Civil War Sesquicentennial

326 Central Avenue, Highland Park, IL 60035
(847) 432-7090


March 11, 2013

CONTACT: Laura Knapp 847-757-0480

Highland Park Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemoration
will be a Blast at the Annual Stupey Cabin Picnic & Fundraiser
Civil War encampment with musket firing and reading of John Finney’s Civil War Letters

Highland Park, IL – March 11, 2013 – The Highland Park Historical Society invites the community to step
back in time together on June 1, 2013 from 11:00am – 4:00pm to observe the Civil War
Sesquicentennial. As part of the Annual Stupey Cabin Picnic & Fundraiser, Civil War re-enactors will
encamp on the lawn in front of the Francis Stupey Cabin located in Laurel Park, on St. Johns Avenue
between the Highland Park Library and City Hall. No rain date is planned. The 10th Illinois Regiment will
portray soldiers in a Union military camp in 1863. Military firings using black powder muskets will occur
throughout the day.

According to Board President, Rob Rotering, “the re-enactors enjoy engaging the public as they practice
their drills and demonstrations, and they are ready to answer questions about the life of a Civil War
soldier. This will be a terrific family event.” Concurrent activities include cabin tours, petting zoo, arts &
crafts for children and demonstrations on quilting, spinning wool, and churning butter. The picnic will
include food and drinks provided by the Historical Society.

At 3:00 pm hear young actors read excerpts from letters written by Highland Park city clerk, John Finney.
During the war, Mr. Finney wrote letters home to his Irish immigrant parents. The young Finney details
life in the “Scotch Regiment,” the 65th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. Finney wryly recounts watershed
marches and battles, including capturing “Rebel” soldiers who were revealed to be women in soldier
uniforms, daily life as a soldier, and the deadly dangers of swimming in unknown waters. The program
will be held in the Library Auditorium, located adjacent to the Civil War Event. The John Finney letters
are part of the Historical Society’s Archives and Research Collections, a nationally recognized historical

A Civil War exhibit will be held at the Society’s Museum during the summer and will open on June 2nd.
The Society is seeking Civil War artifacts and narratives; correspondence, images and Civil War items
related to Highland Park residents may be loaned or donated for the exhibit. Volunteers are also needed.
Contact Nancy Webster at or (847) 432-7090.
The 1847 Stupey Cabin was built by Prussian immigrant Frances Stupey and is the oldest standing
structure in Highland Park. The cabin is owned and maintained by the Historical Society. It was moved to
its current site in 1968. The cabin is in need of significant preservation work. The proposed restoration will
insure the Cabin’s existence for future generations. While all of the events are free of charge, a donation to
‘Save the Stupey Cabin’ is kindly requested. All funds raised will be used to repair and maintan the cabin
and re-institute programming.

Parking is available in the City Hall public parking lot and the city parking structure at St. Johns and
Laurel Street. Metra Union Pacific North stop is “Highland Park,” located across St. Johns Avenue from
the event.

The Highland Park Historical Society was formed in 1966 and runs a museum in an original 1871 Highland Park Building Company Italianate house donated to the Society in 1969, by Jean Butz James. The Society’s mission is to discover, preserve, provide access to, and disseminate the history of Highland Park. For more information, you are invited to visit the museum Wed.–Fri. 1-4 and Sunday 2-4. Contact us at 847-432-7090 or Find out more about our organization and events at, and visit us on Facebook under Highland Park Historical Society.

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