The Civil War comes to Grafton

GRAFTON, Vt. – Who were the people that shaped the character and attitudes of Grafton, Vt. during the Civil War? A one-time, historical and musical program on these participants in history will be presented Aug. 2 at 6 p.m. at the Grafton Community Church, 55 Main Street.

Civil War
Linda Radtke of the Vermont Humanities Council in Civil War attire. Photo provided.

“Grafton and Its People in the Civil War” is hosted by the Grafton Historical Society in co-sponsorship with the Vermont Humanities Council. The two groups are combining their efforts to give a sketch of the political and moral position Grafton society took at this time and of some of the individuals who volunteered for the war effort. The event is open and free for the public to attend.

The program will include a perspective of Grafton from 1837 to 1864 gleaned from the facts, letters, photos, and diaries housed in the Grafton Historical Society archives. It will highlight some of the personalities and families – some of whose descendants still reside in the town.

Integrated into this presentation will be the musical songs from that era presented by singer and researcher, Linda Radtke, and pianist, Arthur Zorn. Radtke, dressed in a costume of the period, and Zorn will share the songs popular in Vermont during the Civil War from the sheet music collection at the Vermont Historical Society.

They are likely the songs that Ellery Tenney, Grafton’s history teacher and popular tenor of the time, sang at the campfires for Vermont’s 16th regiment. This regiment along with the 11th regiment included many men from Grafton, Chester, and Townshend. Family surnames such as Spring, Daniels, Howe, Park, Tarbell, Sherwin, Robbins, and Rice are still part of the region’s population.

Find out more about who resides in the area’s six cemeteries and the commitments they made to the hold the Union together in this turbulent time in history.

The program is free an open to the public, and accessible to those with disabilities. The GHS will hold its annual meeting, which is also open to the public, prior to the presentation at 5:30 p.m. For further information, contact the GHS at 802-843-2584 or grafhist@vermontel.net.

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