On May 20 and 21, time will be turned back to the 1860s for a special event featuring many Civil War impressionists from the 16th President of the United States to the drummer boy, Johnny Clem.
Sponsored by Albany Township Historical Society, Kempton Community Center, and WK&S Railroad, this event will be very unique as it is a living history of the Civil War. Those visiting the encampments and riding the train will have up close and personal experiences as they ride the rails of the Wanamaker, Kempton and Southern Railroad while experiencing the Civil War through the memories of the soldiers, spies and politicians who lived during the 1800s. Other events during the Civil War Days include history brought to life by the Damn Dutch and recognition of the Civil War veterans from the local area.
John Robertson, Albany Township Historian, will present the Civil War from a distinctly Albany Township perspective. The lives of several of the men who served in various Pennsylvania regiments will be the main focus of this talk. Come hear the experiences of men named Greenawalt, Hendricks, Graff, Trexler, and others that left the safety of their Albany Township farms for the unknown, and how they fared during the most important time in their lives, and that of their country.
Plan to ride the train with our special guests from the Civil War. Saturday trains depart beginning at 11 a.m. with noon “Presidential Special” hosting President Lincoln. There will be no train departing at 1 p.m. to allow for the pomp and circumstance surrounded by the arrival of the President. Trains will resume at 2 p.m.; 3 p.m., and 4 p.m. Sunday’s trains will depart beginning at noon, running on the hour, last train departs at 4 p.m. Since this is a special event, our all-day ride ticket will not be available.
Stay for the Cotillion on Saturday evening and learn to dance civil war style. The evening’s dance will be held at the Kempton Community Center’s barn and proceeds from the dance will help to support repairs to this beautiful barn.
Sunday will feature a panel discussion with the leaders of both sides entitled “Brother To Brother, Leaders of the North & South.” It will showcase President Lincoln, Generals Grant, Lee, and “Extra Billy Smith”, along with other key soldiers and spies from the Civil War. It’s a must attend event.
The main focus of the weekend is to raise funds to bring back steam to WK&S. Throughout the weekend Engine 65 (steam locomotive) will be “open” for you to climb aboard! Feel what it must have been like to be an engineer on one of these iron giants or what it must have been like to feed its firebox with coal. Imagine the steam bellowing from its stack. Yes, the sound of the steam whistle has been silent since 2009 at WK&S. Experiencing Kempton Civil War Days will bring us that much closer to rebuilding our sleeping giants.
There will be encampment demonstrations of military life throughout the day which will feature muzzle loading and firing as well as blacksmith demonstrations. The Kempton Community Stage will showcase all our speakers, historians, impressionists, and authors for the weekend. Don’t miss any of the events for the weekend, plan to attend both days.