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Kansas Civil War documentary to premiere Saturday at Orpheum

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, at 10:54 a.m.

Kansas historian Ken Spurgeon’s latest movie, “The Road to Valhalla,” will be shown Saturday at the Orpheum.

Doors open at 6 p.m. The 90-minute documentary starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased at the door.

“The Road to Valhalla” was six years in the making and is the third by Spurgeon’s Lone Chimney Films, a nonprofit organization. The organization also produced “Touched by Fire: Bleeding Kansas” and “Bloody Dawn: The Lawrence Massacre.”

A native Kansan, Spurgeon said he is a descendant of 13 Civil War veterans. His interest in Kansas history began, he said, by hearing family stories about 19th-century Kansas and the roles his family played.

For the past 25 years, he has been a Civil War re-enactor and teaches history at Northfield School of Liberal Arts in Wichita. He appeared in the movie “Gods and Generals” as well as several Civil War documentaries.

In a news release, Spurgeon said the movie tells the story of the Kansas-Missouri border tensions from the time of the state’s territorial period throughout the Civil War, using historic photographs, interviews and re-enactment footage. It also includes the state’s legacy after the war was over.

The documentary is narrated by actor Buck Taylor, who is best known for having played Newly O’Brien in the long-standing CBS series “Gunsmoke.”

Reach Beccy Tanner at 316-268-6336 or btanner@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @beccytanner.

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