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The San Benito County Historical Society is having a banner year attracting students, tourists, musicians and Civil War history buffs at the San Benito County Historical Park, thanks to a mutually-beneficial agreement with San Benito County to provide facilities and staffing that promote the park as a venue for special events, family picnics, concerts and educational tours of the Historic Village.

Don Pidd, caretaker of the Historical Village and board director of the Historical Society, shared his thoughts about the partnership:

“The San Benito County Historical Society wishes to express its sincere thanks to the Board of Supervisors and the County of San Benito for their continued support of the Society as we work hard to enhance the San Benito County Historical Park and provide a community venue for music, arts, culture, and historical preservation.” Pidd said.  “The importance of supporting groups like the Northern California Bluegrass Society and National Civil War Association, which provide great opportunities for our community to experience their county park while enjoying access to unique historical activities brings cultural value and economic benefit to our community.”

In addition, more than 400 local students annually attend the Civil War School Day prior to Civil War Days. Local youngsters are also exposed to historical genres of American live-music events during the annual Bluegrass Festival. The Civil War reenactment activities facilitate learning and interpretive understanding and appreciation for the principles and ideals fought for to make our country a “more perfect union.” 

With the addition of a new stage built on the grounds of the space leased by the Historical Society at the Historical Park, the nonprofit is actively seeking to partner with other organizations to help produce and promote more festivals and live-music events in the future reflecting the diverse musical and cultural interests of the community of San Benito County. The new stage was built and partially funded by a grant from the Community Foundation for San Benito County.

“We also want the board of supervisors to know how much it means for visitors and community members who use the park for cook outs and camp outs with family and friends out here at the Historical Park.” Pidd said. “We get a lot of positive feedback from folks who use the park and want to extend those compliments to our county supervisors and staff for their efforts.”

Community members are encouraged to check out the Civil War Days reenactment activities Sept. 10-11: Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The annual event will include cannon fire, clothing demonstrations, story-telling, church service, school sessions, camp visits and much more. Entry donation is $10 per vehicle. The event is sponsored by the National Civil War Association and the San Benito County Historical Society.

Below, check out the professionally-produced video about the history of the Dunneville Dance Hall, which was relocated to the San Benito County Historical Park where it now stands.