Past is Prologue

Clint Schemmer writes about history, heritage preservation and the American Civil War.  On Facebook: Past is Prologue  On Twitter: @prologuepast  ContactEmail Clint or call 540/374-5424.

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Ideas: Summer Fun for Families in Virginia and Beyond

Scenic, history-rich Harpers Ferry, W.Va., at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Reporting from Richmond today, where the Civil War Trust is holding its annual meeting this week.

This just in, over the transom from the trust:


RICHMOND, Va. – Education does not have to stop at the classroom, and there are plenty of exciting and economical options for the American family embarking on a summer road trip. The Civil War Trust recommends six historic sites and activities this vacation season.

Civil War Era Baseball, Vienna, Va.: The Town of Vienna, Historic Vienna, and the Vienna Sesquicentennial Committee have collaborated in a day of Civil War Era Baseball, featuring three well-known vintage baseball teams. This free event will offer exhibits, skills classes, pick-up games organized by age group. The program is scheduled for June 23, from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the outdoor field nearest to Vienna Community Center. For more information on the event, visit

History at Sunset Program at Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park, Middletown, Va.: Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Battlefield will present a History at Sunset series.  National Park Service rangers will conduct presentations which will cover a variety of topics and grant visitors the opportunity to visit sites which are normally closed to the public.  This free series will be offered every Sunday from July 1 to August 12, from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.  For more information on the workshop, visit

Ices and Creamed Ice Workshop, Harpers Ferry, W.Va.: The Harpers Ferry Historical Association will present a Living History Workshop focusing on 19th-century frozen sweets. Historic Foodways Expert Carol Anderson will instruct participants in the skills and craft of making and molding flavored ices and ice cream —and participants will be able to enjoy their handmade confections. This workshop is offered at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on June 30 and July 1. Advanced registration is recommended and is $5 per person, although children under six may attend for free with a registered adult. For more information on the workshop, visit

Fort Sumter Get Outdoors Day, Charleston, S.C.: Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has announced that the National Park Service will waive admission fees at select National Park Service sites on June 9 for Get Outdoors Day. The Fort Sumter event will offer a mix of historic- and environmental-themed games and toys. Photo opportunities with National Park Trust mascot Buddy the Bison and United States Forest Service mascot Smokey Bear will be available. For more information about Get Outdoors Day at Fort Sumter, visit

Wilson’s Creek Get Outdoors Day, Springfield, Mo.: Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, which preserves and commemorates the first major Western battle of the Civil War, is also participating in the National Park Service’s Get Outdoors Day initiative. For more information about Get Outdoors Day at Wilson’s Creek, visit and

Civil War Days, San Francisco, Calif.: The American Civil War Association will bring Fort Point to life with interpretive history. Talks and demonstrations will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at Fort Point National Historic Site on August 18. This event is free of charge. For more information on the event, visit

Those families looking to have an enriching and enjoyable Civil War experience at home may enjoy the Trust’s new book The Civil War Kids 150: Fifty Fun Things to Do, See, Make and Find for the 150th Anniversary. Designed to appeal to elementary-aged kids, this collection of crafts and projects helps them explore history in age-appropriate ways. Learn more and purchase your copy at