The Friends of Fort Defiance held their first Civil War Ball at the Smith Trahern mansion on Saturday evening. While the group has not yet officially discussed it, group President Phyllis Smith hopes that this will become an annual event, and quite possibly a new tourist attraction for the City of Clarksville, as this inaugural evening drew one couple all the way from Illinois.
All of the guests were required to be attired in a period costume, and those who did not have one available, were able to rent one from George Terrell, the owner of Backstage Costume Rental. Because of the additional required expense of renting a costume, the Friends of Fort Defiance kept the cost of tickets for the event fairly low, only $30 per person, for a night of dinner and dancing.
The evening kicked off with a formal dinner party, which was catered by Chertins, an event planning company operated by Theresa Jones. They specialize in historical event planning and catering. The serving staff were also dressed for the evening in period costumes. The menu for the dinner was Italian Marinaded Chicken or Baked Ham, with Fresh Green Beans, Herb Roasted Potatoes, and fresh baked dinner rolls. This was followed by an after dinner coffee, and a dessert of Raspberry Sherbet topped with cream and fresh berries. The meal was quite exceptional. You can contact Theresa Jones about planning or catering your events, via telephone at 931-494-6266 or by email .
After dinner, and some great conversation, the guests retired to the Grand Hall of the mansion, the room features a grand spiral staircase to the second floor. With the couples dancing, the musicians at one end, chairs lining the walls, and another group of chairs at the base of the staircase, it was quite cozy.
The music for dancing was provided by a local Bluegrass group, Stringed Legacy. They are frequently selected to play at events held at the Smith Trahern Mansion. The group which is lead by Steve Jones is also available for private functions. You can contact Steve Jones by telephone at 931-320-1440.
The dances ranged from graceful Waltzes, to the energetic Patty Cake Polka. It did not matter if you knew the Civil War era dances or not, as instruction was given by the host each time a new dance was set to begin.
The Friends of Fort Defiance, and their President Phyllis Smith are to be commended for how well the evening came off. She said that they had been actively planning this event for over a year, and that didn’t seem like it was enough time, “We had been planning this event for quite a while, and almost felt like it snuck up on us.”
If they do hold the Civil War Ball again next year, it is quite a memorable event, and one for which I can easily offer the highest possible recommendation!
About the Friends of Fort Defiance
The Friends of Fort Defiance seek to preserve our history for future generations and one of their major projects include the construction of the Fort Defiance Interpretative Center. They meet on the second Tuesday of every month at the Pardue Memorial Free Will Baptist Church, starting at 6:30 p.m. The church is located across from Moss’ Cafe on Memorial Drive. They welcome anyone who is interested in promoting Clarksville’s Civil War history, and preserving and improving Fort Defiance.
Membership dues are:
- $15.00 per year for individuals
- $25.00 for families
- $100.00 for a corporate membership
For more information please contact Phyllis Smith