A piece of Elmira’s history is officially restored.

Friends of the Elmira Civil War Prison Camp held a ceremony Saturday, celebrating opening day of the Civil War building.

To honor the grand opening, a civilian reenactment took place of the first day the prisoners arrived, marching from Erie Railroad Station to the site of Barracks #3 on Winsor Ave, the very same route they took to get to the camp in the 1860s.

Visitors traveled from Baltimore, New Jersey and North Carolina to see the site, some visited to pay respects to their ancestors who were prisoners at the camp and are buried at Woodlawn National Cemetery.

“These thousands of men fall for a principle, they each had their own set of principles but they all believed in what they were doing and they need to be remembered, they need to be honored,” said Paul Laird, executive director of Friends of Fort Fisher in North Carolina. 

Friends of the Elmira Civil War Prison Camp have spent the past four years reconstructing the civil war building that’s more than 150-years-old. The wood on one of the barracks has been preserved since the early 1860s.

Organizers said that opportunities to connect the past with future generations should not be missed.

“It’s history, we can’t revise it, we can scrutinize it, but it’s very important and we’re trying to educate people with the history of Elmira during the Civil War,” said Marty Chalk, president of the Elmira Civil War Prison Camp.

Members of the project hope the camp will boost tourism in Chemung County and make money down the road.

The Elmira Civil War Prison Camp is on 645 Winsor Ave in Elmira.

To learn more, visit http://www.elmiraprisoncamp.com/