So, yeah, it was on the 22nd of August when a few of us, who were biting at the bit to get into our 18th century clothing, did just that, and upon putting on my knee breeches, waistcoat, jacket, cocked hat, and buckled shoes, my wife Patty asked me, "How does it feel?"
I didn't have to answer. She knew just by looking at me.
There were only four of us who went to historic Mill Race Village on that steamy hot Saturday morning. It was nice to be able to visit with each other 'neath the shade of the trees. It can be plainly seen that Mill Race Village leans Victorian, though our attire was of the Revolutionary War period. However, there are a few buildings there that can easily pass as 18th century, such as the Cady Inn, the Blacksmith Shop, and even the facade of the Hunter House.
So, as it were, Citizens of the American Colonies members Jackie, Mark, Deb, and myself enjoyed a very peaceful summer morning as we walked along the dirt road, inspected the gardens, and savored the sound of the nearby creek rushing along its merry way.
|The four of us who made it to Mill Race Village standing in front |
of the 1831 Cady Inn. You would swear it was built much earlier.
|The ladies spent time in the garden.|
|Shrubs, flowers, and herbs all grew together in colonial days. |
Plants were important not only for their beauty but also for their
domestic, cosmetic, and medicinal uses.
|If you look closely you can see streetlights that some may say |
takes away from a possible 18th century ambience.
But that's not necessarily true...
Lighting between 1700 and 1775 included candles, torches, and oil lamps.
|Reflections of...the way life used to be.|
It sure did feel good to go back - - -
Well, with the buildings closed up, there was only so much one could do at Mill Race so I suggested heading down to the 1789 Navarre-Anderson Trading Post in Monroe. Jackie liked the idea but, unfortunately, Mark and Debbie were not able to come along, so just she and I travelled the hour or so route to continue our time in the past.
|There is a neat little wooden bridge-to-the-past to walk over upon |
entering the site.
|And then, looming out before me, was the 1789 trading post, |
the 1810 cook house, and the replicated 1790’s French-Canadian
|The ladies were very welcoming to us and explained a bit more |
about the era they reenact.
Though not necessarily together.
|I am not sure whether or not the ladies were part of |
the actual film shoot, but their presence added
the extra bit of atmosphere to help it come alive.
|The cook house, from 1810, was opened up, though|
no one was allowed in unless they were a part of
the film shoot.
|JJ, who has been reenacting multiple eras for decades,|
generally doing the Civil War period, was also there.
Here he was overseeing the baking of bread in the
beehive oven next to the cook house.
|I took a few quick shots of my own of the woman|
taking the bread out of the oven.
|Standing about 15-20 feet away, the scent of the |
bread wafted over to us...and it smelled wonderful.
Well, since we drove all that way down to Monroe, we decided to take the opportunity to make the most of our time there. Unfortunately, like at Mill Race, the buildings were closed to the public, so we could not go inside this time.
|Dressed in our 1770s clothing and standing on the stoop of |
a building erected in 1789.
Yeah...it never gets old, if you know what I mean.
The Navarre–Anderson complex was established by the early French settlers Francois Navarre and John Anderson, who were among the first to settle the area of present-day Monroe.
|JJ and Jackie|
JJ is also proficient at various period instruments, including fife,
penny whistle, and fiddle playing.
|The original 1790s barn was razed long ago, so with their |
research they were able to replicate what it may have looked like.
Since I often portray a rural man of the later 18th century - generally a farmer - I had to get at least one picture of myself with a barrel soon to be filled with the popular and sustaining drink.
|Apple picking time is nigh, and making cider will soon be a top priority.|
A farmer was pretty self-sufficient for the most part. He was either able to make what was needed himself or he knew of someone who could make it for him, and then bartering could take place.
|One more picture in front of the only actual native-to-Michigan |
18th century building in the lower peninsula still standing.
Even though this was not a true reenactment for us, it felt great to not only get back into period clothing, but be with friends amongst historic buildings, even with the oppressive heat.
And the few modern folks who came up to us and asked a few historical questions, both at Mill Race and in Monroe, sort of topped it all off.
The feeling afterward was similar to having spent a day at an actual reenactment.
But no more will I go 49 days without having some time-travel experiences.
In fact, there are a few fall living history events planned on the horizon for September and October...and maybe even in November. I really hope they come to pass.
Prayers that this will continue to happen.
Until next time, see you in time.
To read more about the Oneida tribes, please click HERE
To read more about the Osage Nation, please click HERE
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