Thursday, September 13, 2018

Late Summer Historical Fun at Greenfield Village (and a bit of my colonial miniatures collection)

Historic Greenfield Village is my place of solace - my home away from home...the old neighborhood (old being literal here). As a school employee, I am off during the summer and I travel the 20 or so miles to the Village about once a week, sometimes only for a couple hours, other times with friends (and becoming their personal tour guide), or even just to eat a lunch at the Eagle Tavern.
But it is my special place...
So what I have here are a few of my favorite photos taken on some of these quick visits from late August to early September - just before the glorious autumn time of year hits - pictures that I wanted to share with other fans of the Village. Or fans of history.  Or just people who may like my style of photography.
No, you won't find me all dressed in my period finery in any of them. Okay...maybe in one (we'll see if you can spot me). I was just enjoying the moment in time of being there. Believe it or not, there are times I do visit the Village in modern clothes, and I always have my camera with me as well, hoping to get a few pictures that are not only different from the norm, but has that step-into-the-past feel to them.
I hope you like 'em:
What I like most about this picture is that the modern
cement street has more of a take me home country road 

feel to it, in my opinion.
That is the birthplace of Henry Ford in the way back. 

I'm guessing that if you are a regular reader of this blog, you already know that the 1750 home of Samuel and Anna Daggett is my very favorite of the nearly 100 original historic buildings that have been relocated inside the historic village created by Henry Ford, and you shall see a few of my latest Daggett pictures shortly.
But there are some homes inside the Village that you may not have seen in Passion for the Past very often, such as the Cotswold Cottage, originally from  Chedworth, Gloucestershire, England.
The Cotswold Cottage was built in 1620 - the very same year that the Pilgrims left Holland for America (they moved to Holland from England 11 or 12 years earlier).
This is one very old home that is now used to serve tea.

Welcome to my favorite restaurant, the Eagle Tavern.
This stage coach stop was called Parks Tavern when it originally opened around 1831, then became known as the Eagle Tavern in 1849. It changed names again to the Union Tavern during the Civil War.
Henry Ford christened it The Clinton Inn  when he included it as part of his Greenfield Village in 1929.
In 1982 the name was changed from the Clinton Inn back to the Eagle Tavern, for this was in line with Greenfield Village's new goals of making itself more functional and accurate. The meals served are period-accurate to the mid-19th century, and the servers, greeters, hosts, and barkeep all wear period-appropriate clothing.

As you can see, the Eagle Tavern is still a stage coach stop - how very cool.

Inside the Eagle Tavern.
What you see in this picture is a part of the original tavern. When it was brought to Greenfield Village in 1929, Henry Ford enlarged the size greatly as to accommodate sizable crowds, especially the school children who attended school there (during the early years, Greenfield Village was mainly used as a school).
The tavern has a very immersive atmosphere, for even the lighting is non-electric.

Meanwhile, inside the Logan County Court House, which was built in 1840 - - -
From the Greenfield Village blog:
A note sent to Henry Ford in 1938 from Eugene Amberg about the bar pictured below:
"At the time the Court House was made into a dwelling the railing that separated the judges desk from the main court room was torn out by my father (John Amberg) who was doing the remodeling, this he stored in the attic of his home, recently my mother died and while cleaning out the attic we came across these spindles, which are the original 28 spindles that the hand railing rested upon."
Negotiations evidently faltered, as a price was not agreed upon, and the spindles were never sent. Fast forward 71 years to 2009 when a
n email arrived (to Greenfield Village) from Carol Moore and her brother, Dennis Cunningham, the grandchildren of Eugene Amberg. They had no idea that their grandfather had begun this process, and were amazed when we produced the original correspondence from our archival collection. As it turns out, their story was almost identical to Eugene’s. As Carol wrote their mother, “Patricia Amberg Cunningham died March 1, 2008. While cleaning her house in Delavan, Illinois to prepare for sale, we found 28 old wooden spindles and a newspaper article believed to be from the Lincoln Courier indicating that the spindles are from the original Postville Courthouse in Lincoln, Illinois. It is our desire to donate them to the original Postville Courthouse.
And here they are. The courthouse is now complete:
It is wonderful to have this original feature, long absent from the courtroom, making a return to the Logan County Court House where Abraham Lincoln once practiced law. Using the original set of wooden spindles, Greenfield Village has re-created their interpretation of what the rail, or the bar, that divided the courtroom may have looked like in the 1840s. By referencing images of other early 19th century courtrooms, and studying architectural features represented in Greenfield Village, a typical design was created.
And don't the spindles look great back where they belong?
So good, in fact, that it seems like apparitions from the past also found their way into the courthouse...
Naw...just a bunch of us Civil War reenactors posing for a photo of what it may have looked like in the mid-1800s.

