Living History at Oak Island

Events will be on Oak Island and at the
American Civil War Monument on Locust Street

Oak Island SignEvent Map


More than 150 years ago, many soldiers from the Civil War came marching home. Many did not. In Waterloo, beginning in 1866, widows and family members visited the graves of the fallen soldiers to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.  The practice of remembering those who fought for freedom has continued each year in Waterloo, the Birthplace of Memorial Day. Waterloo will host a Living History encampment on Oak Island featuring the following units: 148th NY Volunteer Infantry, 33rd New York Volunteer infantry, the 7th Cavalry, and Reynolds Battery L.

Activities will include musket cleaning and cannon firing, cooking, children’s games and crafts, musical performances, and a Sunday church service.

Since 1964, the recreated 148th NY Volunteer Infantry has been educating the public and paying homage to the original group of men who set off from the Finger Lakes area for the seat of war in the fall of 1862. The original 148th served with distinction in battles at Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Drewry’s Bluff, Chaffin’s Farm, Fair Oaks and numerous other battles and skirmished in the Appomattox Campaign in 1865. It saw five of its members earn the Congressional Medal of Honor, and one of its members, General John A. Murray, was a key figure in establishing a national day of remembrance for all the men who gave their lives during the way.

Citizens of Monroe County, mostly men from Rochester, organized the historical 140th NY in 1862. After a brief stay in fortifications around Washington, DC, the 140th saw action at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville; it met its most severe test at Gettysburg. No sooner had it arrived on the battlefield than the 140th was ordered into action on the slopes of Little Round Top. Although it was successful in defending the hill it was a costly victory, with 133 men killed, wounded or missing. In the winter camp of 1863-64 the regiment was outfitted as Zouaves, with flamboyant uniforms patterned after elite French army units.  When Grant took command of the Federal forces, and began the march to Richmond, the 140th lost 384 of its men in 39 days.

The 33rd New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, the “Ontario Regiment”, was an infantry regiment of the Union Army during the American Civil War.
This regiment was mustered into United States service for two years. When the Regiment’s two years were up, the “three years’ men” were transferred to the 49th New York Volunteer Infantry, and the Regiment mustered out on June 2, 1863, at Geneva, New York. Companies were recruited at: Seneca Falls, Waterloo, Geneva, Canandaigua, Palmyra, Penn Yan, Geneseo, Nunda, and Buffalo.
The Regiment sustained 30 men killed in action, 17 wounded in action, and 105 due to disease and other causes.

The 7th Regiment New York Volunteer Cavalry, the “Northern Black Horse Cavalry” and more properly designated 1st Regiment New York Mounted Rifles, was a cavalry regiment of the Union Army during the American Civil War. This regiment was organized at Troy, New York to serve three years. November 18, 1861 There were only eight companies organized and these were recruited principally. The regiment, commanded by Col. Andrew J. Morrison, left the State November 23, 1861, and served near Washington, D. C., until March 31, 1862, when, not having been mounted, it was honorably discharged and mustered out. During its service it lost by death, of disease, seven enlisted men.

Reynolds’ Battery 1st New York Light Artillery was formed in the Rochester NY Area in September 1861 and went on to serve throughout the war. They were a part of the US Army at Antietam, Gettysburg, and many others.  They are chartered by the NY State Board of Education with the stated purpose and objectives to inform, instruct and educate the public as to the life and trials of a Civil War Artillery soldier during the 1860s. Reynolds’ Battery today consists of
* 85 Military and Civilian members * Three 3″ Ordnance Rifles
* One of 5 workable Traveling Forges in the Country

Rebecca Colleen and the Chore Lads will perform at Oak Island before the fireworks from 7:30 pm till 9:20 pm

   Stay at Oak Island for the fireworks by Pyrotecnico beginning at 9:30 pm

Illumination Ceremonies held at the American Civil War Memorial

American Civil War Memorial Illumination and Remembrance Friday, May 26, 2017, 7:00 PM The Star Spangled Banner - Waterloo Varsity ...
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General George Brinton McClellan, portrayed by the 148th NY Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Sons of Veteran Reserve’s own John Goloski

General George Brinton McClellan is one of the most controversial figures in American history. Praised by friend and foe alike ...
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The Information Booth

Stop at the Visitor’s Booth at the corner of Lafayette Park to pinpoint your state on the giant map, or to learn about what is happening and where ...
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Period music at M’Clintock House-Featuring Merry Mischief

Merry Mischief (Merlyn & Harry) are costumed theatrical musicians of many eras. They will be performing some music from the ...
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In a special exhibit, Waterloo’s own Blue Star flag will be on display at the National Memorial Day Museum

Some of the toughest jobs in the military are filled by people who don’t wear uniforms, salute or march. The ...
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Federick Douglass

 The most Prolific and Highly Regarded Frederick Douglass Presenter to Attend Frederick Douglass / aka Michael Crutcher Sr., will speak on ...
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4th annual plein air painting-Memorial Day in Waterloo

Come and join the visual excitement of this year’s Celebrate/Commemorate Memorial Day in Waterloo. A plein air painting session will ...
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Female Heroes of the Civil War

Espionage and Samaritans are as old as conflict itself, and women have often played major roles as spies, doctors and ...
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Historical dialogue featuring Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Portrayed by Dr. Melinda Grube & President Theodore Roosevelt, Portrayed by Gib Young

We are proud to have Women's Rights National Historical Park as a sponsor again this year. The M’Clintock House on ...
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Waterloo Remembers

May 26-28, 2017

151st Consecutive
Memorial Day Observance
May 30, 2017


Congratulations to Joe Northup for winning his 3rd Celebrate Commemorate 5k Race!! ... See MoreSee Less

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Highlights of the services that were held at 6:00 PM in the Waterloo Main Street School Auditorium.
Photographs by Darlene Duprey
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