The War Between the States comes to Metamora

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

The War Between the States will come to Metamora Friday through Sunday, May 14 – 16 as a Civil War Encampment occupies the Village Square with authentic re-enactors and activities.  The event, hosted by the 10th Illinois Cavalry Regiment, supports the Woodford County Historical Society’s effort to raise awareness and money for the repair and preservation of the columns, portico, cupola, and exterior woodwork on the Metamora Courthouse State Historic Site.

Joining the 10th

Cavalry will be the 108th Illinois Infantry Field Hospital with a program on Civil War medicine and surgery. There will be displays and programs on firearms and blades, camp treasures dug from an actual Union prisoner of war camp, and crafts. The event, which is free and open to the public, will demonstrate what camp life was like for Civil War-era soldiers before and in between battles. The public can watch the camp being erected on Friday afternoon and evening. Most of the activities will take place on Saturday, May 15.

On Friday, May 14 at 7 p.m. Jean Myers will present a program on “Mr. Lincoln and the Woodford County Courthouse at Metamora.”

From 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 15 a quintet from the Vintage Brass Band of Springfield will perform period music for a costume dance in front of the bandstand in the square. Featured will be the Central Illinois Civil War Dance Society Performers who will demonstrate dances of the mid-1800s, as well as dances open to the public to try. Dance instruction will be given on the spot, and no experience or costumes are required. This will be a family-friendly event with all ages welcome. The Vintage Brass Band Quintet will return for a free concert in the park at 7 p.m. Saturday. Benches are available, but people are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.

A small Farmers Market will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday on Partridge Street. Then, from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Horses will meet Horsepower with a vintage and classic car Midwest Cruiser Cruise-In on the square.

The State of Illinois is making some of the needed repairs on the courthouse exterior, but due to severe financial restrictions cannot afford to do all the repairs. The Woodford County Historical Society has established a committee chaired by Mr. Myers to raise awareness and funds to repair and preserve the outside woodwork of the Metamora Courthouse. The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency recently completed an extensive repair of the courthouse chimneys, windows and interior plaster and paint, and the inside of the building is now weather-proof and secure.

Tax-deductible donations may be put in the jug inside the front door of the courthouse or checks can be made out to WCHS-MC (Woodford County Historical Society – Metamora Courthouse), and mailed to P.O. Box 1072, Metamora, IL 61548. Receipts are available on request.

The following encampment activities schedule is subject to change.  A detailed schedule will be posted on the courthouse doors.  The Metamora Courthouse will be open to the public Friday, May 14 from 1 to 8 p.m.; Saturday, May 15 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, May 16 from 10 to 11 a.m.

Friday, May 14

3 p.m. into the evening, the camp will be erected.

7 p.m. Jean Myers’ “Lincoln and the Courthouse” presentation.

Saturday, May 15

8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Farmers Market

9 a.m. Flag Ceremony

9:30 a.m. Meet the Horses 

10 a.m. Cavalry Firearms

10:30 a.m. Candle Making

11 a.m.  Pie over a campfire and caldron laundry 

11:30 a.m. Civil War Medicine & Surgery

1 p.m. Aerial Telegraphy (Signal Corps)

2 – 4 p.m. Music for dancing by members of the Vintage Brass Band with the Central Illinois Civil War Dance Society Performers

7 p.m.  Vintage Brass Band Quintet Concert (and more dancing)

Sunday, May16

10 a.m. Non-denominational period church service

11 a.m. Camp is struck