The Scotch Settlement School from 1861,
Taken on Labor Day Monday - - - the day before Michigan schools officially begin the school year (many schools began a week or two before Labor Day this year).
Henry Ford attended class here in 1871.

Me being 'artsy' with my picture taking,
This is of the Loranger Gristmill from about 1832. 

Another of my favorite houses, the very active Firestone Farm, representing life in Columbiana, Ohio in 1883.
The ladies of the house, as you can see, are always doing some chore or another, including preparing and cooking food using a period-correct (for the house) coal stove, as well as the constant cleaning and other household duties.
The men of Firestone work outside in the fields maintaining the animals, barn, and the crops, which are planted and cared for utilizing 1880s man and horsepower.

And now to my very favorite spot in all the Village - - - no need to introduce to my regular readers the Daggett breakback-style farmhouse, which was built around 1750 and is representing the 1760s.
There is a feeling I get that can't be explained whenever I enter this beautifully restored original representation of an 18th century house. I have been drawn to it from the first time I saw it back in 1983 (only a few years after it was brought to the Village), and, as often as I visit Greenfield Village, I make sure to stop in to greet it and the presenters who keep its past alive.
I like to think that upon looking through the open window I am seeing the same sight that may have been seen by Samuel Daggett himself 250 years ago.

And that's why I enjoy this particular home so much:
as an 18th century living historian, I can visually be transported back to a time shortly before the birth of our nation, for, even though 1st person is not practiced, the sights and sounds of the 1760s do come to life.

To witness the action in this manner, one can almost feel as if they are in the company of Asinath, Tabitha, and Anna Daggett.

Spying out the kitchen window into the kitchen garden...again, the past comes to life...
...and we also we see more 18th century chores taking place, only this time from the inside looking out.

As I mentioned, upon entering the grounds of Daggett, one can easily become immersed in the world of 250 years ago.
Besides the varieties of squash, beans, lettuce, asparagus, and other vegetables used to help sustain the family, Anna Daggett would have also grown plants for medical purposes as well, including wormwood, which was a purgative for stomach issues or worms, tansy was used to stop bleeding and bruising, and chamomile, which was used, same as it is today, to make a calming tea.

Wait---is that Samuel Daggett?

Colonial Williamsburg is such an amazing place
to visit, and I hope to go back soon, but I am thrilled
that we have such a fine representation of colonial
farm life right here in Michigan.

And the presenters at the Daggett homestead are not
unlike those at Firestone Farm (on the other side
of the Village) in that they recreate a time long
past in action as they share their knowledge.

I went back to Greenfield Village the Saturday following Labor Day where the annual (and oldest) Old Car Festival was held.  I'm not sure if there is any other car show quite like it - hundreds upon hundreds of privately-owned cars from before the turn of the 20th century to the very early 1930s are lined up along the streets of the Village.
I'm not sure the make of this horseless carriage, but it is from 1901. It was the oldest car there when we arrived in the later afternoon, for the autos from the 
1890s had already left the Village.

Some car clubs make traveling to Greenfield Village for the Old Car Festival an event in itself:
I can just imagine how cool it must've been for travelers seeing such a sight as dozens of ancient cars rolled along the highways and byways of mid-America.
Greenfield Village or Bust!

Fords, Oldsmobiles, Buicks, and many other names, some companies of which are long gone, not lasting much longer than a year.
For a list of the now defunct auto manufacturers, click HERE

A bust of Henry Ford as a hood ornament.
How cool is that?

