Lincoln re-enactors appearing at Drums on the Penobscot have ties with Bangor

Steve and Sharon Wood will portray President Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary, during Drums on the Penobscot: A Civil War Experience, to be held August 10-12 in Bangor. The Woods stand inside the fourth Illinois State House at Vandalia, Illinois in this photo. Abraham Lincoln was familiar with the building, which served as the Illinois state house from 1836 to 1839. (Courtesy Photo)

While Abraham and Mary Lincoln never visited Bangor, the couple portraying them have a Bangor connection dating to the early 1970s.

Scheduled for August 10-12, Drums on the Penobscot: A Civil War Experience will take place at the UMA-Bangor campus at Bangor International Airport. Sponsored by the Bangor Historical Society, the weekend’s activities will include a Civil War encampment, skirmishes, guest speakers, and a Bangor Band concert.

Special guests are President Abraham and Mary Lincoln, portrayed by Steve and Sharon Wood. Steve will appear in President on the Penobscot: An Evening with Abraham Lincoln, slated to take place at 6 p.m., Saturday, August 11 at the Bangor Waterfront. Tickets are $35 apiece for BHS members and $40 for the general public and can be purchased at the event or online at www.bangorhistoricalsociety.org. Hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Steve and Sharon will portray the Lincolns while visiting the encampment from 10 a.m.-12 noon, Sunday, August 11.

The Woods are familiar with Bangor. After marrying in Connecticut in summer 1970, they lived to a Bangor apartment while Steve studied forestry at the University of Maine. Sharon, who had graduated from Southern Connecticut State College with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, was hired as a kindergarten teacher at the Leroy H. Smith School in Winterport.

The Woods lived in Bangor for the next three years. Their circle of friends included Steve’s fellow forestry students and Sharon’s fellow faculty members; many of them helped the Woods load their possessions into a U-Haul truck when they moved from Bangor after Steve graduated in 1973.

The Woods moved to Claremont, N.H. Steve worked as an assistant draftsman with for a local real estate/forestry business, and Sharon “retired” from teaching to focus on home and family. The Woods raised three children.

Steve spent more than 30 years in his second forestry career with the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, and Sharon worked part time as a librarian and volunteered in several local organizations.

Having retired from their respective careers in education, the Woods are focusing on a different way of teaching, through storytelling. Their first-person portrayals of the Lincolns are among the programs offered by their storytelling business, Telling His-Story (and Hers).

Sharon started telling multicultural folk takes as part of her library career and branched out into living history when Steve began portraying Lincoln in 1995. They have since built their business to include various program titles, offered singly and as a duo.

The Woods would be delighted to see former friends, co-workers, and students who remember them from their years in Bangor. It’s been a long time, so come out to Drums on the Penobscot at the UMA-Bangor campus this Sunday morning and introduce yourself to Abraham and Mary Lincoln.

For additional information about Bangor’s upcoming Civil War weekend, log onto Drums on the Penobscot or call the Bangor Historical Society at 207-942-1900.

Disclaimer: Brian Swartz chairs the Bangor Historical Society committee planning the 2018 Drums on the Penobscot.

Brian Swartz

About Brian Swartz

Welcome to "Maine at War," the blog about the roles played by Maine and her sons and daughters in the Civil War. I am a Civil War buff and a newspaper editor recently retired from the Bangor Daily News. Maine sent hero upon hero — soldiers, nurses, sailors, chaplains, physicians — south to preserve their country in the 1860s. “Maine at War” introduces these heroes and heroines, who, for the most part, upheld the state's honor during that terrible conflict. We tour the battlefields where they fought, and we learn about the Civil War by focusing on Maine’s involvement with it. Be prepared: As I discover to this very day, the facts taught in American classrooms don’t always jibe with Civil War reality. I can be reached at visionsofmaine@tds.net.