"Civil War Battle Re-Enactment" Willamette Mission State Park Things to Do Tip by glabah
Willamette Mission State Park Things to Do: 12 reviews and 54 photos
Every year, around or on the 4th of July, the Northwest Civil War Council does one of its battle re-enactments here at Willamette Mission State Park. The exact schedule events depends on what dates are available that year, so it is best to check the web site below for details.
The battle re-enactment is a fairly thorough affair, with the only non-period instruments allowed in the area of the battle re-enactment are the parks department maintenance vehicles, a few rubber tired transport machines (such as trailers to move food), bleachers for the crowd to sit on, and an electric PA system for the announcer to explain events and make announcemnts.
People do take the period part of this event very seriously, and you are not allowed to touch things unless you ask. Many of the "period" instruments are in fact true historical treasures from the Civil War era.
Vendors do arrive and sell their goods in the location, but they must, as much as possible, be in period attire and be selling items in facilities that are true to the period as well. In other words, canvas tents and all that are required.
There is an admission fee beyond the $3 per car state park admission charge. In 2009 the admission fee was $6 per adult.
Events include a wide range of activities, and are not just limited to the Civil War Battle re-enactment. There are medical demonstrations of the time, and various other events. Except for not going into any closed tent, people are allowed to tour the various camps and experience history as it was on a Civil War battlefield - including civilian camps (there were civilians that followed every military unit and made a substantial establishment unto themselves) and the military camps. The exception is that most everything is closed during the battle demonstration, as it requires everyone to be on hand.
This is a huge event, so be prepared for a large, crowded parking lot. There is little shade in the areas near the battle field, so take sun screen, a hat, and whatever else is appropriate given the weather. You may also want to bring your own folding chair, or blanket to sit on.
The official day for the event is July 4th, but it does depend a bit on what day the 4th falls on that particular year. For example, in 2009, the 4th of July was on Saturday. Friday the 3rd was also an official day off, and therefore the Civil War Battle Re-Enactment happened on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th, with an evening dance (after the park closed) on the evening of the 3rd and 4th.
A Typical Schedule:
The following is based on the published timetable for the July, 2009 battles. From one year to another, things may change somewhat.
9am - Event Open to Public
9am - Morning Parade, featuring all military camps (30 minutes earlier on Sunday)
9:30 am - Sunday Church Service (Sunday only)
11am - First Battle
12 - Artillery Demonstration
12:30 - Union Medical Demonstration
12:30 - Speaker's Forum (Sunday only)
1 pm - Music Demonstration
1 pm - The Civil War in Oregon (Saturday only)
2 pm - 19th Century Fashion Show
3 pm - Second Battle
4 pm - "Touched by Fire" Historical Theatre (Friday only)
4:30 - Confederate Hospital Demonstration (Friday and Saturday only)
6 pm - Event Closes to Public
To provide even more indication of what goes on during the Civil War Battle Re-enactments, I have put up 3 videos from the July 4, 2009 series of battles:
Civil War Battle Sample a short piece of action that illustrates the type of thing you will see here during the battle.
Action Gets Close to the Audience - including firing a cannon about 3 feet from the viewers!
Loading and Firing a Cannon - Civil War era shooting was not a very fast series of events, due to the need to manually load each piece, and wait for the gun barrel to cool down. This series of motions is seen in this video.
The Concil has several other civil war battle re-enactments in several other areas, but this is the only one at Willamette Mission State Park, and it only happens once a year.
Address: Much of the primary picnic locations in the park
Directions: Follow the signs. This is a huge event.
More Things to Do in Willamette Mission State Park (10)
More Reviews (8)
glabah's Related Pages
Explore the World
Have you been to Willamette Mission State Park?Share Your Travels