Merrehope event teaches history
TAKING AIM Jonathan Poe takes aim with a Civil War-era rifle Saturday during an encampment at Merrehope, an event demonstrating living history held as a fund-raiser for the home's restoration. Photo by Paula Merritt / The Meridian Star.
By Lynette Wilson / staff writer
Nov. 3, 2002
Curiosity brought Walter and Carmina Wrobel to Merrehope on Saturday.
Blues, so we came to see the Grays," Walter Wrobel said.
The Wrobels moved to Meridian from Syracuse, N.Y., a few months ago.
The couple was among more than 75 visitors to a Civil War encampment hosted by the East Mississippi Living History Association and the Meridian Restorations Foundation as a fund-raiser for the "Save Merrehope for Me" campaign that began in July.
In 1864 Union Gen. William T. Sherman destroyed virtually everything in Meridian except Merrehope, said Carol Sessums, a member of the East Mississippi Living History Association.
On Saturday, "People came at their own expense from Jackson, Florence, Brandon and Cuba, Ala., to help raise money for Merrehope," Sessums said.
Dressed in quintessential 1860s outside work clothing, Sessums was one of the ladies who made a big pot of apple butter over an open fire.
Jennifer Poe, who wore a bodice, a hoop skirt and a green velvet cape, typical of travel wear, said she participates in historical re-enactments because she loves history, particularly the Civil War era.
Adults weren't the only ones involved in the fund-raiser, however; there were children historians, too.
Nine-year-old Mabry Ely said she likes re-enactments because she gets to travel to a lot of the Civil War battle sites.
Ely and 11-year-old Amanda Ivers busied themselves by playing Game of Graces a game played by tossing two hoops decorated with ribbons back and forth and catching them with sticks.
Poe said the game was supposed to teach young girls how to be graceful.
Ivers said other kids asked questions about her clothes and are interested to know about history. She said she's even worn her Civil War-era clothes to school for Pioneer Day.
Ivers and her father, Roger Ivers, participate because the Civil War is part of their Southern heritage.
Roger Ivers is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Anne McKee, who heads the Meridian Restorations Foundation, said she was delighted that the community pulled together to make the event a success.