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Weekend encampment in Roswell focuses on ‘Life in the 1860s’
by Joan Durbin
June 12, 2013 09:43 AM | 2159 views | 0 0 comments | 42 42 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Special events coordinator Bill Browning sits in the front room of Barrington Hall
Special events coordinator Bill Browning sits in the front room of Barrington Hall
A century and a half after it ended, The War Between the States still looms large in Americans’ collective memory.

“I believe that the Civil War, more so than the Revolution, was the defining moment in our country’s history. And I believe that people are still interested in learning about that time period today,” said Bill Browning, special events coordinator for Roswell’s historic Barrington Hall.”

“I also believe that people prefer ‘hands on’ experiences and that is why living history events as a whole are so popular.”

With Barrington’s rich history, dating back to 1842, and its spacious, beautifully kept grounds, it is an ideal venue for the “Life in the 1860s” event that will take place there June 22 and 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Civilian and military reenactors in period attire will demonstrate and talk about life during the Civil War. Both the north and the south will be represented at the weekend encampment.

“The Chicago Board of Trade, a Union group out of Marietta, will again join us, as well as the Washington Artillery,” Browning said. “The Chicago Board of Trade is also an artillery unit and both groups will bring cannons for display.”

The Confederacy will be there with calvary soldiers and horses, said Barrington Site Director Robert Winebarger. “There will also be one of the finest period bands in the state, the 8th Georgia Regiment Band.”

“Life in the 1860s” will also feature a children’s activity area and the 1860s Civilian Society of Georgia will demonstrate the reel, quadrille, waltz and other dances of the period.

Visitors will view displays of young women’s fashions of the day and flags of the 1860s. The Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts also will present displays of period activities.

Thinking about being alive in the 1860s is enough to make Browning grateful he lives in modern times.

“I have imagined living in that time period and don’t think it would have been an easy life,” he said. “We did not have the medical advancements and cures for diseases that we have today. We labored harder and longer. And for the most part the average life span was shorter.”

“The worst part would have been surgery, or almost any medical procedure,” Winebarger said.

But there would have been some benefits, he and Browning agreed.

“I think it would be amazing how quiet everyday life would have been,” Winebarger said. “No radio, TV, not even the sound of the AC coming on and going off. The nosiest thing in the house would have been the clocks ticking.”

“Life was simpler and I believe that our sense of ethics was more defined,” Browning said.

“Today we live in a blur of ‘situational’ ethics with a lot of gray areas.”

Admission for “Life in the 1860s” is free, and food and drink will be available. The event will be held rain or shine.

For more information, call (770) 640-3855.

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