The Civil War comes to Grand Rapids, Michigan!

Tonight at the Grand Rapids Public Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was the Members Only Party for the grand opening of the new Civil War Exhibition.  The museum was transformed into living history with Civil War Reenactors coming from around Michigan in their Civil War era regalia. 

Lovely ladies in beautiful gowns and dapper gentlemen in uniforms and other fancy attire Strolled through the exhibitions, danced to music, Rode the museum’s turn of the century carousel, and generally provided wonderful subjects for this wandering photographer.

There were Civil War soldiers providing security to the building.  Included among them was Gil the Guard I met at the Charleton Park Civil War Muster in Hastings last summer.  Seeing Gil brought on the horrific memories of that fateful day in Charleton Park when I went to visit the Union camp and was mistaken for a spy.  Gil called other soldiers around to assist in my capture but already had me at bayonette point when the others arrived.  Truthfully, we had a great time play acting last summer and it was a pleasure to see Gil again.  I highly recommend catching the Charleton Park Civil War Muster if you can.

The carousel was a popular setting for sitting and enjoying the ride or standing to the side and shooting pics.

In the Meijer Theater Paula Sullivan played their huge pipe organ while they showed a storry Ted Lewin wrote based on the life of Steven Benjamin Bartow with some variations for artisitic license.  Steven Bartow was a member of the 14th Regiment, Company E from Brooklyn, New York for 3 years and fought in 22 battles including the battle  in Gettysburg and Bull Run.  After the Civil War, Mr. Bartow becaome a mason and was one of the builders of the Brooklyn Bridge.

After the story Paula showed the various parts of the organ with some pieces she had out on display on the stage and I went and took a closer look at some of the pipes and other parts including drums, whistles, and a bird in a cage.

Paula played beautiful and no doubt in my mind why.  Not only has she been a volunteer at the museum for over thirteen years, she has been playing the organ in churches since she was 16 and before that she used to go to the Embasy Theater in Fort Wayne, Indiana and listen to it as much as she could.  Now, in addition to playing the pipe organ at the museum, she also teaches Piano and Celtic harp out of her home and is very patient with children in age or spirit like myself I might add.

It was a fun evening and for more pics from the event check out my gallery page for the museum.  If you enjoyed this article you may also find the articles on Pop Haydn at the World Steam Expo and the article on the Pow Wow in the park last weekend and the article on the Kalamazoo Living History Show.

About the author

Weird AKA John Collins

John N. Collins is a writer, photographer, game & coloring book designer and a bad dancer. Any resemblance to the King John character is merely a coincidence. Follow John N. Collins: YouTube Facebook Fan Page Facebook Personal Account Instagram Twitter