‘Living History Nights’ begins Thursday


By Lorna Hart - [email protected]



Jim Stoner will present OSU football coach Woody Hayes, beginning in his formative years, experience in life, WWII, through his iconic career at the Ohio State University.”

Jim Stoner will present OSU football coach Woody Hayes, beginning in his formative years, experience in life, WWII, through his iconic career at the Ohio State University.”


Jim Stoner | Courtesy

Suzanne Thomson will portray “Mad Anne Bailey” during Living History on Saturday, June 11.


Suzanne Thomson | Courtesy

According to information from the Chautauqua Committee, George Armstrong Custer was dubbed, “Boy General” and played a key role in the Battle of Gettysburg. He will be played by Rick Williams.


Rick Williams | Courtesy

Living History Schedule

Thursday, June 9

6:15 p.m. Folk Music by Steve Free

7:00 p.m. George Armstrong Custer, Union Cavalry Officer, performed by Rick Williams

In-character Q&A and scholar Q&A to be held after performance

Friday, June 10

6:15 p.m. Ohio State pep rally led by GAHS cheerleaders (we encourage attendees to dress in

OSU gear)

7:00 p.m. Woody Hayes, OSU Football Coach, performed by Jim Stoner

In-character Q&A and scholar Q&A to be held after performance

Saturday, June 11

6:15 p.m. Dulcimer music by Kendra Ward-Bence and Bob Bence

7:00 p.m. “Mad” Anne Bailey, Frontier Scout, performed by Suzanne Thomson

In-character Q&A and scholar Q&A to be held after performance

GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — History comes alive this week in Gallipolis during “Living History Nights.” Journey back in time as the scholar and living historians assume the role of a notable historical Ohioan on three consecutive evenings. Previously the “Chautauqua” style event was held in the Gallipolis City Park. This year the event will be held indoors in the Riverside Room of Bossard Memorial Library, and has been rebranded as “Living History Nights.”

The event is sponsored by the Gallipolis Chautauqua Committee and chaired by Bossard Memorial Library Director Debbie Saunders.

“Our local committee decided to do our own version of a Chautauqua style event,” Saunders said, “We’ve re-branded that as Living History Nights, so it’s much like what our community members experienced in the [past]. We felt like this better defined what this local event was going to be about.”

As previously reported in the Gallipolis Daily Tribune, this year visitors will get to experience three separate times in history from three different historical figures. Each night a scholar or living historian will assume their role and perform a monologue based on the life of that individual. The performance will be followed by a question-and-answer session, first to the scholar or living historian in character, and then to the scholar or living historian as themselves. Some of the scholars and living historians will be available for a meet and greet after the session.

Beginning Thursday evening, a musical performance will be given by Steve Free, followed by Union Cavalry Officer George Armstrong Custer, performed by Rick Williams. On Friday, join in on an Ohio State pep rally led by GAHS cheerleaders, then meet OSU legendary football coach Woody Hayes, performed by Jim Stoner. The finale on Saturday evening begins with Dulcimer music by Kendra Ward-Bence and Bob Bence, followed by, “The heroine of the Kanawha Valley,” frontier spy, scout, and huntress “Mad” Anne Bailey, performed by Suzanne Thomson.

Gallia County Convention and Visitors Bureau Assistant Director Kaitlynn Halley said the scholars and historians spend years researching and knowing the character, and that they are very professional.

“It’s not like a lesson or anything, they are in character doing a monologue, they are in costume and everything,” Halley said. “Knowing details, and years past, these scholars know so many details that the audience comes up with some specific questions. And they are very professional in how they go about answering them.”

“This is a great way to experience Ohio History,” Halley said. “And Gallia County itself has so much history. I think we’re very fortunate to have this group of community members from different aspects of Gallia County and care about putting on a good performance.”

Saunders added, “They don’t break character. It’s very believable that you’re seeing what that character would have portrayed back at that time. It just brings history to life, it really does.”

Saunders acknowledged the efforts of the event committee, comprised of local community members, and said they are passionate about bringing history alive for those attending this local event. Other committee members include Bob Hood, Field of Hope Community Campus; Amanda Crouse, Gallia County Convention & Visitors’ Bureau; Lynn Pauley, Bossard Memorial Library; Halley, Gallia County Convention & Visitors’ Bureau; David Moore, Gallia Vinton Educational Service Center; Sam Wilson, University of Rio Grande, retired; and Rachel Newberry.

The library will have books on each of the characters available for check-out leading up to and after the event.

Snack refreshments will be available for a donation before and after the main performance each evening.

All events are free and open to the public, but donations are welcome. Additional parking for this event will be available in the gravel lot directly across from the library’s main parking lot.

More information about this event can be obtained by calling the Gallia County Convention and Visitors’ Bureau at 740-446-6882 or by following the committee on Facebook at facebook.com/GallipolisChautauquaCommittee.

© 2022, Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.

Jim Stoner will present OSU football coach Woody Hayes, beginning in his formative years, experience in life, WWII, through his iconic career at the Ohio State University.”
https://www.mydailysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2022/06/web1_IMG_9725_1.jpgJim Stoner will present OSU football coach Woody Hayes, beginning in his formative years, experience in life, WWII, through his iconic career at the Ohio State University.” Jim Stoner | Courtesy

Suzanne Thomson will portray “Mad Anne Bailey” during Living History on Saturday, June 11.
https://www.mydailysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2022/06/web1_Anne-14R.jpgSuzanne Thomson will portray “Mad Anne Bailey” during Living History on Saturday, June 11. Suzanne Thomson | Courtesy

According to information from the Chautauqua Committee, George Armstrong Custer was dubbed, “Boy General” and played a key role in the Battle of Gettysburg. He will be played by Rick Williams.
https://www.mydailysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2022/06/web1_Custer.jpgAccording to information from the Chautauqua Committee, George Armstrong Custer was dubbed, “Boy General” and played a key role in the Battle of Gettysburg. He will be played by Rick Williams. Rick Williams | Courtesy

By Lorna Hart

[email protected]

Living History Schedule

Thursday, June 9

6:15 p.m. Folk Music by Steve Free

7:00 p.m. George Armstrong Custer, Union Cavalry Officer, performed by Rick Williams

In-character Q&A and scholar Q&A to be held after performance

Friday, June 10

6:15 p.m. Ohio State pep rally led by GAHS cheerleaders (we encourage attendees to dress in

OSU gear)

7:00 p.m. Woody Hayes, OSU Football Coach, performed by Jim Stoner

In-character Q&A and scholar Q&A to be held after performance

Saturday, June 11

6:15 p.m. Dulcimer music by Kendra Ward-Bence and Bob Bence

7:00 p.m. “Mad” Anne Bailey, Frontier Scout, performed by Suzanne Thomson

In-character Q&A and scholar Q&A to be held after performance

Lorna Hart is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing.

Lorna Hart is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing.