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Simsbury Historical Society Commemorates the Civil War

I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.  –Abraham Lincoln

The 2011 Sesquicentennial of the start Civil War is providing Americans the opportunity to reflect on the importance of this pivotal period in our nation's history. Communities nationwide are commemorating the war and residents are taking the opportunity to learn about their own town’s response to the “War Between the States.”  Like many New England towns, Simsbury played a role in the Civil War.  The Simsbury Historical Society, which is itself celebrating its 100th year, is pleased to offer to the current citizens an opportunity to learn more about the town’s history through special Civil War 150th Anniversary commemoration events.

Long-time Simsbury resident Richard Meyer, a noted author and historian, will give voice to President Lincoln’s words about town pride when he presents the lecture Simsbury Citizens During the Civil War.  Residents of the small towns of the north responded strongly to Lincoln’s call to protect the Union. Simsbury was no different, and only ten days after the Confederates fired on Fort Sumter the town held a meeting to distribute funds to those who stepped up to join the Union Army.  That day, nine Simsbury residents, including two of the town’s most prominent citizens, enlisted. By the end of the war, Simsbury had supplied no fewer than 195 young men – 1/3 of the adult male population. Mr. Meyer will speak on this and the effect the enlistments had on the women of Simsbury as they took on additional responsibilities for home, hearth, family and fields.

The second program in the series will appeal to Civil War enthusiasts and baseball fans alike.  On June 5, Gary Goldberg-O’Maxfield (aka “Pops O’Maxfield”) will talk about baseball’s development during the Civil War.  Pops, a featured speaker at the Baseball Hall of Fame and on ESPN, will share stories about the troops and baseball, including the First Connecticut Artillery’s famous game against the Charter Oak BB Club in 1865.  Following the talk, Simsbury’s own vintage “base ball” team, the Taverneers, will give a demonstration of the game, complete with period uniforms and Civil War-era rules.  Attendees can also participate in a family-friendly Wiffle ball game that will be played 1800’s style. The event will be fun-filled and educational.

Simsbury Citizens During the Civil War will be held May 22 at 2 p.m. at the Simsbury Public Library.  Baseball During the Civil War (and the associated demonstration and game) will be held on June 5 at 2 p.m. at the Phelps Homestead on the grounds of the Simsbury Historical Society.  Reservations are not needed, cost at the door is $5 for members and $7 for non-members. For more information, please call the Historical Society at 860-658-2500.
The Simsbury Historical Society, a non-profit educational corporation founded in 1911, is located in the center of town. The grounds include more than a dozen structures, regional artifacts fill the collections and its archives provide everyone the opportunity to research and enjoy Simsbury and Connecticut’s past.   All residents of Simsbury are welcome and encouraged to join SHS. Additional Civil Sesquicentennial and Simsbury Historical Society 100th Anniversary commemorative events are planned, including an appearance by President Lincoln at the Society’s November annual meeting.  For more information about membership and upcoming events, please visit www.simsburyhistory.org.








Simsbury Historical Society
800 Hopmeadow Street
Simsbury, CT 06070