With CWR cancelled this year due to covid-19, which is so tough for all of us who participate every year, I thought it would be a good time to create these "Best ofs" and search through the dusty old pictures lying in a box in the basement, gathering dust and mold.
Okay---not really. They are digital, so they've been stored on the computer.
But they are somewhat old.
I hope you enjoy them:
For years we camped 'neath the mulberry trees near the old Silk
Mill, and this was my view (slight changes of tents and people
every year, but you get the idea.
One of the best things about reenacting is working on period
crafts and learning to do some of the tasks our ancestors may have done.
My son, Tom, on the guitar and MSAS member Andy playing
the concertina. There are no radios to "set the mood" at our
reenactments, but we do have live music.
A few of us in the ever-growing unit of the 21st Michigan pose
for a photo in front of the 1832 Eagle Tavern.
President Jefferson Davis and Michigan Senator Jacob Howard.
North or South, we're all good friends.
In 2011 we put on a recruiting scenario, which went
very well indeed. In fact, one of the recruits was a female
dressed in her brother's duds. She was caught and soundly taken
home to her father and mother.
Can you guess which 'boy' she is?
Our new Michigan recruits getting sworn in and preparing to
board the train at the Smiths Creek Depot as the ladies of town
wave their goodbyes.
A modern photo that I aged up a bit - taken at the Depot.
Here are some of the military men of the 21st Michigan.
My two sons: second from left and far right.
Lovely ladies of the 19th century: Lorna, Sue, and Kristen
My wife loves to spin on her spinning wheel, and the visitors
love to watch. Many times she will have the children help by
carding wool with the carding paddles.
I mentioned working on period crafts earlier. Well, it looks like a
few members of the MSAS (Michigan Soldiers Aid Society) are
working on a quilt.
I caught Mrs. Geyman standing and staring at the Ackley
Covered Bridge entrance and saw a painting come to life.
The young folk were very excited to be heading to the ball!
The battles take place daily for the three-day Memorial Weekend.
My good friend (and mourning historian) Kim Parr posed
with me for this faked tintype.
Our tent is on the left, Larissa's on the right, and as you circle
around you would see many other 21st Michigan member's tents
in a sort of cul-de-sac.
This was our location for over a decade.
Pearl, Candy, and Melody play period music while beneath the
grove of mulberry trees.
There is always plenty of live music all around.
I still had my period post office presentation in 2013. I presented
as the postmaster for nearly a decade then stretched out into other
scenarios, including a tavern owner and a farmer, which is what
I currently present as.
Ours' is a busy tent.
Felicia and Larissa play a rousing game of checkers.
My lovely bride and I
Mrs. Morgan and Mrs. Root of the MSAS
One of the 21st Michigan's newest members (at that time) was
Robert Beech, who had recently begun to learn the trade of
He is now considered by many to be one of the best around.
Another year-another 21st Michigan picture.
Greenfield Village began allowing sutlers to set up at the Village
during Civil War Remembrance. Here we have The Dressmaker's
Shop: Kim and Jim Lynch proprietors.
Here we have yet another 21st Michigan couple,
Mr. and Mrs. St. John
Members of the 21st Michigan, including my son,
sitting against the tree.
I've been asked why I don't include more Confederates in my
photos and postings. Well, that's mainly because I belong to a
Union unit and, thus, surrounded by the north.
But I do try to include them when I can.
The gentleman standing there is Fred Denault,
who fondly called himself "the perpetual private."
Fred passed away a few years ago, but he
is so very fondly remembered.
Dave, Jackie, David, and myself just before the
Memorial Day service.
Me and my friend Sheri from the 24th Michigan
Lee Cagle, Model T driver for Greenfield Village, is also known
for his outstanding photographs, as you can see.
Beckie, here, by the way, also used to drive Model Ts
for the Village.
Some of the ladies of the Michigan Soldiers Aid Society.
Another group picture of the joyous 21st Michigan members!
As you can see, we had a growth spurt!
The men of the Union preparing for the Memorial Day service.
Men still keep on marching off to war...and the beat goes on...
To commemorate the 150th Anniversary of General Grant’s Overland Campaign of 1864, Greenfield Village had partnered with the Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park for a special tribute program that all CWR participants were asked to participate. To mark those events, Greenfield Village took part in Reverberations, an innovative program initiated by the National Park Service connecting three national parks in Virginia and eight communities around the country to illustrate the devastating impact of the Civil War on communities across the country.
Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan was one of those communities.
This special candlelight illumination ceremony was simultaneously conducted by the partner communities both North and South. This illumination ceremony culminated in taps being played in Greenfield Village and echoed to these other locations virtually as the event will be streamed live in conjunction with the other ceremonies. The activities concluded with a grand illumination ceremony at the Fredericksburg National Cemetery in Virginia.
Andy "the eggman" makes his morning breakfast.
Yes, that is an actual cast-iron stove he is cooking on.
Larissa and little Zane enjoying another beautiful day.
Children always play an important part in the realism
we try to give.
Mrs. Folcarelli makes the best reenacting pies, bar none!
At one point she had actually set up a period bakery.
Three patriotic women!
Showing their patriotism was something the ladies
of the time would proudly do.
Every year, The Henry Ford throws reenactors a grand ball,
held inside Lovett Hall.
The ball is where everyone dresses in their 1860s finest. We
dance the quadrilles and reels to the "finest orchestry music in
My two oldest sons.
I believe this was my son Tom's last reenactment that he
participated in, for he was married with a growing family
and other hobbies and opportunities came into his life.
My son Robbie, on the left, continues on in the hobby.
Senator jacob Howard greets the soldiers of the 21st Michigan.
Dignitaries would often come and speak words of encouragement
to the men about to go off to fight.
After the battle: my son Robbie is plumb wore out.
"Oh! Oh! My man has been shot!!"
And just so you are aware - especially the local folks who read this: Greenfield Village is definitely planning to reopen this summer. As Patricia Mooradian, President of The Henry Ford, wrote in an e-mail:
"...it is highly unlikely that we will be able to open in a safe manner during the month of June, and therefore, we are extending our closure through June 28, 2020. At this time, it seems that the earliest timing for a safe and phased reopening is July; however, the exact date is not our choice to make alone because we must adhere to state mandates. Please be assured that we are doing everything we can to open as soon as possible."
Until next time, see you in time...
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