OTTAWA — The Reddick Mansion will display two private collections of Civil War artifacts in its Gardens from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 26. One collection belongs to a local Civil War buff, Bob Diepen of Seneca, and the other collection/museum belongs to Rob Hauff of the northern Chicago suburbs.
The highlight of Diepen’s collection is his replica Mountain Howitzer cannon. Diepen has been collecting Civil War items for several years and has traveled throughout the United States in search of many specific artifacts. Hauff has presented his traveling museum to schools throughout the Chicago suburbs and is also an accomplished presenter on Civil War topics. Hauff has also been a re-enactor for more than 30 years. According to Hauff, “The traveling museum teaches about Civil War history through objects. Weapons, personal artifacts and models tell about the people and events of the Civil War.”
After viewing the many artifacts and weapons, visitors will be able to sample hardtack, a staple in the diet of Civil War soldiers. Craft projects for kids will be set up in the pergola, and lemonade and cookies will also be served.
According to Diane Sanders, president of the Reddick Mansion Association, “We are delighted to have these gentlemen share their collections and knowledge. We are hoping this event will get people thinking about ‘Civil War ‘64’ — the Civil War re-enactment event planned for Fox River Park on Sept. 19-21.”
The cost for “Cannons, Crafts and Hard Tack” will be $5 for individuals and $10 for families. All money collected will be used for the maintenance and restoration of the Reddick Mansion.