27 April 2010 by Published in: General musings 6 comments

For about fifteen years now, I have made a point of going to the annual Civil War show in Mansfield, Ohio, which is always held the first weekend in May. It’s been a place to catch up with friends, to perhaps buy something, and to work my network. I usually run into at least one regular reader of this blog there. However, last year’s show introduced World War I and World War II relics, and that stuff took up about half of the show. A lot of the vendors that I’ve visited over the years were not there last year and I don’t expect to see them this year either. It’s just not worth the time or money to attend under these circumstances.

Since a big chunk of the show is going to be taken up by irrelevant stuff, which will keep many of my regular vendors from attending, for the first time in something like fifteen years, I will not be attending the show in Mansfield this year. As long as it’s not exclusively a Civil War show, I very seriously doubt that I will ever go again. So, for those of you who were hoping to see me there this weekend, I regret that I won’t be there. I regret that, but it’s not worth the time or effort to go to a show that’s becoming more and more irrelevant each year.

Scridb filter


  1. Paul A. LaCroix
    Tue 27th Apr 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Why call it a “Civil War Show” if they are going to have so many other things. Sounds like it’s rather misleading to me. I can’t say that I blame you for not going. If it was me, I’d probably do the same thing.

  2. Chris Evans
    Tue 27th Apr 2010 at 6:32 pm

    I agree. That is wrong that it is called a ‘Civil War Show’ and then use up all the space on WWI and WWII stuff. I wonder why the content of the show dramatically shifted?

  3. jeff anderson
    Tue 04th May 2010 at 11:11 pm

    I did attend this show, and I must have missed most of the WWI and WWII vendors – I would guess fifteen percent (15%) of the table space was WWI and WWII items. There was, as in past years, at least fifteen percent Revolutionary War and War of 1812 vendor items, and perhaps five percent Spanish American War vendor items. There were, as in years past, reinactors portraying Revolutionary War soldiers, both British and Colonials, as well as Civil War soldiers (Abe Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth were there, as well). I did not see any WWI or WWII reinactors.
    I believe there has been an great increase in interest in collecting WWI and WWII items, and prices are double what they were five years ago.
    I just consider these more modern items on display or for sale as the commercials that help pay for the content I am interested in, and ignore what I don’t have an intetest in.
    If I wanted to travel a distance, I could find another Show to attend that was purer…maybe there is a Civil War show that is 99 and 44/100 pure, but I doubt it.
    Some of the long time Civil War vendors are gone, but the two in particulr I wanted to see were not there, but I learned that they are now out of business – their web sites empty – I don’t think the WWI and WWII vendors have somehow run those two, at least, out of the Mansfield Show.
    I think the people trying to make a living at this have found they can’t pay the bills without selling later-than-Civil War items.
    All that said, I dislike this change of focus, just as you do, Eric.

  4. Harry Titus
    Fri 28th Oct 2011 at 1:56 pm

    I agree with you. I don’t even like the Rev War guys being there. But, with the economy being so bad, the promoters needed to get more bodies in there so in swarmed the WW guys. I don’t boycott it because it doesn’t make any difference to them if I attend, but I don’t want to miss out either. I live close by, my ACW artillery unit sets up there, and if I wear my uniform I get in free. So, I have nothing to lose!

  5. Fri 08th Feb 2013 at 10:25 am

    Last year I concentrated mostly on an exotic array of artillery shot in the arty. bldg. and less on our revvie 3# Muller cannon (light duty, since I was due for knee replacement).
    I noticed that some exhibitors with displays in the building only interacted with the public if a sale might be made. my tables were set up mainly for display, altho I did have a few items for sale. My crew and I had a rather busy and enjoyable time, fielding questions about the early, but advanced thinking that went into artiklery projectiles and related items.

    There were MANY interesting items for sale and display in the arty.bldg., but it would have been much more interesting and informative for the spectators if the displayers and vendors interacted just a little more.

    Another knee replacement coming, so the grey gun may or may not be on the field, but if I can move, I will be there with the weird, wild and wonderful examples of destruction. Bill

  6. Teresa Drushel
    Tue 02nd Apr 2013 at 10:24 am

    I WILL Be at the Show this year. Yes, the Ohio Civil War Show has opened up to WWI & II, but this is a show about OUR history, OUR men and women who fought to protect and honor OUR country. What a rare opportunity to see the interesting memorabilia, rare weapons and uniforms, letters from the soldiers, unique displays, and so much more. Just to get a glimpse of how the soldiers lived and survived is an eye opener. The Artillery Show is the only one of its kind. Outstanding displays and firing demonstrations. From Civil War to WWI & II, this show is one of the best I have attended.

Comments are closed.

Copyright © Eric Wittenberg 2011, All Rights Reserved
Powered by WordPress