Abraham Lincoln And Gettysburg Exhibit In Wellington Next Week

The Wellington Community Center.

By Eve Rosen

Next week, a special, one-of-a-kind exhibit will be making an appearance at the Wellington Community Center. Wellington resident Steven Turchyn has created a 1/32 scale model of the turning point of the Civil War’s Battle of Gettysburg, known as Pickett’s Charge.

Next week marks the 155th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, which was followed several months later by President Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address.

The Abraham Lincoln and Gettysburg Exhibit contains more than 2,000 hand-painted figures, as well as famous illustrations about the event, such as Abraham Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address, as well as the full text of the speech.

Turchyn is a self-proclaimed history buff who moved to Wellington from Seattle, which is where the exhibit was first shown. The showing in Wellington is the second time that the exhibit is being displayed in a public place.

“I built this diorama in an apartment in Seattle, so it was kind of difficult,” he recalled. “I learned a lot of tricks to be able to do that in a small area. I was happy that it turned out pretty good.”

Turchyn’s method of teaching the public about this historic event is through his diorama, which took him nearly four years to complete.

“I’m a history buff, so I figured that it would be something special that I can present to the public and have people learn about Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address,” Turchyn said. “I figured I’ll start building a diorama, and the one that I built is of the turning point. Then it just got bigger and bigger.”

Turchyn wants to make sure that this aspect of history is remembered, since history and what brought us to where we are today is often forgotten.

“It’s all about remembering history and what struggles past generations have been through in this country, and how we got to where we are today,” Turchyn said. “That’s pretty much why I constructed it — and, of course, the history buff part of me.”

The diorama will be presented inside the Wellington Community Center for the public to be able to learn about this key event in history and to meet the man who created it. One day he hopes to have his diorama set up permanently somewhere.

“I hate to have to keep moving it around to different venues. It is a fragile piece. I made it so that it’s transportable, but it’s better to be in one permanent place, so that if people have the time, they can come and reminisce about the past,” Turchyn said.

He believes that a place with people would be a good location to put it so that anyone can see it, even tourists. For example, tourists from around the world could possibly see the exhibit at a hotel and learn more about American history.

Turchyn also hopes to learn from the people who go to see the exhibit — perhaps even tell him something that he does not know about the famous battle. “I’m sure I’m going to learn something new while I’m there,” he said. “I read a lot about this history, and I know a lot about it, but there is always something that I don’t know.”

The Wellington Community Center is located at 12150 W. Forest Hill Blvd. The exhibit will be on display for public viewing from Monday, July 2 through Friday, July 6, but not on Wednesday, July 4, when the building is closed.

The public is invited to attend a free opening reception on Monday, July 2 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Viewing hours are: Monday, July 2 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Tuesday, July 3 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Thursday, July 5 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Friday, July 6 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information, call the Wellington Community Center at (561) 753-2484.