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Upcoming Programs and Events for Spring 2013

Arming the Union: Vermont Gunmakers and the Technology that Shaped America - April 24, 2013

During the Civil War, the Union army fielded more than two million men, most of them armed with newly-made, highly accurate rifles. In this illustrated lecture, historian and museum curator Carrie Brown explores the critical role that Windsor, Vermont, played in producing technology that won the war and changed American life and popular culture even after the war ended. A Vermont Humanities Council event hosted by Northeast Kingdom Civil War Roundtable. (Image: American Precision Museum)

7:00 p.m. Eastside Restaurant, 47 Landing St, Newport, VT (802) 881-2568l


RANSOM: A play inspired by the Civil War letters of Lieut. Ransom W. Towle of West Rochester, Vermon! - April 25 - May 12, 2013

Marking the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, Lost Nation Theater presents the professional premiere of Ransom, an authentic, real-life drama originally produced by Rochester, Vermont’s White River Valley Players. The letters Civil War soldiers wrote to their families and the letters those families sent to their imperiled sons speak simply and eloquently of heroic sacrifice on both the home front and the battlefield. Traditional tunes as well as original songs weave a magical web, giving rich emotional resonance to the hardships and joys of daily life during an epically challenging time.

Written by Dick Robson, with the collaboration of Joe Schenkman, Ethan Bowen, and April Dodd. Original Music and Arrangements of Traditional Music by Dorothy Robson and Jake Wildwood. Lost Nation Theater was named One of the Best Regional Theaters in America by NYC Drama League.

Lost Nation Theater, 39 Main Street, Montpelier, VT Check website for details and to order tickets. www.lostnationtheater.org or call (802)229-0492


Alec Turner: A Trek from Slavery to Freedom – May 19, 2013

Alec Turner was born a slave in 1845 on the John Gouldin plantation of Port Royal, Virginia. He died a freeman, farmer, and landowner in Grafton, Vermont in 1923. His is a remarkable narrative, told by Alec to his family and recounted to Jane Beck by his daughter, Daisy, who was born in Grafton in 1883.
Alec Turner's saga is rich in detail, with compelling anecdotes painted on a well-textured canvas. We are drawn to the power of Alec Turner's spirit, his humanity, and the measure of the man himself. A Vermont Humanities Council event hosted by Hartland Historical Society.

2:00 p.m. First Congregational Church of Hartland, 10 Station Rd, Hartland, VT (802) 436-3383.


Free & Safe Exhibit Opening - May 19, 2013

Free & Safe opens at Rokeby Museum, a National Historic Landmark and Underground Railroad site described as “unrivaled” by the National Park Service.

The Museum’s new exhibit Free and Safe introduces Simon and Jesse – two fugitives from slavery who were sheltered at Rokeby in the 1830s. The exhibit traces their stories from slavery to freedom, introduces the abolitionist Robinson family who called Rokeby home for nearly 200 years, and explores the turbulent decades leading up to the Civil War.

Once a thriving Merino sheep farm, Rokeby retains eight historic farm buildings filled with agricultural artifacts along with old wells, stone walls, and fields. Acres of pastoral landscape invite a leisurely stroll or a hike up the trail. Picnic tables accommodate lunch outdoors. Free & Safe will be open daily through October 27, 2013.

10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with opening events at 2:00 p.m. Rokeby Museum, 4334 Rte. 7, Ferrisburgh,VT (802)877-3406 www.rokeby.org


Vermont and the Civil War – May 22, 2013

From Cedar Creek to Gettysburg, Vermonters were central to the Union cause. Vermont author and Civil War historian Howard Coffin addresses the Vermont contribution to the Civil War. A Vermont Humanities Council event hosted by Berlin Historical Society.

(Image: The Battle at Cedar Creek (detail), Vermont State House, Montpelier, VT)

7:00 p.m. First Congregational Church, Parish Hall, 1808 Scott Hill Rd, Berlin, VT (802) 223-1203.


The Meaning of Freedom – May 23, 2013

Examining the legacy of religion and race during the Civil War, Hildene Executive Director Seth Bongartz will talk about Lincoln and his relationship with the slaves and their own pending freedom. Vermont Humanities historian Lars Nielsen will talk about the Jews during the civil war. Dina Janis, Artistic Director of the Dorset Theatre Festival will then moderate a Q & A about with a theme of freedom and how this has translated into our times today as a nation. Held in conjunction with the Dorset Theatre Festival’s production of The Whipping Man.

6:00 p.m. Northshire Bookstore, 4869 Main St, Manchester Center, VT (802) 362-2200 www.northshire.com





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