CROWN POINT | A region Civil War history preservation and tourism initiative will soon be featured on an iconic South Shore Line poster.
Artist Mitch Markovitz, who produces modern paintings based on the old South Shore Line railroad posters, took photos at a region cemetery Wednesday to help guide the imagery for the painting.
Featured in the new poster will be the South Shore Civil War Memorial Trail, a historical tourism trail linking the Northwest Indiana burial sites of Civil War veterans with other region buildings and stories related to the war.
Copies of the posters will be available for sale when the painting is completed, and sales will in part benefit local Civil War history preservation initiatives.
A trail website offers stories and photos of region men and women who sacrificed during the 1861-1865 war, which is marking its 150th anniversary.
On Tuesday, Markovitz took photos of re-enactors and a family posing as trail visitors at Crown Point's Historic Maplewood Cemetery, one of the official sites listed on the trail.
One of the re-enactors was Crown Point's Charlie Wheeler, the great-great-grandson of Col. John Wheeler. The colonel died in the Battle of Gettsyburg and is one of more than 80 Civil War veterans buried at the cemetery.
Markovitz said he plans to paint the basis for the poster in a style similar to that used by famed Americana artist Norman Rockwell.
The unveiling of the painting, yet to be announced, will occur in conjunction with Civil War educational tours of some region cemeteries in Lake and Porter counties.
The painting is being commissioned by the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority, which has partnered with local preservation volunteers in creating the trail. The South Shore CVA also recently sponsored a three-month exhibition of region Civil War veteran photos, stories and artifacts at the Indiana Welcome Center. The exhibit attracted about 8,400 visitors.
Since Memorial Day 2011, the Calumet Region Civil War Preservation Project -- the initiative's volunteer arm -- has replaced more than 80 worn, broken or missing headstones for Civil War veterans and a few of their wives across nine cemeteries in Lake and Porter counties.