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Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Department of History, in partnership with the town of Dover, will host Dutchess Heritage Days 2015 at Thomas J. Boyce Park in Wingdale, off Route 55, on Saturday, June 13th and Sunday, June 14th. The program, The 150th on the 150th, will commemorate the American Civil War’s conclusion and Dutchess County soldiers’ return, in General J. H. Ketcham’s home town. Ketcham, an antebellum town supervisor of Dover and New York State Assemblyman and Senator, commanded the 150th (Dutchess County) New York Volunteer Infantry for most of the Civil War. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, featuring a living history encampment and a history fair with displays from area historical societies and preservation groups.
A variety of programs will be offered all weekend long. The event will open with a short parade on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. Reenactors of the recreated Company I, 150th NYVI, along with the JH Ketcham Fire Company, will march in and be on hand all weekend, offering ongoing camp life demonstrations, musket firing, and period military drill. The adjoining history fair, in the Boyce Park picnic pavilion, will feature presentations on general county history along with specific exhibits and displays on Dutchess County’s contribution to the nation’s defining conflict. Children’s activities include drilling with wooden muskets and playing with period toys. At 6 p.m. on Saturday, the Town of Dover will sponsor a special showing of the final episode of Ken Burns’ The Civil War with boxed dinner options available. Sunday programming will include a Civil War-style church service at the reenactor camp at 10 a.m.
“This event offers a unique opportunity for Dutchess County residents and visitors from across the region to explore our area’s deep connections to the Civil War,” said County Historian William P. Tatum III. “Boyce Park and the Town of Dover offer the perfect setting for this event, with close and continuing ties to Dutchess County’s major contributions to the war effort. Eastern Dutchess is a treasure trove of historic sites we hope this event will encourage people to visit.”
The Dutchess County Historical Society, the Town of Washington/Village of Millbrook Historical Society, and the Town of Amenia Historian Arlene Iuliano have offered early support for the History Fair. The Dover Town Council and the Dover Historical Society have worked closely with Dutchess County in planning this event from the beginning and will be providing significant support for this celebration of county heritage.
This event is free and open to the public, running from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Additional event details are available at at dutchessny.gov/history.
The event flyer can be viewed online here.