Skirmishes between Union and Confederate soldiers could be heard all through Loy Lake Park on Saturday as Grayson County Frontier Village at the park held its annual “Civil War Days” event.
“Civil War Days” is the village’s annual fundraiser and this year, it welcomed about 50 Civil War re-enactors to the park.
“What I love most about this is the camaraderie,” Confederate soldier re-enactor Aaron Thornhill said. “No matter what side you are on, everyone is here to help you. We are really easy going. There is a military aspect, but this is a hobby first and foremost. If we are not having fun, then we are not doing the hobby right. In the last battle, I got to die gloriously in a saber duel.”
Thornhill said the Civil War is a part of American and Texas history.
“We have to learn from our history,” he said. “If we forget it, then we will repeat it. People ask me why I choose to fight on the Confederate side and I say, ‘Well, not everyone can be the winner — not everyone gets to be one of the good guys.’”
Thornhill said that studying the Civil War and the houses at Frontier Village has helped him better appreciate how hard his ancestors had to work to accomplish every day tasks.
“We are more of a united nation since this happened,” he said. “Learning not just from the battles, but learning from the way people lived is important. Without cellphones and our cars, things have gotten a lot easier. I have been offered to do a horseback ride from Bonham to Sherman. I am told it will be a 10 hour ride. After it, I know I will be happy to have my truck.”
Heather Boykin gave attendees a tour of the Bradley Bodkin house at Frontier Village.
“There are not many log cabin villages in the United States,” she said. “There are about 15. I do not think that the local community is aware of this unique treasure such as this.”
Boykin said that she got sucked into the log cabin life at Frontier Village after moving to the area from McKinney.
“I am a school teacher,” she said. “I can teach science hands on and I can teach reading hands. I can also teach math hands on. History was something I could not teach in a hands-on way. We have to bring them to places like this to have a hands-on experience. With volunteers and funding, we could open more doors for children to come here and tour and do demonstrations.”
Frontier Village Museum President Linda Miller said that she likes working at Frontier Village because she gets to tell people about the history of Grayson County.
“When you are out here, you are looking at 11 of the oldest houses in this county and three replicas of the 12th oldest house in this county, which was Sofia’s mansion,” she said. “We are real. We are authentic. There is so many interesting things and people.”
Grayson County Frontier Village is open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. daily.