"What if PAYSON had been at the Crossroads of the Grand Drama of the American Civil War?"
In a border town in a border area, the citizens of Payson have been of divided sympathies in the great conflict between North & South. Cries of "Save the Union!" and "States Rights and the Constitution!" were heard with equal passion on the streets of this formerly peaceful town. But then came news that Confederate artillery had fired on Fort Sumter - and that a Northern army had invaded Virginia.
Rhetoric quickly gave way to organized force.
Confederates were first in garrisoning Payson but the Union has also recognized the town's strategic value and has sent a force to drive the Southerners out and claim Payson for the North.
Will the North succeed in capturing the town? Or will Southern forces mount a successful defense? If the Union forces succeed in driving out the Confederates will they be viewed as conquerors - or as liberators?
Perhaps it is a question of perspective, a question upon which the townspeople will have much to say...
We Make History proudly presents a very speciaa annual educational event: "The Battle of Payson", a first-person interactive drama featuring soldiers and civilians of the North & South, live battle enactments and interaction with 1860s townspeople, military personnel and renowned historic personalities such as President Abraham Lincoln and General Robert E. Lee ... and then finally, a special tribute to all of America's veterans both past and present.


The Battle of Payson is held each April at Green Valley Park in beautiful Payson, Arizona.

Admission is FREE!

Admission is FREE! But donations to the ongoing educational mission of We Make History are much appreciated. A donation box will be on site or mail to We Make History, P.O. Box 12874, Scottsdale, AZ 85267.


We Make History is a nonprofit educational organization devoted to creative, interactive and family-friendly education, making inspirational use of history and the arts as we honour those who went before us. Nationally known and nationally active, We Make History has served families, communities, schools, historic sites, government and more in our educational mission through historical reenactments, historic balls, historic portrayals, speeches, seminars, workshops and much more.

We Make History is the organizer of the American Heritage Festival which is held each November in Queen Creek, Arizona. Our Civil War reenacting team made up of the 1st Virginia Infantry, 2nd Virginia Infantry and 1st Minnesota Infantry is the largest in Arizona and The Southwest and is very active on the East Coast as well where we will bwe participating in the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War.
But we are far more than merely another reenacting group. We are family, service and education oriented. We "put the acting back into reenacting" with live, interactive, first-person drama. Our standards are high in every way. We are passionate about education, supporting our great American heritage and our devotion to bringing history to life for families.

If you have an interest in learning how to portray history with us send us a note here and let us know.

Sign up for our We Make History newsletter here and stay informed of educational, family oriented living history events!

Email for further information.




The Battle of Payson 2010

The Battle of Payson 2009


































































































































Maximize your visit!

There is much to see and do in the Payson area. Great restaurants and unique shops are scattered throughout the region. Scenic destinations on the Rim and sites of historical interest such as the Pioneer Cemetery and Strawberry Schoolhouse are of interest to many. Hiking and Biking Trails abound in Payson and throughout the beautiful Rim Country. Make it a weekend in the Payson area and enjoy some of the best climate and scenery Arizona has to offer.

Click here to access more information about things to see and do in the Payson area.


Special Hotel Rate!

The Best Western Payson Inn is offering a "Battle of Payson" special of only $74.50 for a very large room with two queens. Find contact info here.


Spread the Word!

Download a Battle of Payson poster here!