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Traveling trunk to educate students

PLATTSBURGH - The Kent-Delord House Museum is once again making a lesson in history portable for local schools.

Through its latest endeavor in its "Trunks of the Past" traveling exhibit, the museum has created a trunk that depicts the life of an average Civil War Union soldier.

Coordinators Pat Loughan and Vickie Evans have put together a steamer trunk filled with items like a Union soldier uniform, Civil-War era flag and various personal items that would have been used by soldiers in the late 1800s, and it's all thanks to a $500 grant from the Blue and Gray Education Society.

Evans applied for the grant and was rather surprised how easy it was to obtain, she said.

"I thought it would have had to go through a whole big chain of command but I dealt directly with the executive president, Mr. Len Reidel," said Evans.

The grant simply required the museum show how the trunk would provide education on the Civil War, meeting New York State Education Department requirements, she said. Once that was done, the money for the project came swiftly.

"I thought I'd have to wait months and months and we had it in about a week and a half after we submitted the bills," said Evans. "It was really great."

Having already created traveling trunks about British officers during the War of 1812, explorer Samuel de Champlain, and early American childhood, Evans said she and Loughan were looking into what the museum would feature next. Given little to-do about the Civil War sesquicentennial last year, Evans said it was the perfect choice to feature the life of a Union soldier.

"We felt it was really important the Kent-Delord House point out this area did have a significant role in the Civil War," said Evans, referring to the house being the place where the Rev. Francis Bloodgood Hall, chaplain for the 16th New York Regiment during the Civil War, spent his final days.

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