“A room full of 40 Abes and 20 Mary Lincolns is indeed a sight to behold,” read the press release announcing the Association of Lincoln Presenters will be in Pickens County this weekend for a yearly gathering.
The Abraham Lincoln re-enactors will be staying at Amicalola Falls for their 25th Silver Anniversary conference. They will venture out to the Polycor mines for a tour Saturday morning – (to see the spot where the marble for the Lincoln Memorial came from). That afternoon the Lincolns will make a visit to Jasper to tour the Old Jail and browse along Main Street.
Organized by Homer Sewell, a longtime Pickens resident and Lincoln presenter, and Joan Britton (his Mary Lincoln) this marks a rarity that the conference is not set in a metropolitan city. In addition to making quite an impression seeing 40 Abraham Lincolns in a small town, Sewell said the rural setting may make quite the impression on the re-enactors.
“When they look out the windows and see mountains, it will blow their minds,” he said.
Sewell has been portraying Lincoln for 43 years and he and one other Lincoln-look-a-like have both attended all 25 yearly conferences. He invited the public to interact with the Lincolns Saturday, who will pose for photos.
“We don’t call it costume, but we will in our frock tail coats and hats,” said Sewell. The agenda for the group Saturday includes a trip to the Atlanta History Center and the exact time they hit Main Street here depends on the traffic. Sewell predicted as early as 4 p.m., but it may be as late as 5 p.m.
When asked if his fellow Lincolns had any fears about travelling so far below the Mason-Dixon Line, Sewell said he hadn’t heard any and in his more than 40 years has had only a single obscenity yelled at him for portraying the northern leader - it was in Dahlonega.
“People who are still fighting the Civil War have their own issues,” Sewell said. “I don’t engage in any of that when I represent Mr. Lincoln.”
When he completes upcoming speaking engagements in Alaska and Montana, Sewell will have appeared as Lincoln at events in every state except Hawaii.