Many, if not most, of the owners dressed in clothing that suits the period of their car. And that adds so much to the overall effect and feeling of the Old Car Festival. It almost has a bit of reenactment in the midst.

My friend, Lynn, and her husband also dress the period,
even though they don't have a car of this vintage.
They do, however, have a 1965 Volkswagon Beetle - "Herbie" -
that they take to car shows for more recent autos.

I took a picture of someone taking a picture...

One of the highlights is the gas light tour that takes place on Saturday evening where the headlights of these ancient autos are lit, sometimes kerosene and sometimes electric.
No candle lamps, though - - (lol)

One of my favorite occurrences of the entire time there during the Old Car Fest was watching the evening sun go down. Since being inside Greenfield Village after dark is a rarity for most of us (aside from Holiday Nights at Christmas time), I took advantage of the opportunity and photographed the sunset and twilight time from the back garden of the Daggett House.
Yes, you may see a hint of Moody Blues poetry in some of my commentary here...
I stood there behind the house in the back corner...a-watching the sun disappear from view and the darkness of night beginning its reign.

I took a picture every few minutes as the late-summer evening sky removed the colors from my sight.

Watching light fade as the Daggett Farm House became a silhouette against the veils of deepening blue.
Shadows on the ground, never make a sound,
fading away in the sunset
But something almost magical began to occur: just as the last glimmer of light began to fade, new light began to show.

And this glow against the night time sky grew brighter with each passing minute... 

Until finally....
The last burst of the day's glow gave a show like nothing I've seen.
And I was thrilled that my camera - this old point and shoot from 2009 - could capture a touch of the brilliance of God's glory.
And then, nearly as quickly as it had come, it faded away...
night had now become
day for everyone...

~   ~   ~

As one who loves history, I also, as you probably know, reenact the past.
But this history nerd is also a collector of the ceramic lighted houses, most notably, those put out by Dept. 56. And when I learned they had a replicated breakback/saltbox house and windmill, much like the Daggett House, I scoured the internet and found the, I might add, and purchased them.
I had my very own Daggett Farm House and Ferris Windmill!
Jump up a few years until fairly recently when I inadvertently discovered (through another collectible miniatures fan), 18th century accessories. I mean, these were more than just accessory people walking in their finery; I found out that back in the 1990s Lang & Wise, through the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, put out a collection of houses and, more importantly, period figures, of the 18th century variety.
I was elated beyond compare.
Again, I delved into the search engines of the internet, finding many, if not most, of the collection, again, at very good prices (you need to have patience. If you wait long enough, that $30 piece can be found at $10 or $15).
Selling off many collectibles of a different sort that I rarely, if ever, looked at (or forgot about), I was able to purchase a good many of these Williamsburg figurines.
I'm not as interested in the houses in this Lang & Wise collection - at least, not at this time. They are quite a bit smaller than the Dept. 56 size, and they make the figures that supposedly are to go with them look like they are much too large for the houses.
So, as I am interested in historic farming, I put together a colonial farm scene - - - maybe this could be the Daggett household sitting a-top my computer desk.
Here you go, from your fan in history:
In this first picture we have the Dept. 56 House and Ferris Windmill.
Well, not really. The pieces together were originally called "Home Sweet Home," for they were inspired by the East Hampton, NY historic landmark home of John Howard Payne, composer of the song. 
The ceramic house was originally painted green, but I repainted it a darker gray in order to give it a more "Daggett" look.
It's fall - harvest time - and there is a lot going on in this picture:
from the left we see pumpkins, a corn shock, apples being pressed into cider, and a woman cooking over a fire. Perhaps she is making dinner for the farm family and farm hands.

Candle dipping, spinning wool into yarn, and churning butter, all chores done on a colonial farm.
I've not seen a figurine by Dept. 56 or Lang & Wise of a spinning wheel, but I did find the one you see here in an antique shop. Since my wife spins and since I dip candles, both were must haves for me.

As we move away from the house, we find the harvesting of vegetables from the kitchen garden.
I have never seen accessories like these before - actual farm workers from the colonial period. Ya gotta love it.

The little ones around the farm tend to the chickens, roosters, and the eggs.

