News Column

Civil War exhibit returns to city

May 5, 2014

By Rich Suwanski, Messenger-Inquirer, Owensboro, Ky.

May 05--The Owensboro Museum of Science and History is presenting a Civil War exhibit, "Liberty on the Border," through Sept. 15.

The exhibit is produced by the Cincinnati Museum Center and the History Channel.

The museum hosted the exhibit 11 years ago after it opened in Cincinnati.

"We were the first (traveling) host site, and it was so well-received that they contacted us with an availability," said museum Executive Director Kathy Olson. "And since it was the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, we knew we wanted to do something, and this was perfect."

Olson said the "Liberty on the Border" theme includes a lot of content about border states such as Kentucky and Ohio, and "all the pressures that went along with that and how it affected us."

The exhibit covers three time periods -- Liberty Denied, about the events leading up to the war, followed by Liberty's Trial, which are the war years, and Liberty's Legacy, or how the war has been remembered.

The exhibit includes photographs and documents, hands-on replicas and artifacts, backdrops and dioramas, interactives, audio-visual effects, diaries and music.

"There's a lot about the events leading up to the Civil War, and all the tensions," Olson said. "There's a big section on slavery and the realities of it, the politics of the time and the abolitionist movement.

"There's an interactive part about the choices people would make from different standpoints, like as a slave, or a free black, a slave owner, or a non-slave holder; different people in different situations."

The exhibit also includes a section on the 1860 election and diorama of a military recruitment office.

"You can go up and listen as they try to recruit you," Olson said. "People really enjoyed the exhibit the last time it was here. It has things for children and adults, so the whole family can get something out of it."

The museum's summer program will have a variety of offerings tied in with the exhibit, including a two-day re-enactor event in June, a genealogical research station where people can search for their Civil War ancestors, "mystery code" days where visitors solve Morse code problems, a tea for adult ladies and a mother/daughter tea hosted by re-enactors in period dress.

A more-complete list with dates and times will be on the museum website ( by May 15.

The museum, 122 E. Second St., is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Admission is $3 per person while children 2 years old and under are admitted free. Call 270-687-2732 for more information.

Rich Suwanski, 270-691-7315, or


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Source: Messenger-Inquirer (Owensboro, KY)

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