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City OKs parks for Civil War exhibit

150th anniversary of start of the war

August 20, 2010
Officials have granted use of city parks to a theatrical group for a historical reenactment next year. Warren City Council voted unanimously at its meeting Monday evening to allow use of three city parks. General Joseph Warren Park and Clemmons Park will host the event with Crescent Park available for any overflow. City Manager Jim Nelles said request for the parks’ use came from Struthers Library Theatre Artistic Director Sue Spencer. The event will run from May 20-22, 2011. Describing the project as ambitious, Nelles said activities would include guided tours, music and demonstrations to mark the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. The request included permission to use campfires, he said, and organizers would perform a complete recovery of the land following the conclusion of the event. “We’ve had fires in Crescent Park for chicken barbecues during the last two or three years,” Nelles said. “It has worked well.” Spencer attended the meeting and discussed the scope of the event. It will coincide with the “Servants on the Wind” play at the theater on the same weekend, she said. Council member Jim Zavinski asked how many reenactors would participate. According to Spencer, between 50 and 100 people could take part. They will come from three different reenactment groups. Instead of Breeze Point, Nelles said the event should use Point Park as a launching point for the Raftsman Guards, who navigated the river to join the Union army. That way, he said they could avoid streetscape construction. In order to adjust the water levels, Spencer asked who she could contact. Council Vice President Maurice Cashman said the Army Corps of Engineers handles such requests. According to Cashman, the original raftsmen wanted to use the river to get to West Virginia where they planned to present themselves to Union Gen. George Meade. When they arrived at Pittsburgh, he said the governor sent them to Chambersburg. “They were gone for four years,” Cashman said. “They only expected to be gone for three months at the most.”


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