Start of Annual Re-Enactment
11:38 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Cessation Celebration in Keokuk

The Lee County Historical Society decided to offer something new, this year, as part of the annual Civil War Re-Enactment in Keokuk.

President Sue Olson says the organization also wanted to kick off the weekend festivities, thus the Cessation Celebration.

The food table was a popular place during the Cessation Celebration
The food table was a popular place during the Cessation Celebration
Credit Jason Parrott / Tri States Public Radio

"That is what we are doing, we are just starting out with a bang and moving on to the cannons that make the big bang."

Olson says the end of the Civil War was a joyous time, celebrated in towns throughout the country.

This celebration at the Samuel Miller House and Museum featured live music, period costumes, and plenty of period food, including white almond cake.

The white almond cake was made in honor of one of the special guests for the event, former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.

Max Daniels of Wheaton, Il. portrays the president at events throughout the Midwest.

President Lincoln's "favorite" - White Almond Cake
President Lincoln's "favorite" - White Almond Cake
Credit Jason Parrott / Tri States Public Radio

He says white almond cake was considered the favorite for the President.

"The favorite cake has really taken on a life of its own.  Mr. Lincoln was not a picky eater so whatever Mrs. Lincoln would fix, Mr. Lincoln would eat.  For some reason, someone along the way decided that the white almond cake was his favoirte."

Daniels' wife, Donna, who portrays Mary Todd Lincoln, says white almond cake was one of the only recipes she knew when they got married.

There was plenty of white almond cake to go around for the dozens who attended the celebration.

President Lincoln (Max Daniels) poses for a photo.
President Lincoln (Max Daniels) poses for a photo.
Credit Jason Parrott / Tri States Public Radio

President Lincoln had plenty to do during the event, greeting guests at the front door and even delivering the Gettysburg Address.

Donna Daniels says having a reception to start the re-enactment was a great idea.

"By the time we get to Sunday afternoon and the end of the battle, when you would expect to have something like this, most of the re-enactors are trying to pack up and get back home."

The actual battles will occur at 2:30 P.M. both Saturday, April 26 and Sunday, April 27.