begin to feel part of the past.
Food will be available for purchase onsite. Tickets for the event will be available online in May.
Dates: July 18 & 19
Times: 10AM to 4PM
Tickets: $12 Adults, $10 Seniors, ages 6-12 $8 (LVA Members FREE)