Lincoln festivities include new Shrine exhibits, reenactors

Lincoln festivities include new Shrine exhibits, reenactors
Posted on 01/30/2017

Visit the Lincoln Memorial Shrine beginning at 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, for the 45th annual Open House. The event will feature an array of new exhibits in the museum and displays by Civil War re-enactor groups throughout Smiley Park. Following the success of the 2016 Open House, the event will once again be combined with the Lincoln Pilgrimage, a program hosted by the Grayback District of California Inland Empire Council, Boy Scouts of America since 1940.

Festivities begin with the Lincoln Pilgrimage at 10 a.m. Beginning at Redlands High School, participants will walk down Citrus Avenue to Eureka Street, arriving at the Lincoln Shrine where a brief program and flag raising ceremony will take place. Included in the Pilgrimage will be President Abraham Lincoln and General Ulysses S. Grant presenters traveling on a horse-drawn carriage led by the members of the 7th Michigan Cavalry. The program will include a welcome by Redlands Mayor Paul Foster, and remarks by President Lincoln presenter Scott Nelson.

The program will lead into the Open House at 11 a.m. New exhibitions this year will include recent additions to the Shrine collections related to the history of slavery and its role in the Civil War; a study of “Thoughts on Peace on Lincoln’s Birthday,” the museum’s prized Norman Rockwell oil painting; and a commemoration of Ewart Watchorn’s service during World War I. Ewart was the son of Shrine donors Robert and Alma Watchorn and the person in whose memory the museum was dedicated. Visitors will be treated to live music and games.

In addition to new exhibits, the Open House will also feature dozens of Civil War re-enactors, including artillery demonstrations by the always-popular 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery, members of the 7th Michigan Volunteer cavalry on horseback, a display on Civil War surgery by Dr. Malarkey, and President Lincoln presenter Robert Broski presenting a stirring rendition of the Gettysburg Address. The Inland Empire LEGO User Group will also return to display their LEGO Civil War battle scene and Abraham Lincoln LEGO figure.

“We are excited to host this celebration in commemoration of President Lincoln and the Civil War and are amazed at how much the event grows each year,” said Shrine Associate Archivist Maria Carrillo.

“The unveiling of our new exhibits, combined with live music and re-enactors, should make for a great day for guests of all ages,” added Shrine Curator Nathan Gonzales.

The Lincoln Memorial Shrine is the only institution in the West focusing on Lincoln and the American Civil War. The museum is located at 125 W. Vine St. in Redlands. Admission is free. For further information, please call (909) 798-7632 or visit