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April 25, 2013

Vermonters Remember the Civil War Like It Was Just 150 Years Ago

VcsPRAsset_527897_87879_d4ac7e6f-ff9b-40a0-847a-0ad97738780f_0I'll confess I did not realize until yesterday that Vermont had a Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, but it does, and it's been busy. And to save you having to look up "sesquicentennial," it means 150th anniversary. So yesterday that commish and the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing announced the top 10 exhibits and events that were chosen "for their efforts to bring to life Vermont’s Civil War experience with history from the homefront and battlefield."

It's been hard not to notice the recent uptick of interest in the period, though, starting with reruns of Ken Burns' The Civil War on PBS and the movie Lincoln last year. And this week, Seven Days previews the original musical Ransom, based on letters from Rochester, Vt. soldier Lt. Ransom W. Towle and produced by Montpelier's Lost Nation Theater (which is celebrating an anniversary itself this year — the silver one). Ransom opens on Friday.

If you have an interest in commemorating America's Civil War period, and Vermonters' role in it, you'll want to know who's got the top-10 events and exhibits. Here they are, courtesy of VDTM, with handy hyperlinks courtesy of me:

Top 10 museums include:

·        Rokeby Museum, Ferrisburgh

·        The American Precision Museum, Windsor

·        Bennington Museum

·        Vermont Historical Society’s Heritage Galleries, Barre

Top 10 arts and humanities organizations include:

·        Lost Nation Theater, Montpelier

·        Dorset Theatre Festival

·        Vermont Council on the Humanities, Montpelier 

Top 10 historic organizations include:

·        The 18th Vermont

·        Champlain Valley Historic Reenactors & St. Albans Raid Sesquicentennial Planning Group

·        Cambridge Historical Society


For all things Civil War in Vermont, visit the commission's website.

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