Monday, May 17, 2021


Troy Historic Village

The city of Troy, Michigan today is a thriving modern suburban community just a few miles north of Detroit that has evolved from a small village surrounded by farmland originally settled in the 1800s. With the mindset to preserve some of its original heritage as the area became more developed and urbanized community leaders created a village green surrounded by historic structures at the intersection of Wattles and Livernois Roads near the Interstate 75 freeway connection at Big Beaver. Two hundred years after log cabins began dotting the wilderness that a city of eighty thousand residents now call home, this spot serves as a museum that archives local history and a space for public gatherings.

This weekend there was a Civil War Days presentation on the historic village green. Reenactors demonstrated soldier life during the Civil War and performers shared music from the era as visitors strolled around the village green. The historic buildings surrounding the village green were open as well with educational exhibits on informative topics focused on this time period in American history.

The one room school house originally built in 1877 and moved across town to the village green in 1980 to avoid it being demolished by land development within the city provided a lesson what was considered high-tech communications at the time of the Civil War. Docents taught a lesson on Morse Code and demonstrated how telegraphs provided a new way for people to quickly communicate with one another while being great distances apart. In today's age of instant global communications it can be easy to forget it wasn't that long ago where information was shared by mailing a letter delivered by people riding horses on routes that could take days or weeks to reach an intended destination. Maybe that thought will make you feel better the next time a slow wi-fi connections is causing a headache. 

Morse Code

Civil War Days

The mid-1800s Greek Rival architecture homestead displayed educational placards about what life was like for those who stayed behind rather than head off to the battlefields of the Civil War. I remember as a school kid learning about how wooden sailing ships loaded up with oranges and lemons to provide sailors with the necessary Vitamin C to avoid scurvy. Never thought about how soldiers during the Civil War avoided scurvy as they also had poor rations and citrus fruits weren't in great supply at that time for armies on the march. Turns out Civil War soldiers got their Vitamin C from onions and civilians had collection drives to gather and transport these vegetables to those engaged in combat. I did not know that ... always learn something new during a visit to the Troy Historic Village.


Blacksmiths were still essential in producing equipment used by Union and Confederate forces during the Civil War. The Troy Historic Village's blacksmith shop had classes going on during the Civil War Days where you could observe participants using its forge to craft a variety of interesting things. Blacksmithing looks to be a very interesting hobby from my interactions with people engaged in it when I've popped into this replica workshop based upon those in operation when Michigan was considered the frontier of the United States. 


blacksmith classes

Inside the log cabin situated on the property was a look at the type of home many of the soldiers fighting in the Civil War may have grown up in. After all even President Abraham Lincoln was raised in a log cabin. Within this log cabin were some artifacts to look at including bullets that were used during the time.

log cabin

civil war ammunition

Back on the village green, a medical corps discussed the tools of the doctors that attempted to save the lives of those injured in the line of duty. As we struggle with a global pandemic, looking at the medicines, equipment and science of the mid-1800s is eye opening on just how far healthcare has advanced in approximately the 150 years since the Civil War.

civil war reenactors

Civil War Days

Some soldiers also took some time to share with us how they pack their sacks to march to battle. Often times they would be walking ten to twenty or more miles per day so you needed to smart about what you carried. Was the extra weight of hauling a bedroll to sleep on while marching worth the comfort of not sleeping on the ground? What would be one personal item you'd have to carry with you in your rucksack if heading off to war?

Civil War Days

It was a very educational and entertaining experience joining in on the Civil War Days activities that took place over the weekend. If you are in the area or passing through and have an interest in history, absolutely stop by the Troy Historic Village. For more information on activities and programming taking place throughout the year go to 

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