Battle at the Grange
ISLIP TOWN—Last Saturday and Sunday, Co. K of the 67th New York Volunteer Infantry successfully hosted its seventh annual Civil War Weekend at the Islip Grange.
Over the course of the weekend, thousands of visitors were treated with exciting battle reenactments between the Union and the Confederacy, completely free of charge. Infantry members, who camped out overnight, played period music, displayed artifacts, demonstrated battle strategies and maneuvers, gave a guided lantern tour, held a movie screening of “Gettysburg,” celebrated a Civil War-themed wedding, and donned elaborate period costumes and gear as they brought history to life in a fascinating blend of education and entertainment.
Historian and infantry member George Munkenbeck said that the event—which is sponsored by the Town of Islip with support from the Sayville Chamber of Commerce—has been growing in popularity each successive year.
“We’ve had incredibly great support from the Town of Islip,” said Munkenbeck. “We’re excited to be making use of the Grange and getting it back to being the historical area it was designed to be.”
Located on Broadway Avenue and owned by the Town of Islip, the 12-acre Islip Grange represents what a local hamlet would have looked like in the 19th century. Founded in 1974, it was planned as a repository for historic structures and landmarks to be situated in a park-like setting, reflecting aspects of living during pre-Civil War Long Island. Current buildings include a carriage shed, Bicentennial Cottage, reproduction of a Dutch Reformed Church, Estate Managers Cottage, Ockers Barn, and The Mill.
Founded in 1997, the 67th NY is one of dozens of Civil War reenacting regiments under the U.S. Volunteers—a battalion organization dedicated to the goal of living and preserving history. It also participates in a variety of other living history events throughout Long Island, including parades and school programs.
Munkenbeck explained the particular fascination with the Civil War period among history enthusiasts and the general public.
“The Civil War was an interesting period because it was a watershed in American history,” said Munkenbeck. “There was a tremendous surge of growth in the country and we’re still solving some of the same problems today that they had then. It’s fascinating to be able to learn some life lessons by looking at ourselves in the mirror in hindsight and asking, ‘why did we do that?’”
For more information on the 67th New York Volunteer Infantry and upcoming events, visit www.newyorkcivilwar.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the Islip Grange, visit www.visithistoriclongisland.com/historic_IslipGrange.html.
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