The Press Newspaper
Audiences are invited to leave their 21st century cares behind and step back into time as the Pemberville Freedom Area Historical Society presents A Civil War Tribute Live! In the Pemberville Opera House Friday and Saturday Nov. 1 and 2.
On Friday evening at 7 p.m., noted historian Dr. Robert Goulding will discuss “Andrew’s Raiders – Their Quest for The General.”
Andrews Raid, or the Great Locomotive Chase, as some call it, is arguably one of the great railroad adventure stories of all time.
On April 12, 1862, the War Between the States had been under way one year, when a band of 22 Union soldiers disguised as civilians, under the leadership of a spy and contraband merchant, James J. Andrews, worked their way 200 miles behind the Confederate lines. Their mission was to board and steal a northbound Confederate locomotive on the Georgia State Western & Atlantic Railroad, take it north and burn the bridges and tear up track and telegraph lines behind them.
Just short of their goal, the Raiders were captured; several were hung and the rest imprisoned. All but one of the Raiders hailed from Ohio – many were from Northwest Ohio, including one from Pemberville, Sgt. Elihu Mason. The raid became the subject of a 1956 movie entitled “The Great Locomotive Chase,” starring Fess Parker, which will be shown immediately following Dr. Goulding’s presentation. A replica train setup of “The General” will also be set up. Admission to the presentation and the film is free.
On Saturday, The Dodworth Saxhorn Band – billed as America’s premier 19th century brass band -- take the stage at the Opera House at 7:30 p.m. to present a Civil War Commemoration and Veterans Salute.
Formed in 1985 by Alexander Pollack, the band is a re-creation of the community brass bands popular in the mid-1800s. The ensemble of up to 17 members dress the part and perform on antique brass valve horns and drums built between 1840 and 1880.
Most of their numbers are original to the era and were obtained from the Library of Congress and other collections, while others have been edited for clarity and errors or scored as they would have been for the time.
Based in Ann Arbor, the band performs in schools, universities, theaters, orchestra halls and opera houses throughout the eastern United States and Canada. They also play regularly at Greenfield Village of The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich., as well as at Victorian Civil War balls, historical re-enactments, living history events, and vintage baseball games.
The band provided music for Ken Burns’ popular nine-part “Baseball” film series that aired on PBS. Their single, “Gee, It's A Wonderful Game” is featured on the series’ original soundtrack. (Listen to a clip, or buy it at Amazon.com.)
Their library includes copies of music manuscripts and early arrangements from the Baseball Hall of Fame, numbers that span the early years of baseball from mid-19th century to the 1920s.
The Pemberville concert will be a Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemoration, celebrating 150 years of the war that included the efforts of 310,654 soldiers and sailors of Ohio who answered President Abraham Lincoln’s call to preserve the Union. The band incorporates drama, poetry, dance, and audience participation to help bring America’s musical past to life.
Tickets to the concert are $10 and are available at Beeker’s General Store or by calling Carol at 419-287-4848.
Those wishing to make an evening of it can enjoy a “Dinner & Show” special, which includes dinner at Janelle’s Diner, located at 135 E. Front St., Pemberville, and a ticket to the show at a cost of $25. Diners can choose from hot roast beef or smothered chicken, salad and a drink. Call 419-287-7043 or stop in at the diner daily until 2 p.m. for tickets.