War era weekend
returns to mansion grounds
(June 2007) Hear thundering cannons, meet
Mary Todd Lincoln, listen to fascinating stories, participate in childrens
activities, enjoy a Victorian Tea, have your photo taken in 19th century
garb and view a display of Civil War weapons at this years Lanier
Held on the grounds of the Lanier Mansion the weekend of June 16-17,
this annual event highlights the life and culture of early-Victorian
Madison, Ind. Hours for the event are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
Stephen Collins Foster was Americas first great
composer. At noon and 2 p.m. on Saturday, the Stephen Foster Singers
will perform concerts dressed in period costumes featuring old favorites
such as Oh! Susanna, My Old Kentucky Home and
In addition to performing famous tunes, they will explain the history
and relevance of the songs to audiences of our time. Visitors are welcome
to bring their portable chairs or blankets to sit and listen to these
Several re-enactor groups including the 32nd Regiment, Indiana Volunteer
Infantry, Co. G; the 5th Virginia, Co. D; and the 1st Wisconsin Artillery,
have agreed to participate in the event.
Besides the encampment, the re-enactors will fire artillery on the hour,
present cooking demonstrations, conduct military boot camps for children
and hold mock battles on both days of the event. On Sunday, they will
also hold a memorial ceremony at the Jefferson County Civil War Roundtables
Civil War Memorial located on the visitor center plaza.
Family activities include Victorian stories told by Shonica Hartless
of the Madison-Jefferson County Public Library from 10 a.m. to noon
on Saturday and noon to 2 p.m. Sunday; childrens crafts from 10
a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 2 p.m. on Sunday; and performances
by Common Stock Entertainers from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and from
noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.
As itinerant entertainers Jack Milgrew & Maddie Bliss, Pat Richardson
and Becky McKay wander through the grounds of the Lanier Mansion, engaging
passersby with greetings, jests and songs. Drawing upon collections
of period music, gazettes, almanacs and their own good humor, they transport
the audience into the world of Street and County Fairs through the ages.
On Saturday, Donna McCreary of Charlestown, Ind., will present two programs
related to Mary Todd Lincoln at the Lanier-Madison Visitor Center. At
11 a.m. she will present a power-point presentation on her new book,
Fashionable First Lady: The Victorian Wardrobe of Mary Todd Lincoln.
She will hold a book signing after the presentation. At 3 p.m. she will
portray Mrs. Lincoln in period costume for a program she calls Love
is Eternal Mrs. Lincoln.
Three talks related to Indianas past will be presented during
the event. At 10 a.m. Saturday, Dorothy Jones will present a talk on
Emily Todd Helms, the half-sister of Mary Todd Lincoln who lived in
Madison for a time after the Civil War; Wayne Sanford will give a talk
titled, Mr. Lanier and the Madison Railroad at 1 p.m. on
Sunday; and John Etter will talk about his recently published book,
The Indiana Legion: A Civil War Militia, at 11 a.m. Saturday
and 3 p.m. Sunday.
Bob Hartsaw will be on the grounds to take tintype photographs of visitors
in period clothing for a fee. He uses the same photographic process
that photographers used during the Civil War.
A Victorian Tea will be held on the South Portico of the Lanier Mansion
at 3 p.m. Sunday. Susan Walters will present a program, Victorian
Parlor Games and Victorian Secrets, during the tea. Reservations
must be made for the tea for $15 per person (includes admission to event).
Reservations will be limited to 26 people. Call (812) 273-0556.
Admission for the event is $3 per student (age 4-18) and for adults
without children. Adults with children are free (limit of two adults
Supporting sponsors for the event are McDonalds and the Madison
Chautauqua Festival of Art. This program has been made possible through
a matching grant from the Indiana Humanities Council in cooperation
with the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Back to June 2007 Articles.