Milking the cows: again, other than this, I've not seen a figurine of milking a cow, have you? And they are done very well.

I have a sort of sheep pen, for sheep shearing is to take place.
Some of the sheep are from my manger scene.

And here we are: two women shearing sheep while another watches the flock.

And, since I've actually plowed behind a team of horses, this is a special accessory for me, even though it is oxen and not horses. many people would get so excited about a plowing accessory?, for one!
In fact, this entire collection is pretty exciting to me, especially since I, as a historical presenter, speak about colonial farming at reenactments, schools, libraries, or wherever me and my presentation partner are asked to go.
And this miniature collection really does fit in well with my love and fascination - infatuation? - for not only the colonial period in America's history, but with Greenfield Village's Daggett Farm in particular. I suppose it's a sort of could it have been like this?
Too bad I don't have more room to spread it out a bit more...
Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed this little reprieve from the modern world. I try to surround myself not only with my family, but with the little things that help to get me through life.
Some people have sports. Others travel. I do history.

Thanks for stopping by.
Until next time, see you in time.

To read more about the Daggett House, click HERE
To read about my Dept. 56 Dickens Village collection, click HERE
And I am currently working on an everyday life on a colonial farm posting, but that won't be ready for a few weeks yet.

~   ~   ~

Monday, September 3, 2018

Voyageur Encampment 2018: A Unique Bit of Colonial American History

In case you haven't noticed, I've been very busy in my time-travel adventures; it seems that every weekend I find myself wearing my period clothing. In fact (and this is the truth), when I wear my modern clothing I need to sort of re-acclimate myself to the t-shirt 'n' jeans fashion of my 21st century self.
Well, the last weekend in August was no different; there I was again, wearing my 1770s finest at another early American colonial-era event. If you've been counting, that's seven events in six weeks (two weekends found me in different periods in time the same weekend).
I must be honest here: when so many cannot wait to get out of their historic clothing after a day spent reenacting, I find myself very comfortable in them. Truth be told, my 1770s clothing is far more comfortable than my 1860s clothes. And even, to some extent, my modern clothes. I'd wear my knee breaches & cocked hat daily if I could easily get away with it.
Ah...maybe one day when I'm older...then people could think I was senile!
Anyhow, I hope you enjoy this photo-laden 'report' of how this weekend went for us.

~   ~   ~

Let's begin with a brief history lesson on the Voyageurs:
We had high sustaining winds on the 
Saturday of the event, and my flag 
was a-blowin' proudly and patriotically.
I was very pleased at how well my tent 
held up to the strong wind gusts. 
And I was even gladder that Larissa 
took this wonderful picture!
Michigan, my home state, had a very different history during the 18th century than, say, the states on the east coast; this area of the expanding country - and even more specifically, on the very same ground of which we were reenacting upon - had a group of fur traders known as the Voyageurs, adventurous men and women who were unique to this general region of southeastern Michigan and what is now Ontario, Canada.
The Voyageurs were Great Lakes fur traders, missionaries, and explorers that came to the area in the early 1600's. They were of French origin, though they did not come directly from France. Rather, they came from the large French settlements in Montreal and Quebec.  From the 1670s until the 1800s, these fur traders and homesteaders started traveling through the Great Lakes region of North America,
The Voyageurs befriended and learned from the local Indians who they met on their journeys. They built earthen huts and farmed "strip farms," which were long pieces of land beginning at the narrow end near the lake and extended inland for about a half mile. In this way they were able to take full advantage of the natural waterways of the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers as well as Lake St. Clair itself.
These folks were known for buying, selling and trading animal fur and pelts. They adapted the Indian-style canoes and bateaux (a small, flat-bottomed rowboat used on rivers) to move their furs, as well as using sailboats.
And now here in the 21st century, the Lac Ste. Claire Voyageur reenactors/living historians recreate the life of their counterparts from the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries. I have visited their encampments numerous times over the years and have befriended a few of these fine folk. And in the year 2015, for the first time, I got to participate in one of their reenactments, which was a fine experience indeed! No, I'm not claiming to necessarily be a Voyageur, for I do remain an 18th century east coast colonist. But I also portray a colonial farmer and I, along with my presentation partner, Larissa, were invited to share our knowledge of this life and its duties, and we were both honored to do so. They welcomed us with open arms, and though it was my fourth year participating in this reenactment, it was our second time presenting in this capacity with them.
And what great fun it was, as you shall see.
The Voyageur reenactors really do a great job teaching the history connected with the original Voyageurs, Coureur de bois (French/Indian trapper of the Great Lakes), early settlers, and military of the Great Lakes fur trade era. Their living history reenactments of the lifestyles and skills of the region include demonstrations and displays of canoe building, traditional crafts and skills, trade goods and artifacts, blacksmithing, campfire cooking, cannons and weaponry. They also play music, dance, tell stories, give lectures and just do a fine job teaching about the general history of this long ago culture - a part of American history greatly over-looked.
I believe our farming presentation fits in perfectly.
Naturally, as I moved among the traders, I had my hidden camera ready at a moment's notice to snap a piece of history not shown very often in other parts of the U.S., and I would like to share them with you. There are quite a few photos here, so sit back and relax.
As you are about to find out, there are some interesting and varied stories to be seen and told, and I would like to begin with a small telling of 18th century home life as the way it was in my birthplace of Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit:
Jeff gave a splendid presentation on home life in 18th century Detroit, 
considered a frontier outpost fort at the time.

