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Visitors step back into history at Andersonville Historic Fair

ANDERSONVILLE, GA – Visitors from around the region, the state and the southeast got a taste of what life was like back during the Civil War when they came to the 43rd-annual Andersonville Historic Fair on Sunday, October 20. The fair was supposed to have begun on Saturday, October 19, but due to rain, Saturday’s festivities were cancelled.

Cynthia StormCaller, head of the Andersonville Guild and curator for the Drummer Boy Civil War Museum, was the overseer for the festivities. “The gates and everything help the historic preservation of the town,” StormCaller said. “If you go down to Pioneer Farm, you’ll see what we’re really talking about. We raised almost 13 buildings this past year. These are old buildings from the 1800s. Some are 130 years old. Some are older, but it also invites people to come in and see our little town and the wonderful stores that we have here and everything. This is a boost fore our economy, not just here in Andersonville, but throughout Sumter County.”

Confederate soldiers march during the reenactment of a Civil War battle at the Andersonville Historic Fair.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

StormCaller went on to say that in the past five years, the turnout for the fair has averaged 5,000 to 6,000 people a year. “Because of our wonderful storm yesterday, we didn’t have that much visitation,” StormCaller said.

At the fair, visitors got to see various arts and crafts from various venders. They also got to experience periodic reenactments of small town gunfights and there were periodic reenactments of Civil War battles.

Ron and Betty Hobkirk (right) stop by to check out the various types of honey sold at the exhibit of Mark Thornhill (left) and Mill Pond Honey Farm at the Andersonville Historic Fair.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

Those who loved music got to experience the beautiful, harmonic sounds of the Dixie Jubilee Band from Woodstock, GA.

As far as food was concerned, there was plenty of it. Visitors could dine at the Anderson Station Confederate Restaurant. They could also get a corn dog, chicken and alligator on a stick.

Visitors at the Andersonville Historic Fair get to watch actors acting out an argument between towns’ people, which erupts into a wild west-style gunfight reenactment.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

Visitors could also watch a blacksmith, such as Craig Hines of Whispering Pines Forge & Farm, create a bottle opener out of a piece of scrap metal and they could see how corn meal was grinded up at a grist mill. To sum it up, visitors to the Andersonville Historic Fair got to see everything that involved life in the 1800s and during the Civil War.

Jesse Mathis (far right) and his family and friends pose for a picture outside the Andersonville Station Confederate Restaurant.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

There was also a wildlife exhibit for those interested in snakes. Clayton Smith of the Georgia Reptile Society had an exhibit displaying exotic, non-venomous snakes, such as boa constrictors and pythons.

A union soldier fires a cannon during the reenactment of the Civil War battle at the Andersonville Historic Fair.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

Though the weather didn’t cooperate on Saturday, the visitors who came on Sunday to the 43rd-annual Andersonville Historic Fair had a great time as they took time to experience what life was like back during the 1800s and the Civil War.