Late historian to be honored at Civil War remembrance

By Sara Bruestle | Aug 13, 2014
Courtesy of: Steve Bertrand Living history re-enactors from the Washington State Civil War Association re-enact Civil War battles. See the re-enactors at the 10th annual Echoes of Blue & Gray event on Saturday, Aug. 16, in Everett.

A late honorary member of the Mukilteo Historical Society will be honored at an annual Civil War remembrance.

Dignity Memorial’s 10th annual Echoes of Blue & Gray re-enactment and ceremony is set for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16, at the Evergreen Cemetery in Everett. Admission is free.

The former on-site funeral director, Jim Shipman, organized the annual event. He passed away last year. Dennis Christie has taken over as funeral director.

Shipman would portray N.B. Fowler, a Mukilteo pioneer and Civil War veteran, at Washington State Civil War Association and Mukilteo Historical Society ceremonies.

“It is fitting that we honor Jim Shipman, a Civil War enthusiast, who did much to encourage and preserve our Civil War heritage as past director of Evergreen Cemetery,” said Steve Bertrand, master of ceremonies and keynote speaker for the event.

The event is held to remember and honor the Union and Confederate veterans of the Civil War. It is sponsored by Dignity Memorial, Evergreen Cemetery and the Washington State Civil War Association.

The Aug. 16 event features Civil War displays, a hot dog feed, a remembrance ceremony, a blue/gray battlefield skirmish and a kids’ march.

The displays open at 11 a.m., lunch is served at noon, followed by the ceremony at 12:30 p.m. The displays will be available until about 4 p.m.

Visitors will be transported to the Civil War era at the cemetery with the help of living history re-enactors.

Re-enactors, dressed as Union and Confederate soldiers and civilians, will answer questions about the Civil War at a mock soldier encampment and re-enact Civil War battles.

“The re-enactment gets better every year,” Christie said. “Last year, we had cannons. You could feel the shake all the way down to the funeral home.”

Bertrand, of Mukilteo, portrays a Union soldier from the Iron Brigade’s 7th Wisconsin regiment. He’s been attending the Echoes of Blue & Gray since the inaugural event.

“I enjoy being part of bringing history to life,” he said. “It's neat to be able to experience something of this nature right in our backyard.”

At the remembrance ceremony, Shipman’s family will receive a plaque made in his honor. Sons of Confederate and Union veterans also will be recognized. Bertrand will speak on “Why the Civil War is Still Relevant.”

Shipman was quoted in the Mukilteo Beacon in 2010 in a story about the annual Honoring Their Memory re-enactment and ceremony at the Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery in Snohomish.

"The ceremony pays tribute to the pioneers of our community who fought in the Civil War and then came west to live here and die here," Shipman said. "They were true heroes from the greatest of wars we've ever had in the United States."

The Evergreen Cemetery is at 4504 Broadway in Everett. More than 160 Civil War veterans are buried there. For more information about the event, call 425-252-2244.

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