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    ‘A Taste of History’ a success at Riverton Museum

    (Riverton, WY) – On May 25th, 2024, in observance of Memorial Day, the Riverton Museum invited Karl Falken to present a living history program on the Civil War. Mr. Falken, president of the Wyoming State Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (WYSSAR), was glad to oblige. For the occasion, he prepared a Civil War-themed presentation called “A Taste of History.”

    The main emphasis was to experience life as a soldier during the Civil War. This included a display of uniforms, implements, and weapons that would have been common to infantry and cavalry soldiers/troopers. After introductory comments, participants were invited to come up to the display and handle items on display. Meanwhile, Mr. Falken explained the names, functions and a brief history behind the more interesting items.

    Visitors and staff alike quickly immersed themselves in the living history program. Kevin Scannell, Program/Education/Volunteer Coordinator, even wore the Union chaplain impression for the occasion, replete with sword belt, pistol and spurs! Some of the youth dressed up alternately as Union and Confederate soldiers and performed a mock skirmish. A highlight of the presentation was when Mr. Falken demonstrated (using blanks) the difference between the three types of small arms firearm systems typically used in the Civil War: flintlock, percussion and metallic cartridge. The central theme, the typical food that soldiers of the period ate, was especially popular: hard tack, coffee and salt pork. Samples of homemade hardtack were tasted with interest, but the real winner was the salt pork. Like bacon, but not needing refrigeration due to high salt content, the salt pork was cooked over a small portable grill in a soldier’s frying pan by the participants. Some cooked it on a skewer instead, which was also provided. All agreed it was very salty but also quite tasty.

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    Also on display was the WYSSAR Patriot Chest, a travelling collection of reproduction artifacts from the American colonial period. This was quite intriguing as some items were novel to the audience. Especially popular was the tinder box in a candle holder and bird call water whistle. Overall, it was a success, even going an hour beyond the scheduled time so all present could satisfy their curiosity with the items displayed. The visitors agreed they had a good time and hoped another such presentation would be forthcoming.


    The National Society Sons of the American Revolution was founded in 1889 to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism. Its members are descended from the patriots who won American independence during the Revolutionary War. With more than 34,000 members in 50 societies and approximately 500 local chapters worldwide, SAR is one of the world’s leading male lineage organizations. SAR is dedicated to assisting our
    members, schools, teachers and the general public in their efforts to sustain and preserve our history and constitutional principles. To learn more about the work of today’s SAR, visit www.SAR.org or contact Karl Falken at [email protected].

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