News Release 136
History Unfolds on May 30-31 at Battle of Athens State Historic Site
Volume 37-136 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Sue Holst
JEFFERSON CITY, MO., MAY 18, 2009 -- Watch as re-enactors present daily life in 1861 at the "Wars Eve at Athens" event on May 30 and 31 at Battle of Athens State Historic Site near Revere. Sponsored by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Friends of Athens, this living history event will take place from noon to 5 p.m. both days and is free and open to the public.
In 1861, there was unrest in the state and Missourians were choosing sides. The majority of the people living in Athens at that time were pro-Southern inhabitants who moved to northeast Missouri from southern states. They went about their daily business while facing an uncertain future. Soon, the town of Athens became a battle ground. Re-enactors will set up in the Thome-Benning, McKee and Townsend Gray houses and on foundations of other homes and businesses throughout town. Carpentry and stone masonry skills will be exhibited, a traditional wagon will be constructed and the undertaker's parlor and general store will be open for business. Women will go about their household chores while the men discuss and prepare for the eventuality of war. The Friends of Athens will sponsor a general store that will sell goods and bakery items. Refreshments of the period will be served at the Thome-Benning and Townsend Gray houses.
Battle of Athens State Historic Site is the site of the northernmost battle fought west of the Mississippi River during the Civil War. Union Home Guardsmen defeated soldiers of the pro-Southern Missouri State Guard here in 1861. A cannonball pierced the Thome-Benning home during the battle.
The historic site also features a campground, picnic area, hiking trails and fishing and boating in a small lake or the Des Moines River. The historic site is located 10 miles north of Kahoka on Highway 81 and four miles east on Highway CC.
For more information about the event, contact the historic site at 660-877-3871 or the Missouri Department of Natural Resources toll free at 800-334-6946 (voice) or 800-379-2419 (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf). For more information on Missouri state parks and historic sites, visit the Web at www.mostateparks.com.