Musket Fire on Main Street Part of Civil War Muster

ScottWrightadTOPMusket Fire RB_04on Main Street Part of Civil War Muster

(Crystal A. Proxmire, May 29, 2016)

Royal Oak, MI – Men in the Union uniform stood on the lawn of the historic Orson Starr House at 3123 N. Main Street firing muskets into the air.

For the day the historic home site was transformed into a Civil War camp, with women on the porch sewing and tending to a baby, men gathered around tents talking about the times, and in the back yard little boys ran around the yard with toy rifles pretending to shoot at their enemies.

In back of the house one lone Confederate soldier held a rebel recruiting station, but most of the camaraderie took place in front where the men wore blue instead of grey.

DDAnew01In 1861 when the nation divided, families sometimes did as well.

When Erin Jones of Madison Heights looked into her family history, she learned that she had great uncles from Kentucky who picked opposite sides.  Both were on record for having fought in the Battle of Chickamauga.

Jones is in her seventh season of doing reenactments.  She often travels with the Lupher Family of Royal Oak to events across Michigan and to other states.  In costume, June’s plays Shelley and Dana Lupher’s daughter.

To make her role more realistic, Lupher ordered a one of a kind lifelike baby doll, a daughter she named Chelsea.  She tells people that the baby’s father is off fighting, though she does have a picture of her beloved husband that she found after much searching of historical photos on the internet.Jacks Ad

“When I was a kid my parents took my sister and I to museums and I’ve always loved history,” Jones said.  She met Shelley through the Ladies Academy for Civil War and they have been like family since.

Shelley also met her real-life husband Dana through reenacting.  The couple honeymooned in Gettysburg.

Alex Konieczny of Shelby also loves history.  When not working as a guide at Troy Historic Village he enjoys donning his Union attire and “seeing history come alive.”

“When you read about history in textbooks, there’s only two and a half to four pages of HowesLocationCivil War,” he said.  “This helps you know what it was really like,” Konieczny said.

The sound of musket fire helped draw neighbors and passersby to the event, which was full of personalized stories and antiques to see first hand.

The muster took place at the historic Orson Starr House which was built in 1845.  Mr. Starr came to Royal Oak from upstate New York, and he manufactured bricks and cowbells.  The wooden frame house is two miles north of what is now downtown Royal Oak, just south of 13 Mile Road on Main Street.  It was lived in by descendants of the Starr Family until the late 1970s when it was purchased by the City of Royal Oak.  Events are hosted throughout the year.  Find out more at http://www.ci.royal-oak.mi.us/community-links/historical-commission/orson-starr-house.

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