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Contact: Shera Cohen, (413) 271-3982
SPRINGFIELD. MA.: Hatfield resident Deborah Martin beats eggs, stirs in sugar, measures flour, and applies icing during the week. The result – special order wedding cakes! She loves her work as owner of Cakes by Deborah. She loves her weekends as well, as a soldier. Martin portrays a Civil War soldier from the 15th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. Martin's next cakes will be for several hotels in the Northampton area. Martin's next military assignment will be at the Springfield Armory National Historic Site on Saturday, May 14th for the annual Armory Day program.
Armory Day is the annual celebration of the Springfield Armory National Historic Site's history. Spirit of Springfield, organizers of Springfield's 375th Anniversary, selected the Armory as the site of the May 14th afternoon activities.
Martin dresses from head to toe in reproduction uniform, representing the Union officers in the early 1860's. For the past two years, Martin has been an officer in the 15th Infantry where she is the only female soldier. The group began 11 years ago, traveling throughout New England, recreating encampments during the Civil War.
How did a former office worker and retailer, and now cake creator, become a weekend warrior of 150 years ago? Her great, great, great grandfather was her inspiration. Private Augustus Potter served in the actual 15th Infantry, where he was wounded four times and captured twice. He survived.
Martin will tell the story of her descendant when she comes with approximately a dozen others from her infantry troop to Armory Day. The 15th will be one of several participating groups setting up replica encampments on the grounds of the Armory.
All Armory Day events are free and will take place on May 14th from 1pm – 5pm, following the City of Springfield's 375th Anniversary Pancake Breakfast and Parade. In addition to encampments from the Revolutionary War to the Vietnam War, other activities include Armory Day opening ceremonies, cavalry demonstrations, historic weapons and cannon firing, and indoor museum tours.
Springfield Armory National Historic Site commemorates and preserves the site of our Nation's first armory, established in 1794. Managed together with the Commonwealth of MA, Springfield Technical Community College and the National Park Service, the site holds many layers of history within its buildings and grounds. The site of the repulse of Shays' Rebellion, 1787; production of the nation's first interchangeable parts; and home of the world's largest historic American military firearms collection invites our visitors to share its history and beauty. As a unit of the National Park Service, the Visitor Center, Museum, buildings and grounds are open daily, 9am-5pm except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day. Admission is free. Contact telephone number is (413) 734-8551. Our website is www.nps.gov/spar.