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Claremont Historical Society takes residents back in time

CLAREMONT — The Claremont Historical Society's 2013 program series, "Claremont in the Civil War Years," kicks off with a museum open house, living history encampment and lectures.

The program starts this week with the Civil War Living History Weekend from Thursday to Saturday.

The weekend kicks off Thursday at 8 p.m. with a band concert from Claremont's American Band, directed by Ed Evensen, performing music of the Civil War on the bandstand in Broad Street Park. In case of rain the concert will be held in the Claremont Opera House, said organizer Sharon Wood, who is also a speaker and reenactor in the summer program.

Reenactors in period dress will promenade around and through the park, as was the tradition of the time, she said.

"We'll have some of us in period dress promenading around the park. That's what people did. They didn't sit around in lawn chairs or in their cars. They saw it as a time to get up an stroll and say hello to people along the way," Wood said.

Wood is joining three other speakers Friday for Glimpses of Life in Claremont During the Civil War Years at Trinity Church on Broad Street between 7 and 8:30 p.m..

Wood's speech is about the war's home front, while the other speakers will be talking about churches, schools and farms, railroads, libraries and business and industry.

Life in Claremont during the Civil War was much like life throughout New England at that time, Wood said.

"It pretty much reflects what life was like throughout the whole state or throughout the whole North," she said.

On Saturday, the public can visit a Civil War military encampment reenactment at Monadnock Park from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The encampment includes activities for adults and children. A 2 p.m. military march to the Civil War Monument in Broad Street Park is planned and is to include a wreath-laying ceremony. One of the first Civil War monuments in the state, it is engraved with the names of the 73 Claremont soldiers who died in "the rebellion," Wood said.

The 5th Regiment New Hampshire, Volunteers Vermont Civil War Hemlocks and the Civil War Medical Coalition are participating in the encampment and ceremony.

Wood's husband, President Abraham Lincoln reenactor Steve Wood, is to lay the wreath and speak in the ceremony as Lincoln.

The encampment is a great opportunity for young and old to get a hands on learning experience about a Civil War military encampment, Wood said."With an encampment the reenactors are going about their daily business and you can go up and talk to them and see what they are doing and maybe give them a hand," Wood said.

The program continues Aug. 2 at 6:30 p.m. at the Claremont History Museum with New Hampshire's Civil War Monuments and Memorials presented by George Morrison.

On Aug. 11 at 1:30 p.m. The History of the 54th Regiment & the Colored Soldiers in the Civil War will be presented.

On Sept. 6, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., the Museum is presenting a Chat with Tillie Pierce Alleman: What a Girl Saw and Heard in Gettysburg with Nancy Miville & Sharon Wood.

The presentation will be followed by an illumination on the museum lawn to honor Claremont's Civil War solider's who died in the war.

The Claremont History Museum, at 26 Mulberry St., is also presenting a special Civil War exhibit this summer.

The museum is open Saturdays 1 to 4 p.m. and first Fridays from 5:50 to 7 p.m. through mid-Sept.

All events are free and open to the public, Wood said.


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