Civil War Christmas scheduled for this weekend in Tyrone

The Colonel Crowther Foundation will present what it calls “a unique living history Christmas program” in Tyrone this Saturday and Sunday.
The events are being presented in association with the Tyrone Yuletyme Christmas and the Tyrone Area Historical Society. The program will focus on Christmas 1862 as experienced by civilians on the home front in Tyrone and a soldiers camp.
The Colonel Crowther Foundation is a nonprofit, non-stock Pennsylvania corporation, incorporated in November 2005. The Huntingdon-based foundation was created to recognize Colonel James E. Crowther who served and died in The Civil War. Col. Crowther was one of Tyrone’s original citizens. Before his service in the war, Col. Crowther was a businessman in Tyrone and was the second person ever to serve in the position of Tyrone Burgess (the equivalent of today’s mayor). Earlier this year, a Colonel Crowther weekend was held in Tyrone.
The foundation’s executive director, Dr. Robert R. Hileman, Jr. explained why his organization decided to hold Christmas-oriented events in Tyrone.
“We want to become members of the Tyrone Community,” said Dr. Hileman. “We thought we would have an opportunity to add to what (the Tyrone community is doing with its) Christmas program.
“We thought it would be unique and different to be able to offer people an opportunity to step back in time a little bit to see what Christmas was like then compared to Christmas now,” said Hileman.
On Saturday, the program will be presented in the parlor and social hall at the Wesley United Methodist Church. The events will start at 12 noon and run until 5 p.m.
Visitors will be able to view a number of displays in the entrance hallway of the church. The displays will include original copies of the 1861 and 1862 Christmas issues of Harper’s Weekly newspapers, an original General Grant’s marble game, an original testament book carried by a soldier in the Civil War, a Civil War living historian will explain and answer questions about the displays and there will be a chance to enter a raffle of a Civil War-era marble game.
A release from the foundation said the game board is a reproduction wooden solitaire board. It is the type used for the General Grant marble game. It includes 32 old antique German handmade clay marbles. Some of the clays are lined helix china marbles. The drawing for the game will be conducted on Sunday at the Tyrone Area Historical Society’s Tyrone History Museum at 4 p.m.
Christmas candy such as the type available in 1862 and other items will be available for purchase.
There will be a civilian setting in the parlor of the church. It will feature a tabletop Christmas tree decorated with trimmings typical of those used in 1862. Living historians will present discussions, readings and answer questions about home life at Christmas in 1861-1862. They will be preparing gift boxes that were sent to the soldiers. Examples of Christmas meals will be demonstrated with samples available to visitors.
There will also be a military setting in the social hall of the church. Living historians in a camp setting will present discussions, readings, and answer questions about camp life at Christmas in 1861-1862 period. Examples of a Christmas dinner, as documented in letters, will be available for sampling. Camp furniture and other items used in camp will be displayed.
On Sunday, the program will be presented at the Tyrone Area Historical Society’s Tyrone History Museum at Railroad Park from 1 to 4 p.m. Visitors will be able to experience most of the events and features of the Saturday program.
Admission is free. Donations to the foundation will be accepted.