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Eric Jylha, president of the Bay County Historical Society, with Birney Sword Display

Birney Historical Society
Sword Dinner Set April 1

Community Campaign for Display in Tribute to Birney Family Hits High Gear

March 16, 2003       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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The community campaign to raise funds to acquire and display the Civil War presentation sword of Capt. James G. Birney IV of Bay City is hitting high gear.

A Civil War/Birney Sword dinner is scheduled Tuesday, April 1 at 6 p.m. at the Grand banquet hall in Essexville as the highlight of the campaign. Civil War re-enactors will be dressed in period garb and there will be demonstrations of weapons and drill and descriptions of Civil War life. Speakers will include Gerald Pergande, local attorney and Civil War expert.

Tony Dearing, editor of The Bay City Times, heads the committee working on the sword project. Other committee members are Eric Jylha, of WNEM-TV, president of the Bay County Historical Society; Keith Markstrom, development director of Bay Regional Medical Center; historian Dave Rogers, Gay McInerney, executive director, and Ron Bloomfield, curator, of the Bay County Historical Museum.

The committee is seeking sponsorships for the dinner and later events, including a special tour of Pine Ridge Cemetery. Many local companies and individuals are signing on as a General, $300; Colonel, $200; or Captain, $100. Tickets for the dinner are $40 and for the cemetery tour $12.50. A package of both events may be obtained for $50. Donors are sought to sponsor high school students who wish to attend the dinner and/or cemetery tour.

For information about the dinner or sponsorships please contact committee members or the Bay County Historical Society, 893-5733.

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Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at

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