My name is Ken.
Well, Historical Ken
I’ll be your tour
guide to the past.
Are you ready?
Here we go…
But we do have an original fort and barracks built in 1843 known as Fort Wayne located in Downtown Detroit along the Detroit River where the men from Michigan who did serve their country during the Civil War were inducted into the military. They marched and drilled and drilled and marched on the very ground that we stood upon.
And for us living history nerds, that's pretty cool.
I have covered the history of this fort previously (click HERE) so, rather than repeat what I've already written, what I'd like to do instead is to take you on another of my photographic journeys to the past (via modern technology and some of the finest reenactors and living historians around) and draw you into our world of the oil lamp, candles, top hats and bonnets...welcome to a cool September weekend in 1865.
I hope you enjoy the trip:
|This is my wife, Patty. She rarely goes to a reenactment without her spinning wheel.|
|Jackie took this opportunity to work on her bonnet. She often portrays my older sister, and since her sense of humor and, yes, even her personality is similar to mine, she could almost be!|
|This is my daughter. My real daughter (you're used to seeing my reenacting daughter, aren't you?). She made this bonnet, and did a fine job at that. She looked so beautiful all dressed in period clothing and wearing her bonnet. She's growing up.|
|Should we go outside for a walk? Hmmm...yes, it is rather chili for this time of year, but it might be nice to take a stroll along the walk way.|
|Mother and daughter. Not like you couldn't tell, right?|
|Are you aware that Kristen makes and sells period-correct jewelry in her shop, The Victorian Needle? Are you also aware that she has historical documentation for nearly everything she makes? And are you aware that she made the earrings that Jackie is wearing? If not, you are now!|
I asked a few of my reenacting friends if they would like to take part in a photo shoot I had in mind. What I was hoping to recreate was a city street scene in which folks were out and about, going hither and thither upon their merry way in 1860s Detroit.
And they did!
I so appreciate them for taking time out of their day to placate me in my attempts to recreate a scene from the past.
I don't think it turned out too bad for a first try, do you?
I may attempt this again in some future-past date. Maybe during Christmas at the Fort.
Hmmm...we'll have to wait and see...
In the mean time, I hope you like my first attempt:
|The children of the 1860s are always a delight, and grandmother enjoys taking them out to show them off to the neighbors.|
|Mrs. St. John's children certainly are growing into fine young ladies indeed!|
Okay everyone! Back to one!
|"Mrs. Lum! How are you on such a fine day?"|
"I am very well, Miss Schubert. And how are you?"
|It was quite the windy day, and it looked and felt like fall.|
|And here are the participants for my little photo shoot. |
Thank you everyone!
I am going to call this next section "See my beard!"
There are some fine looking beards out there and I thought these were some of the better ones I've seen.
Me? Naw...I won't grow one - - I tried a while back, but it made my face feel as if it had velcro on it. Didn't like it at all.
But these next few guys, well, they have pretty awesome looking facial hair:
|A Union Sharpshooter|
|Big Jim, the President of the 21st Michigan.|
|A portrayal of Frederick Douglass|
|Michigan Senator Jacob Howard|
Now let's visit the military men. I really don't take too many pictures of battle scenes, for they usually don't turn out very well for me. But I have a few of the guys relaxing in the barracks, sick bay, or in formation:
|A Confederate soldier...|
|Inside the Confederate hospital.|
|Another hospital room.|
|A couple of northern soldiers a-waiting their orders.|
|Senator Howard prepares to address the men who were about to go to battle.|
|Inside the Yankee barracks.|
Whether a reenactment is big or small, it's up to the participants to make it special. And this certainly was a fine one.
My thanks to everyone who helped to put this on, from the Historic Fort Wayne Coalition to the volunteers to the living historians, and to reenactors & living historians, and even to the visitors who braved the early fall weather.
What a fine time we all had!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~Wait! There's more!~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
In our presentation we speak about our daily activities and chores as they would have been carried out during each season of the year, and as we discuss the situation, we come to realize how necessary Christine is to our livelihood.
So what do we do - send her to the girls seminary school or keep her home on the farm with us?
Well, during our most recent excursion (at the Plymouth Historical Society) we let the audience decide for us after they heard our story/presentation, and they thought it best that, much to her chagrin, Christine should stay home on the farm and not go away.
We have done this Farm Life/City Life presentation at least a half dozen times before, and it has always gone over very well.
And this one in Plymouth was no different, though (for some reason) I had butterflies in the stomach.
But all went very well and, once again, we were a success!
we look like a couple of mid-19th century farmers?|
Note the historical accessories behind us that we include in our presentations. Yeah…no power-point for us!
Now we're expanding into colonial...
Living history...I'm lovin' it!