And he brought along a variety of replicated artifacts
one might find should they enter a home of an
18th century Detroiter, including entertainments,

games, dinnerware, and the necessary tools
for survival.

One of the more interesting objects I saw I wasn't quite sure of its use: was it a scalp taken by the local Indian tribe? Or maybe a...wig?
'Twas a queue for men who had short hair and wanted
to look stylish!

I don't have that problem...for my hair is long.

(except on top of my head - lol -
But that's where a hat is perfect!)

There was wonderful period music wafting throughout the encampment by the awesome group, Mcspillin:
I simply love to hear period music done in a traditional manner, 
and this group is one of the best out there!

A trading post was set up - - -
Some folks go all out to bring authenticity to this encampment, 
like what Ron Miller does with his trading post.
Isn't this something?.

A trading post was where the trading or selling of goods took place, 
and usually the preferred travel route to a trading post or between trading posts, was known as a trade route.

Trading posts were also places for people to meet and exchange the news of the world or simply the news from their home country (many of the world's trading posts were located in places which were popular destinations for emigration) in a time or an area where newspapers were scarce.
Trading posts were also very common in the early settlements of Canada and the United States for the trade of such things as fur, hatchets, arms, canoes, and other such necessities. They were also used in many camps across the United States as places to buy snacks, items and souvenirs.

Here we see large metal pots, items to make winter travel a mite easier, and, in the photo below, we see swords, knives...

For protection and survival - - 

As well as guns and powder horns - - 

And other items that can be used for making camp and even lite farming.

And there were traders of fur and other implements
throughout the encampment, not just at the trading post.

Some just enjoyed opportunities to share news of the day...

There were also surveyors about, and they took their time to explain the art of surveying as it was done on the 18th and early 19th century, concentrating mainly on our local area.
Surveyors are some of the unsung heroes in the birth
of our nation. In fact, one of the interesting things
brought up was that three of the four Presidents on
Mount Rushmore were surveyors: George Washington,
Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln.

Jim Strode, a mainstay in the colonial reenacting world,
was there with his pewter work.

Honey and fur for sale - - - and I plum forgot to by some!

And this young woman - Shannon - represented a Yankee peddler, and she would travel to the towns, villages, farms, and homes to sell her wares, which may have consisted of anything from pins, needles, scissors, buttons, and combs, to larger items such as second-hand clothes, plates, shoes/moccasins, wooden kitchen utensils, and maybe children's toys such as a cloth doll.

Even our next-door neighbor, Sandy, had wares to sell...items that she spun and made herself such as mittens, socks, bags, and the like.

Here we have Ken and Lynn, both longtime
members of the Lac Ste. Claire Voyageurs
(Photo courtesy of Lynn Anderson)

The different styles of camping of these reenactors always amazes me...and, yes, most stay in their camps the entire weekend.

