Rebel State Historic Site
Louisiana Country Music Museum
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Rebel State Historic Site traces its origin back to the days of the American Civil War. According to a local legend, a young Confederate soldier or “Rebel” became separated from his unit during a skirmish at Crump’s Corner, near present-day Marthaville. Alone in the woods and confused about where he was, the soldier began searching for other Confederates. It was at a spring where he stopped for a drink of water that the lad was spotted by three Union cavalrymen and killed.
The Barnhill family, local residents who had spoken with the soldier shortly before he was shot, discovered his body and buried him beside the road where he had died.
For nearly 100 years after that incident, each generation of the Barnhill family cared for the grave. After some newspaper articles about the grave appeared in 1961, local interest grew, and in 1962 the people of the area placed a marker on the spot and began to hold annual memorial services in honor of the Unknown Confederate Soldier. Rebel State Historic Site has been established at this soldier’s final resting place.
Alive with the Sound of Music
The grave of the Unknown Confederate Soldier was the original focal point at Rebel State Historic Site, but it’s the people’s love for their country and gospel music and their need for an attractive outdoor gathering place that has made Rebel grow and prosper. The memorial service has become an important annual event which has expanded to feature local performers as well as nationally known country music acts. Other musical programs at Rebel throughout the year commemorate the strong folk music traditions of this area of the state.
Home of the Louisiana Country Music Museum
Set in the piney hills of north western Louisiana, the Louisiana Country Music Museum contains exhibits that tell the story of how various folk music traditions developed in this region – from early gospel and string band music to the country sounds we enjoy today. The museum, which depicts a stringed musical instrument in its architectural design, also honors the contributions of the many Louisiana natives who have become prominent in the country music and gospel music professions.
There is a listening room and a library for those who wish to further explore the music, and a small theater is available for audiovisual shows or live presentations. The museum conducts outreach programs in schools, churches, service organizations and rest homes. Rebel SHS also encourages and invites all groups to visit Rebel for tours and picnics.
The amphitheater serves as a showplace for the ongoing musical traditions of North Louisiana. Thanks to energetic planning and an enthusiastic celebration of music, the annual Memorial Service for the Unknown Confederate Soldier has expanded into a regular schedule of musical events throughout the year. Bluegrass, country, gospel and folk concerts are some of the exciting events taking place on-stage at Rebel State Historic Site. Nonprofit groups are also invited to hold events at the amphitheater so that many visitors can enjoy the fine environment at Rebel SHS
The Annual Fiddling Championship often attracts the most attention to this site in the woods. Competing for prizes, fiddlers young and old engage audiences year after year. Local performers as well as nationally known acts have performed on this stage, including former governor of Louisiana Jimmie Davis, the Oak Ridge Boys, Bill Monroe, Roy Acuff and his Smoky Mountain Boys, Ernest Tubb and his Texas Troubadours, David Houston, Slim Whitman, George Jones and Aaron Neville!
And there’s more…
Picnic areas, group shelters, restrooms and a playground make Rebel SHS a wonderful place to spend the day. Guided tours, the museum and outdoor exhibits contribute to the visitor’s greater understanding of North Louisiana’s rich musical heritage. We invite you to enjoy the wondrous, toe-tapping excitement of Rebel State Historic Site – y’all come!
Programs at Rebel: Rebel SHS regularly presents programs of historical interest. Check the Area Calendar of Events to see what is coming up. From April through October the first Friday of each month is the Friday Night Jam Session where musicians come in to play.
FROM ROBELINE, LA: From the junction of Highways 6/120, take Highway 120 NorthWest. Follow Highway 120 for 8.7 miles to the junction of Highway 1221. Turn North on Highway 1221 and proceed 1 mile to entrance.
FROM MANY, LA: Take Highway 171 North out of Many to the junction of Highway 175 (about 1 mile out of town). Turn North on Highway 175 and proceed about 11 miles to Belmont, LA and the junction with Highway 120. Turn East on Highway 120 and proceed about 6.4 miles to the junction of Highway 1221. Turn North on Highway 1221 and proceed 1 mile to entrance.
FROM ZWOLLE, LA: From the junction of Highways 171/120, take Highway 120 NorthEast for a distance of about 17 miles to the junction of Highway 1221. Turn North on Highway 1221 and proceed 1 mile to entrance.
All pictures by Frank Dutton – Toledo-Bend.Com
For more information: http://www.crt.state.la.us/parks/