On September 21st, a crowd of neighbors and Civil War buffs gathered at 10:00 AM at Camp William Penn gate on Sycamore Ave, in La Mott PA to witness the opening ceremonies for Camp William Penn and Historic La Mott Day. The Doane Academy band performed music preceding the march in by USCT, PA 53rd re-enactors, Jr. ROTC Cadets and others in period garb.
Several speeches were made, including the reading of a proclamation from Cheltenham Township, read by Commissioner Ann Rappoport, declaring September 21, 2019 to be “Camp William Penn and Historic La Mott Day”. The full text of the proclamation is below. Township manager Bryan Havir extended a welcome to all and Dr. James Paradis reminded us “Why We Remember.”
After the opening ceremonies, the attendees ventured onto the Camp William Penn grounds where they interacted with USCT reenactors and saw displays on the medical science of the Civil War. Dr. Robert Hicks, director of the Mütter Museum and Marjory Wienkop (4th NJ Volunteer Infantry), presented samples of medicine and described surgical practices during the war.
In the La Mott Community Center, there were lectures about Camp William Penn as well as about our community. Local historical groups manned tables to explain their pieces of history and there was a La Mott History display as well. The Camp William Penn museum was open for tours.
At the closing ceremonies, president Abraham Lincoln spoke and State Senator Art Haywood read a ‘Congratuations from the State Senate’ congratulating Citizens for the Restoration of Historical La Mott on their fiftieth anniversary. Dr. Paul Finkelman, president of Gratz College, gave the closing address. The event closed with Adrienne Mazar playing Taps and the flag, which had flown over the U.S. Capitol in honor of the USCT in 2013, was brought down.