Civil War display leaves impression

EVERETT – Evelyn Jameson wishes her high school history teachers had possessed as much imagination as William Louf does.

Jameson thought she hated history, but she was captivated by a diorama of the 1862 Battle of Antietam that she saw in the window of Louf’s downtown Everett store.

“It makes it seem more real to me,” said Jameson, 50, who was in town with her husband from Shelby Township, Mich., to visit their son at Naval Station Everett. “If I’d had a teacher that made history so interesting, I would have enjoyed it. When I took history, it was just, ‘Read the book.’”

Louf, 50, of Marysville was hoping for such reactions when he installed the diorama June 18 in the window of his store, Image Master, 1814 Hewitt Ave.

Above and below the diorama are explanations and photographs of the Civil War conflict.

The 5- by 7-foot display includes more than 300 plastic soldiers, along with rifles, trees and wagons. Walls are made of foam, concrete sealer and pea gravel. The details continue down to bandaged men on crutches and cups of coffee on wooden tables.

The Battle of Antietam, in which more than 23,000 Union and Confederate soldiers died, was the bloodiest single-day battle in U.S. history. Historians say the battle was a turning point that led to the South’s eventual defeat.

“This was the first time the Union army didn’t run from the Confederate army,” Louf explained to Image Master customer Bob Curtis, 49, of Mukilteo. “The Confederate army retreated.”

Curtis said the display took him back to mock Civil War battles he’d had with friends on the beaches of his native Michigan.

Smudge marks on the window attest to the display’s popularity with passersby.

“Isn’t that cool?” said Vickey Harper, 43, as she lifted her daughter, Jessmyn, 9, so she could see better.

As Harper looked, she became morose and thought of the soldiers dying in Iraq.

“I think of all the people who died and the kids who lost their dads,” she said.

Louf began creating the diorama two years ago, and put it up in his Marysville bedroom last summer. It took him about an hour to paint each of the 300-plus soldiers, and countless hours more to put together the rest of the display. He had to leave 3 feet of the display at home because the whole thing wouldn’t fit in the store window.

Louf was planning to take the display down July 30, but now he’s thinking of leaving it up longer.

His ultimate goal is to create a huge diorama and make a full-fledged Civil War museum out of it, complete with spotlights and sound effects.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

1 pedestrian dead after car crash on I-5 south of Marysville

Around 5 p.m., a car crashed into a pedestrian along I-5. Investigators believed a man had parked on the shoulder to refuel.

FILE - A person walks near the Legislative Building, Wednesday, April 21, 2021, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Washington's redistricting commission failed to meet its deadline and on Tuesday, Nov. 16, kicked the job of creating new political maps to the state Supreme Court. The bipartisan commission had a deadline of 11:59 p.m. Monday to approve new boundaries for congressional and legislative districts following the 2020 census. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Do Snohomish County lawmakers want a 2020 presidential rematch?

The Herald contacted seven Republican legislators representing parts of Snohomish County about their primary choice. Five did not respond.

A man walks by Pfizer headquarters, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, in New York. Pfizer will spend about $43 billion to buy Seagen and broaden its reach into cancer treatments, the pharmaceutical giant said. (AP Photo / Mark Lennihan, File)
Pfizer backs out of Everett manufacturing plant after $43B Seagen deal

Pfizer finalized the acquisition of the Bothell-based cancer drug developer in December.

Photo provided by 
Economic Alliance
Economic Alliance presented one of the Washington Rising Stem Awards to Katie Larios, a senior at Mountlake Terrace High School.
Mountlake Terrace High School senior wins state STEM award

Katie Larios was honored at an Economic Alliance gathering: “A champion for other young women of color in STEM.”

A view of one of the potential locations of the new Aquasox stadium on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024 in Everett, Washington. The site sits between Hewitt Avenue, Broadway, Pacific Avenue and the railroad. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
20 businesses could be demolished for downtown Everett stadium

Some business owners say the city didn’t tell them of plans for a new AquaSox stadium that could displace their businesses.

Kathy Purviance-Snow poses for a photo in her computer lab at Snohomish High School on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, in Snohomish, WA. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
To ban or embrace ChatGPT? Local teachers fight AI with AI — or don’t

“It has fundamentally changed my teaching in really stressful and exciting ways,” an EvCC teacher said. At all levels of education, ChatGPT poses a tricky question.

In this Feb. 5, 2018, file photo a Boeing 737 MAX 7 is displayed during a debut for employees and media of the new jet in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
FAA gives Boeing 90 days to develop plan to fix quality, safety issues

The agency’s ultimatum comes a day after a meeting with CEO Dave Calhoun and other top Boeing officials in Washington, D.C.

Flowers for slain trooper Chris Gadd begin to collect outside Washington State Patrol District 7 Headquarters on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Police: Lynnwood man consumed marijuana, beer before crash into trooper

Trooper Chris Gadd, 27, was stopped along I-5 when he was hit and killed early Saturday. Troopers suspect Raul Benitez Santana was impaired.

Madi Humphries, 9, Rose Austin, 13, and Eirene Ritting, 8, on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024 in Bothell, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
No grades, no teachers: Inside a Bothell school run by student vote

Each day at The Clearwater School, 60 students choose their own lessons. It’s one vote per person, whether you’re staff or student.

SonShine Preschool inside First Baptist Church Monroe is pictured Friday, March 1, 2024, in Monroe, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
SonShine preschool in Monroe to close at the end of the year

The preschool, operated by First Baptist Church, served kids for 25 years. School leadership did not explain the reason behind the closure.

Two troopers place a photo of slain Washington State Patrol trooper Chris Gadd outside WSP District 7 Headquarters about twelve hours after Gadd was struck and killed in a collision on southbound I-5 about a mile from the headquarters on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
State trooper killed, 1 arrested in crash on I-5 near Marysville

Authorities said Trooper Chris Gadd had been stopped along the freeway around 3 a.m. near 136th Street NE. A Lynnwood driver, 32, was arrested.

Providence Hospital in Everett at sunset Monday night on December 11, 2017. Officials Providence St. Joseph Health Ascension Health reportedly are discussing a merger that would create a chain of hospitals, including Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, plus clinics and medical care centers in 26 states spanning both coasts. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Following lawsuit, Providence commits to improved care for Deaf patients

Three patients from Snohomish County sued Providence in 2022 for alleged Americans with Disabilities Act violations.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.