Highland Park to host Civil War commemoration June 1

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Civil War Re-enactment: The Highland Park Historical Society will host a Civil War Sesquicentennial from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 1, 2013. Civil War re-enactors will be encamped at the Francis Stupey Cabin in Highland Park. Military firings using black powder muskets will occur throughout the day. | File photo

The Highland Park Historical Society invites the community to step back in time from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 1, 2013, to observe the Civil War Sesquicentennial.

As part of the annual Stupey Cabin picnic and fundraiser, Civil War re-enactors will encamp on the lawn in front of the Francis Stupey Cabin located in Laurel Park, on St. Johns Avenue between the Highland Park Library and city hall. No rain date is planned. The 10th Illinois Regiment will portray soldiers in a Union military camp in 1863. Military firings using black powder muskets will occur throughout the day.

According to Board President Rob Rotering “the re-enactors enjoy engaging the public as they practice their drills and demonstrations, and they are ready to answer questions about the life of a Civil War soldier. This will be a terrific family event.” Concurrent activities include cabin tours, petting zoo, arts and crafts for children and demonstrations on quilting, spinning wool, and churning butter. The picnic will include food and drinks provided by the Historical Society.

At 3 p.m. hear young actors read excerpts from letters written by Highland Park city clerk, John Finney. During the war, Mr. Finney wrote letters home to his Irish immigrant parents. The young Finney details life in the “Scotch Regiment,” the 65th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. Finney wryly recounts watershed marches and battles, including capturing “Rebel” soldiers who were revealed to be women in soldier uniforms, daily life as a soldier, and the deadly dangers of swimming in unknown waters. The program will be held in the library auditorium, located adjacent to the Civil War event. The John Finney letters are part of the Historical Society’s Archives and Research Collections, a nationally recognized historical repository.

A Civil War exhibit will be held at the society’s Museum during the summer and will open on June 2. The society is seeking Civil War artifacts and narratives; correspondence, images and Civil War items related to Highland Park residents may be loaned or donated for the exhibit. Volunteers are also needed. Contact Nancy Webster at archives@highlandparkhistory.org or (847) 432-7090.

The 1847 Stupey Cabin was built by Prussian immigrant Frances Stupey and is the oldest standing structure in Highland Park. The cabin is owned and maintained by the Historical Society. It was moved to its current site in 1968. The cabin is in need of significant preservation work. The proposed restoration will insure the Cabin’s existence for future generations. While all of the events are free of charge, a donation to ‘Save the Stupey Cabin’ is kindly requested. All funds raised will be used to repair and maintain the cabin and re-institute programming.

Parking is available in the City Hall public parking lot and the city parking structure at St. Johns and Laurel Street. Metra Union Pacific North stop is “Highland Park,” located across St. Johns Avenue from the event.

For more information, call (847) 432-7090 or email hphistorical@sbcglobal.net. Find out more about our organization and events at www.highlandparkhistory.com, and visit us on Facebook under Highland Park Historical Society.

The Highland Park Historical Society