Have you noticed the red, white and blue signs in front of many houses around town? They designate the home as that of a of Civil War soldier from Guilford and provide his name and some information about him. Historian Tracy Tomaselli, working with Town Historian Joel Helander, was able to identify 90 houses still standing that served as soldiers’ homes. Already, more than half of the present residents have indicated an interest in participating in the identification program. GPA played a role in making this happen.
Guilford Preservation Alliance (GPA) Bus Tours
Many of these houses will be the focal point of 40-minute, guided heritage bus tours run by the GPA as part of the Guilford and the Civil War celebration, a Guilford 375th Anniversary Signature Event that takes place onSaturday, May 31, from 11 am to 7 pm.
The bus tours, which will run hourly between noon and 4 pm, will board from a station on the Green across from St. George Church.
These bus tours are a prototype for other bus tours the GPA plans to run as a complement to guided walking tours that are part of the GPA’s Heritage Tourism initiative. In addition to educating residents about the Guilford community, the tours have enticed visitors from around the northeast and beyond to shop, walk, bike and enjoy our town.
Other Guilford and the Civil War Events
In addition to the bus tours, residents and visitors can enjoy a living-history experience at other Guilford and the Civil War events on May 31 from 11 am to 7 pm. Here’s what’s in store:
- Military reenactors demonstrating what life was like for the town and its soldiers, including military drills, cooking, clothing, sleeping conditions, medical procedures, and even an 1860s-style baseball game.
- An 1860s-type farm market organized by Dudley Farm will have fresh foods, home-baked and prepared foods, as well as demonstrations of candle-making, and woodworking.
- A large exhibit about the lives of soldiers and residents of Guilford at the time of the War. The exhibit will be located around the Soldier’s Monument, and the research materials will be donated to the Guilford Free Library after the event so it can be accessible by researchers.
- Adams Middle School students will recite the Gettysburg Address with musical accompaniment by Adams Concordia strings group.
- Reenactors, Abraham Lincoln and other historic figures will be available on the Green for a chat.
- Six original ten-minute plays about the lives of local soldiers and abolitionists, told in part, in their own words.
- Special exhibits of Civil War artifacts or period activities at the Hyland House and Griswold House museums.
- Rides in an authentic 1860s carriage and a hay wagon.
- Live music during the day.
- A closing concert from 5:30 to 7 pm organized by New Haven Symphony Orchestra Conductor William Boughton. The concert will feature performers of Civil War-period music and performances by the Guilford High School’s Voices Choral Group and the Heritage Choir of New Haven.
- Restaurants and shops around the Green, many of which will offer special items.
- Food reminiscent of the period from Guilford restaurants, including a raw bar, jonnycakes, pulled pork, mac and cheese, homemade ice cream, and sandwiches.
With the exception of foods, market items and the bus tours, all of the events are free of charge.
Rain or shine. Performances will move inside.
In case of rain, the short musical events and the closing concert at 5:30 will be moved indoors to adjacent churches. The plays will be held in the Christian Science Church on Park Street as planned. The reenactors will be on the Green, rain or shine. So come and enjoy these programs rain or shine. Changes of venues for events will be posted on the churches, at the information tent, and on the website listed below.
Parking will be available at the Griswold House and the Bethel Assembly of God, both on Boston Street and within easy walking distance to the Green. Horse drawn carriages and busses will also carry people to and from those lots.
More Information, including a detailed schedule, go to the event website at:
You can also view a short fun video about the event:
Helps us get the word out:
Please tell your friends and family about this exciting and educational event.
Feel free to forward this email or any parts of it to others throughout the region and to post the links and any parts of it on your Facebook pages.
Hope to See you and your families on the 31st.