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West Virginia Day

Henderson Hall hosts Civil War re-enactors for W.Va. Day

Photos by Candice Black Henderson Hall turned into a Civil War battlefield as people re-enacted a skirmish complete with cannons and rifles.

WILLIAMSTOWN –Scenes from the Civil War were brought to Henderson Hall this weekend as a way to commemorate the establishment of West Virginia in the height of the war in 1863.

Every year, the community gathers at Henderson Hall to learn about the Civil War and its impact on the state. According to Henderson Hall director Randy Modesitt, G.W. Henderson, the man who built the house, was a member of the Wheeling Convention which established West Virginia as a state.

“That’s another reason why we do it. They were pro-Union, G.W. had already ended his slaves, almost all of the Hendersons were pro-Union,” Modesitt said.

Actors arrived Friday and camped out over the weekend to teach people about the Civil War and show what a typical skirmish might have looked like. Modesitt is hopeful people of the younger generation were able to learn about the country’s troubled past during the event.

“I hope the younger folks learn that the country at one time was divided and it did struggle,” he said. “I hope that everybody here, if they’re not a fan of the Civil War, that they understand this was never a pleasant time in history. This was a terrible time in our country’s history and we’re living in a day today where I hope it’s not repeated.”

Abraham and Mary Lincoln impersonators were also part of the weekend’s festivities and Modesitt said they was a huge hit with participants.

“He and Mary talked to people about the history and what happened to people during the Civil War and what it was like being President of the United States during that time,” Modesitt said. “He is very good with the young kids, there was a time he was surrounded by people listening to stories about Abe Lincoln.”

Modesitt is thankful for the support of the community and hopes they were able to learn a thing or two from the event.

“I hope that people understand that we all have the same blood, we’re all made by the same creator and we all need to get along. These guys are demonstrating that period of time when we didn’t, we had such division in our country,” he said.

Henderson Hall hosts different events about once a month but Modesitt said the West Virgnia Day celebration is one of their biggest.

“It’s always a fun weekend. We appreciate all the people here who support us and help us make this a success,” he said.

Candice Black can be reached at cblack@newsandsentinel.com.

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