Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Civil War lecture; Fall festivities in Historic Yorktown


Educator to talk about local Civil War African American history
September 11, 2012
     The York County Historical Committee, in cooperation with the York County Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee, is proud to present the fifth lecture in its York County Civil War Lecture Series. 
     The presentation, "Union Army Census of the Colored Population of York County, March 1865," will be held in the Board Room of York Hall, 301 Main Street, Yorktown, on Sunday, Sept. 16 at 3 p.m. The speaker is local teacher and historian Russell B. Hopson.
Hopson is a retired York County teacher and historian who has done extensive research on the African-American population in York County. In conjunction with the Civil War Sesquicentennial, he will discuss black freedmen, freemen, and contraband on various farms located in the county based on information from the Union Census of York County, March 1865. The document reflects attitudes of the census takers and the prospects of the free and former enslaved of being and acting free. Also included in the presentation are the names of approximately 41 York County African-Americans who enlisted in the U.S. Colored Troops during the Civil War.
     Three more lectures remain in the series: Oct. 21 – "Medical Problems on the Peninsula." Author, historian and historical interpreter T. A. "Doc" Wheat will talk about the Confederate troops who initially defended Yorktown and the "deadly enemy" they encountered (and it wasn't the Yankees); Nov. 4 - A Prelude to "Kiss My Little Girls – 1861." Jeff Toalson, historian and author of three Civil War-era books, will provide some special insights into his research and how he came to know the intriguing story of Richard and Mary Watkins. Richard Watkins, Prince Edward County lawyer and former Confederate cavalry captain (portrayed by Mr. Toalson), will join us for a visit on the front porch and recall stories of the conflict. Mr. Toalson will capture your interest and prepare you for the upcoming performances of one of his most popular works; Dec. 16 – "The Civil War - A Woman's Cause." Local historian and historical interpreter Sharleen Leigh West-Carr will provide insights into the role of women during the war. Ms. West-Carr is currently the chairman of the North-South Skirmish Association Costume Committee and makes Civil War period clothing.
     If you would like more information about this Civil War lecture series, or you would like information on how you can volunteer with the Historical Committee or the Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee, please call 757-890-3508 or visit www.yorkcounthistoricalcommittee.org.


Historic Yorktown celebrates the arrival of Fall
September 11, 2012
     With cooler temperatures just around the corner, Historic Yorktown is the place to be for a fantastic fall lineup of activities such as Rhythms on the Riverwalk, the Yorktown Wine Festival and Yorktown Market Days/Fall Festival, all held on the waterfront, not to mention the popular annual Yorktown Day festivities.
     Yorktown Market Dayscontinues this fall featuring seasonal fruits and vegetables; fresh seafood, eggs, poultry, beef and pork; cut flowers, organic and gluten free products, coffee, cheese, fresh breads, baked goods, quality art, and entertainment. Markets are scheduled weekly through Sept. 15 and monthly markets are scheduled Oct. 13, Nov. 10, and Dec. 15 with the 4th Annual Fall Festival joining the Oct. 13 market event. The Fall Festivalwill feature added activities including a pumpkin patch, hayrides and hay maze, face painting and other children's games. Monthly markets in October, November and December will have extended hours from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
     A local favorite returned on Friday, Sept. 7 with the annual "Rhythms on the Riverwalk" Concert Series from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. This year's concert series features three Fridays of toe tappin' jazz followed by two Fridays of knee slappin' country. 
     Come and sample wines from premiere wineries throughout Virginia at the Oct. 6 Yorktown Wine Festival.
     Don't miss the annual Reenactment of the York Town, Virginia Tea Party of 1774 on Oct. 14 with a reenactment play.
Riverwalk Restaurant continues with live music at High Tide Bar & Grill on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7 to 9 p.m. Also, don't miss Wine Tastings on Fridays this fall at the restaurant.
     The Carrot Treerestaurant offers the Wine Garden every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this fall serving specially priced beverages, small plates of appetizers and bushels of Virginia peanuts. Call 988-1999 for a current schedule of dining events.   
     The Yorktown Victory Center presents public lecture series to commemorate the 231st anniversary of the decisive Revolutionary War victory in Yorktown from 7 to 9 pm on Saturdays, Sept. 22 & 29, and Oct. 6 & 27. 
     The Watermen's Museumwill host the York River Maritime Heritage Festival with re-enactors, sea chantey singers, nautical music and displays on Saturday, Oct. 20.
     Don't miss demonstrations of the firing of Revolutionary War cannons at the Yorktown Battlefield on Sept. 16 & 29, and Oct. 7 & 13 every hour from 12:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. (included with paid admission).   
     Oct. 19 will feature the annualYorktown Day Celebrationfull of patriotic ceremonies, a parade, fifes and drums performances, tactical demonstrations and more. Special programs and tours help market the 231st anniversary of the American and French victory at the Yorktown Victory Center and Yorktown Battlefield with Yorktown Victory Weekend Oct. 20 & 21.
     Don't miss one of Yorktown's treasures, the Schooner Alliance. Sail into history aboard Yorktown's 105-foot tall ship. Sails continue daily through October. Or, enjoy a pirate adventure aboard the Schooner Serenity. 
     For more spine-tingling fun, Patriot Tours and Provisions in Yorktown will be offering a ghost tour unlike any other. Starting in September they will be offering a new twist on the traditional Ghost Tour experience by implementing similar tactics used in popular TV shows, such as "Ghost Hunters." Groups will all be equipped with highly sensitive instruments that they can use to capture "evidence" of paranormal activity. These guided tours tell about Yorktown's considerable military battle history, and the deaths and injuries that occurred during these conflicts, as well as the difficulties the early settlers experienced just trying to survive daily life in the colony.
     Whether you're a hiker, biker, walker, kayaker, boater or beach lover, Yorktown is an outdoor recreation destination. Fall is the perfect time to get out of the house and take in all the sights and sounds of the area. Take a guided Segway tour of historic Main Street or take a ride on our free Yorktown trolley which offers a great way to tour the entire town at no cost. The trolley continues daily through Nov. 4.
     Event parking is available at Riverwalk Landing in the two-level parking terrace. Additional parking is available in Yorktown at York Hall, the County Administration Building and the Courthouse/Finance Building Complex, which are all within two blocks of the waterfront.   
     For more information on these activities or any other events in York County, visit www.visityorktown.org.
*Dates, times and activities are subject to change.

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