And we have another camp site where friends can gather to swap stories...

Now, many of you may know that many times I represent a colonial farmer (yes, yes - I present as Paul Revere, too, but I switch it up between the two), and for a second year my presentation partner, Larissa, and I had been asked to show life on the farm during the 18th century.
Farmers Larissa & Ken
Too bad there was no farmland around for our picture - - 
We based our farming story around the same one we use for our 1860s farming presentation:
it seems like every farm family seen in movies or on TV have large families, with a mess of boys and girls to help around the fields and home.
Well, this simply was not true in so many of the cases - not everyone had large families. So our story tells of our lives as the parents of only two children, and both are female. So we go into how we raised our eldest daughter to help me with the out door farming chores while our youngest was being raised with her mother and learning more of the fine arts of domestic life.
But the heart of our presentation centers around our living by the seasons, and what we must do in each to survive.
We always bring along a variety of artifacts - most replicated, but some, like this hay rake, being originals.

This young man found himself wearing a yoke.
I need to get a couple of wooden buckets for each end.

No, this is not a sickle - it is a scythe - and it is used to cut grass or grain by hand.

Since carding machines were not around in the 1770s, carding wool by hand was a necessary chore before spinning the wool into yarn on the...

...spinning wheel.
This here is also known as a great wheel.
Or it's a walking wheel.
It is known by all three names.
More importantly, it was a very important simple machine
in most farm homes.

Just what the heck is this next tool that I am holding?'s a flail.
This agricultural tool was used to thresh the wheat -
separating the grains from the husks
According to Encyclopedia Britannica, with a flail, one man could thresh 7 bushels of wheat, 8 of rye, 15 of barley, 18 of oats, or 20 of buckwheat in a day. The flail remained the principal method of threshing until the mid-19th century, when mechanical threshers became widespread

And there was much more, which you shall read about in an upcoming post on the colonial farm life.
But we also spoke a little on our clothing:
No, I'm not going to show you the big red and yellow Superman "S" - just showing my waistcoat, which is of a slightly older fashion, more suitable to the 1760s than the 1770s. But as a farmer working the fields to stay alive, I'm not necessarily going to be caring as much on up-to-date fashion as a city man.

Larissa also spoke on her style, including the importance of her apron, her day cap, and the other clothing she is wearing, including (hush!) her underpinnings.
I am proud to say that we had wonderful comments by those who attended, and we do appreciate it. It helps that we've been doing these sort of presentations together for at least a half-dozen years.

Well, now, one of the coolest things that reenactors at this event get to do is paddle a canoe out into Lake St. Clair. Lake St, Clair is not technically a part of the five Great Lakes that our part of the country is known for, because its size is, well, not quite as great as lakes Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior. But it has played an important role in the State of Michigan's history. Situated between the Detroit River and the St. Clair River, many settlements, whether Native American or European or both, took place on its banks. So to be in period clothing and have the opportunity to travel into its historic waters in a period canoe is an experience few in our day and age have had.
The canoe crew!

The Padre' gives a blessing to those who were about to travel the waterway.

And typical of many Priests, he continued to bless them...

Larissa, seen being helped onto the canoe, was thrilled to be able to take part.

Heading out into the waters of Lake St. Clair...

Me and the Padre' watch as they leave the docked area.

Larissa took a few very cool shots while the men paddled,
including this one of Mcspillin providing music.
Larissa mentioned to me that hearing the music of Mcspillin behind her and see the view in the picture below in front of her, it was the perfect ride.
What period canoe travel looked like from the inside.

