Catasauqua Press

Monday, July 13, 2020

Civil War 150th exhibit at Fair

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 by The Press in Focus

The "Pennsylvania Civil War 150 Road Show," a 53-foot modified tractor-trailer transformed into a travelling museum, visits the Great Allentown Fair Aug. 28 - Sept. 3.

The museum will be manned and managed by staff and volunteers of the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum.

"We are excited to be a part of this extraordinary event. The Great Allentown Fair is one of the best and largest fairs in the country," Joseph Garrera, Executive Director of the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum, said.

The "Road Show," a free with fair admission attraction in front of the Agri-Plex, is open during fair hours, starting at 4 p.m. Aug. 28, "Preview Night," and noon daily Aug. 29 - Sept. 3.

The traveling exhibit that was developed for the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War. Through images, sound, words, objects and interactive multimedia, the "Road Show" tells the stories of the many ways Pennsylvania's men, women, children and communities experienced the Civil War, on the battlefield and as civilians on the home front.

"Pennsylvania played a decisive role in the Civil War. From Abraham Lincoln's election, to Gettysburg and beyond, Pennsylvania played a huge role," said Garrera.

"The 'Road Show' delivers an exciting visitor experience through state-of-the-art communication techniques that tell true stories of the Civil War in a transportable museum setting," said Garrera.

Interactive components include animated videos and scrolling comic strips, 3-D stereoscopic photographs, original compositions of Civil War-era music and sound effects, hand-held audio devices and flipbooks.

The "Road Show" incorporates a collection of local artifacts and personal memorabilia of the Civil War years from the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum, including:

Medal of Honor, America's highest award for valor and bravery, awarded to Ignatz Gresser, an Allentown soldier who saved a fellow soldier's life at the Battle of Antietam in September 1862;

Pennsylvania Civil War Broadsides, a form of recruiting posters, used to attract soldiers for enlistment during the war; and

Gold-plated Civil War 1862 Cavalry Saber awarded to Col. Tilghman Good of the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment.

The "Road Show" will collect the stories of Pennsylvania's Civil War history, county by county, in a "Share Your Story" recording booth where the public is invited to share their own Civil War-era family photographs, artifacts and stories digitally and- or orally to be uploaded to

A virtual scrapbook invites visitors to take a picture of themselves at the "Road Show" in the style of a Civil War-era photograph that could be uploaded and incorporated into a customizable digital scrapbook with Civil War ephemera.

The "Road Show" is made possible by grants from the United States Institute of Museum and Library Services and The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and is presented by the Pennsylvania Heritage Society.