Local interest in the Civil War


If the combination of Lake County

and the Civil War surprises you,

you’re not alone.


Dean explains: “Lake County was

created just about the time the

American Civil War began. The

county was formed in May 1861,

Fort Sumter had been bombarded

in mid-April that same year. 

“I’ll be talking about local mixed

sentiment regarding the war, the

role of Lake County’s mercury

mines in supporting the war effort, and of course the Jerusalem Valley fort. I’ll also describe two local chapters of the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) that existed in Lake County.  To be a member of that fraternal organization, one had to be an honorably discharged veteran of the Union forces of the Civil War.”

The GAR founded soldiers' homes and was active in relief work and pension legislation. Five members were elected President of the United States and, back when the Republican Party was more closely allied with the ideals of the Union Army, it was all but impossible to be nominated on the Republican ticket without the endorsement of the GAR voting bloc.

The Sons of Union Veterans organization is very active in researching Civil War genealogical information, recording the locations of Civil War veterans’ graves, protecting Civil War monuments, and documenting and preserving the history of the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.).

Many local residents are familiar with Enderlin through his long work as a geologist with McLaughlin gold mine in Lower Lake. Local history genealogy addicts know that his family roots are intertwined with those of John Cobb.


Dean Enderlin, in full dress uniform as Commander of the Department of California & Pacific of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

Dean Enderlin's partner, Cindy Eddy, joins him in period attire at a variety of Civil War functions. 

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Friends of Gibson Museum functioned as Gibson Museum & Cultural Center from April 2013 until February 2017. Now, Gibson has joined Lake County Museums, as a sibling of the historic Courthouse Museum in Lakeport and the historic Schoolhouse Museum in Lower Lake. 

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