Civil War Coming to Central Oregon

(Photo | Courtesy of Northwest Civil War Council)

The weekend of May 18-19 will be the sixth year that the American Civil war comes to Central Oregon. The living history event takes place in an expansive meadow at the private House On Metolius resort property near Camp Sherman, Oregon.

This extraordinary event, that immerses visitors in an open-air environment nearly identical to those in the 1860s, is open to the public from 9am to 5pm on Saturday and from 9am to 4pm on Sunday.

Over 160 reenactors come from all over Oregon and Washington to represent Northern and Southern military units and civilians. Each reenactor is a history buff eager to impart some knowledge about America in the mid-nineteenth century. All portray, explain and show life during our nation’s most tumultuous period.

This living history weekend helps one learn about slavery, abolition, state sovereignty and the role of the federal government. Additional topics from the 1860s that are relevant to today’s issues include social change, civil rights, citizenship, regional rivalries, liberty, free-labor entrepreneurial capitalism and freedom from certain things, and freedom to do certain things.

Fully period-correct military equipment, tack, tents, housewares and supplies will be used and displayed during the weekend. Visitors are welcome to tour the camps that are set up just as they were during the Civil War.

President Abraham Lincoln will speak Saturday at 1pm and is then available for questions. This reenactor is so similar to Lincoln, and equally polished, one walks away from hearing him wondering if, indeed, you were momentarily in 1864.

The reenactors also donate their time Friday, May 17, for a School Day, when the camps of the Blue and Grey are open just for students on school field trips. Nearly 1,000 students will participate this year.

The House On Metolius, near camp Sherman, Oregon is a secluded mountain meadow with the Wild and Scenic Metolius River running through the private property.

To view past photos, go to:

The beautiful mountain meadow setting offers over five acres of living history with campsites, stores, medical practices, music, war reporting, yarn spinning, fashion and other activities of the era. Civil War artillery, infantry and cavalry are represented. Engineering projects, including a portable pontoon bridge, make for one-of-a-kind learning.

Mock battles with cannons and muskets firing real black powder are scheduled for 11am and 3pm each day. General admission is $8. Seniors and students, $5. Children under six, free. Parking, $5 per vehicle to help the Boy Scouts.

The House On Metolius ( is off Oregon Highway 126 / US-20, two miles north of Camp Sherman, off road 1420.

The Northwest Civil War Council ( is a nonprofit, living history organization dedicated to educating the public and members about the American Civil War. Through educational drama at reenactments, participants discover and learn about history and the people who lived in the 1860s.

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