They were out much further than what this photo seems to show - - I used my zoom lens. They were probably a little past a quarter mile out into the lake.
Lake St. Clair is approximately 26 miles long and 24 miles wide, with a surface area of 430 square miles and 130 miles of shoreline, though it is relatively shallow, with an average depth of about 10 feet (27 feet at it's deepest point). In our modern times, some five million people receive their drinking water from the lake, which also hosts an impressive array of wildlife. The St. Clair River delta, located at the northern end of the lake, provides an important habitat for fish and migrating waterfowl. The largest coastal delta in the Great Lakes system, it contains the majority of the lake's remaining wetlands.
Lake St. Clair is also a crucial link in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence transportation system. On average, commercial vessels pass through the lake some 3,000 times a year, using the shipping channel dredged through the center of the lake. Despite its importance, the lake has not received the same attention as the five larger Great Lakes. Indeed, resource management plans are in place for the five Great Lakes and even for many of their tributary rivers with significant pollution problems, including the St. Clair, Clinton and Detroit rivers. Until recently , though, Lake St. Clair was largely left out of such programs, leading some to consider it the "forgotten lake".
At a certain point, the crew turned the canoe around to head back to shore

Though not seen in this picture, there were numerous modern craft, such as sailboats and jet skis, that came pretty close to our time-traveling friends to make sure they were not seeing an apparition from the past.
They were - - - 

Larissa told me that her living history world came full circle on this day at Metro Beach:
She said that when she was younger, so much younger than today, she went to her first reenactment known as 'Feast of the Hunter's Moon' while visiting relatives near West Lafayette, Indiana. At the event, which included a replicated 18th century French military and trading post called Fort Ouiatenon, she saw Voyageurs paddling out onto the water. She thought that was so cool...she knew that was something she would love to do, even at such a young age. In fact, Larissa told me that this was when the living history bug first bit her. And now, all these years later, she, herself, participated in the very same activity that got the ball rolling (though at a different event).
What an awesome story!
'Feast of the Hunter's Moon,' by the way, is still a major reenactment to this day. I have yet to attend, but hope to in the future.

Welcome to the camp, I guess you all know why we're here...

My bride and I.
This was her first time out reenacting all year. Our dog, Paul Anka, slammed into her when she was playing with him and she fell, breaking two bones and dislocating her ankle. That was in May.
Now, here she is!! 

At each reenactment there are those times when no modern folks are around. Now, in most cases, we will take this opportunity to practice our 1st person/immersion. Though I do this quite often at our Civil War events, I must admit that I haven't really done this too much at the colonial reenactments, outside of my presentations as Paul Revere or as a farmer. This is something I am hoping to rectify in the future because, in all honesty, once you can get it to a reasonably believable faction (read: not scripted or acted - - rather, natural), 1st person/immersion can be quite an amazing experience.
Just need to find willing participants...and I am, more and more...
My bride and me:
Her first time out reenacting
this year!
One is my real wife,
and one is my reenacting
farm wife~

Yes, we had a fine time indeed!

What the heck am I wearing around my waist?
Why, it's a pocket, of course! In fact, it's my wife's
pocket; in colonial times, women did not have
pockets in their dresses, which was somewhat more
common in the mid-19th century, so they made them
and tied them around their waist.
And since men's knee breeches don't have pockets,
I wore my wife's. Well...only for this picture!

And we have Marco...bottle in one arm and a musket in the other...

And there you have it - another weekend, another opportunity to travel through time!
What a fine time indeed - - many, many thanks to my Voyageur friends for accepting me, Larissa, and my wife Patty. You made us feel very welcome.

On a final note:
As often as I reenact, no matter which time period, each one is different.
You would not think so, would you? I mean, they're pretty much all the same, right?
Not. At. All.
Each one is as different as the day is long, especially for someone like me who reenacts two periods - 1770s and 1860s.
The point is, I don't 'dabble' in these periods - - - I dive into them----I try to put my all into which ever era I reenact, as I know numerous friends of mine do as well, and I try to research the periods intently. And the research never stops - - in fact, I just received a book in the mail the day before the Voyageur reenactment took place, and it's called "The American Farmer in the Eighteenth Century: A Social and Cultural History" by Richard L. Bushman. It must have been meant to be for me for it was published on my birthday – May 22, 2018.
You can bet where my nose will be this coming winter!

So, with that being said, I am, at this time, making plans for a unique time-travel adventure coming up - one of which I've never done the likes of before - and you know I will write about it in a future posting not too distant.

Until next time, see you in time.

(Thanks to Larissa Fleishman and Lynn Anderson for allowing me use a some of their pictures.
I appreciate it)

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