Saturday, November 30, 2013

Best Christmas Lights of 2013 now online!

Courtesy of Callaway Gardens's annual list of the South's Best Christmas Lights is now online and updated for 2013!

Most of the lighting displays are up and going and the rest pretty much kick off tomorrow (December 1st) or during the coming week.  Here are some notes about this year's highlights

  • It will be the final year for Christmas in Alabama, the Bradley family's gigantic display in Grand Bay, Alabama (near Mobile).
  • Holiday Spectacular in Wicksburg, Alabama (near Dothan) is continuing after the sad passing of one of its founders and will be even bigger this year!
  • The Arkansas Trail of Lights website is online for 2013!  I have the link on the list page.
  • Three Rivers State Park in Sneads, Florida is expanding the nights its lights will be open this year.
  • Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens in Georgia is up and running for 2013!
  • Lights under Louisville is open for the season.  This is an awesome underground drive-through display!
  • Check out info for these and all of the others for 2013 at

Monday, November 11, 2013

Stafford Civil War Park in Virginia preserves memory of Union Army's "Valley Forge"

Stafford Civil War Park
The remarkable new Stafford Civil War Park is a fascinating heritage preserve in Stafford County, Virginia. It preserves part of the scene of the Army of the Potomac's "Valley Forge" during the winter of 1862-1863.

Opened to the public in April of this year, the park encompasses 41 acres of pristine historic landscape where the 1st and 3rd Divisions of the XI Corps camped following the Battle of Fredericksburg. It was here and in surrounding Stafford County that the Army of the Potomac weathered what some have called its "Valley Forge" in January through April 1863.

Ruins of fire pit or chimney from Union hut
The park features a driving tour, walking trails, interpretive signs, cannon, stone bridge ruins and the well-preserved earthworks of three artillery batteries.  It is one of the best places in the nation to explore visible remains of a major Civil War camp. The stone fire pits and chimneys of the huts built by Union soldiers can still be seen, along with the foundations of blockhouses and holes left by soldiers who dug holes into which they built their huts, using the earth as additional insulation.

To learn more about this fascination heritage destination, please visit

Sunday, November 10, 2013

"Night at the Museum coming to Andersonville NHS in Georgia

Andersonville National Historic Site
Andersonville National Historic Site in Georgia is preserves the site of the massive Camp Sumter Civil War prison and is home to the National Prisoner of War Museum.

The park is normally open during daylight hours, but on November 16th visitors will have a rare opportunity to explore the national park area after dark.

The national historic site and museum will open its doors to the public beginning at 6 p.m. on November 16th to allow visitors to explore the museum and its exhibits, attend special films and hear a presentation on the 15 American Indian men from the 1st Michigan Sharpshooters who were held prisoner at Camp Sumter.

In addition, lanterns will light the way from the museum to the restored northeast corner of the prison stockade. Living history presenters will be there to interact with visitors and portray life at Andersonville during the winter of 1864-1865.

It should be a fascinating event and will be the last chance to see the prison after dark until 2014.

Please click here to learn more about "Night at the Museum.

Please click here to learn more about Andersonville National Historic Site.