Spring at the Homestead pays homage to Civil War
by Marie Nesmith
Mar 27, 2014 | 2846 views | 0 0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Along with highlighting pioneer skills, Red Top Mountain State Park plans to commemorate the Civil War sesquicentennial during its Spring at the Homestead event. In 1864, Union troops left their mark on Bartow when they occupied Cassville from May to early November and fought in one of the Civil War’s bloodiest conflicts, the Battle of Allatoona Pass, Oct. 5.

To be presented April 5 and 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Spring at the Homestead will be held behind the venue’s Park Office — on the meadow and at the Vaughan log cabin and blacksmith shop.

“This year our focus is more on the Civil War side,” said Marcus Toft, interpretive ranger for Red Top, 50 Lodge Road S.E. in Cartersville. “We usually have re-enactors who will come and set up a little tent city and do some demonstrations. So we’re sort of focusing more on that because this is the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. So we’re not re-enacting any battles, as far as we know there was no fighting here at Red Top, but because of the 150th we’re going to be focusing more on the soldier side of things. So we will still have civilian demonstrations — cooking and butter churning and blacksmithing — but we’re also going to have a Civil War camp set up and cannon fire demonstrations and rifle firing demonstrations.

“[I hope people will learn] what these soldiers had to go through, what equipment they carried with them, the different roles that they even had. The re-enactors we bring in are a part of an artillery crew, so they’ll do the rifle demonstrations, but they focus a lot on artillery, which is something different than you’ll see a lot of times with just the infantry. So you’ll get to see sort of that component.”

As with other Red Top events, Friends of Red Top Mountain State Park will be volunteering and working behind the scenes, funding and furnishing supplies.

“This event is really a step back in time for us,” said Damon Kirkpatrick, president of Friends of Red Top. “The cabin that we have on the property from somewhere around the [mid-1800s] really represents a historical time period in this area that is often underrepresented. Pioneer skills and pioneer days give families the opportunity to step back and see what it was like to live right here but in a different time.

“One of the best things about this event is that we offer a lot of opportunities for hands-on [learning]. ... We have toys that would have been authentic to the time period that kids and families can actually play and experience together. We also have a blacksmith who will be making various things and the kids get to get right up and get involved and see what that was like. So it’s a really hands-on experience, a little different from just displays and museum pieces.”

Even though Spring at the Homestead will be open and free to the public, patrons will need to display a $5 daily or an annual ParkPass in their vehicles. For more information, call 770-975-0055 or visit www.gastateparks.org/redtopmountain.