Monday, March 1, 2021

Living History Photo Challenge for the Month of February 2021

Here we are again...another month of my reenacting pictures from the past to  "brighten up our day"  in an attempt to get our minds off all of the  "doom & gloom"  of our modern times.  But every era has had its own  "harsh and getting harsher"  periods.  
So why do I do what I do?  Why do I get dressed up in old-time clothing only to live out doom and gloom  and a harsh life  from another period in time?
That's a good question.
I don't remember when I didn't have an infatuation for America's history;  the seed was planted very early on in my life.  However,  I can  tell you of when the  "big bang"  of my personal passion for the past occurred...that moment when my heart,  mind,  and,  to some extent,  soul opened up to our great nation's bygone days and took hold of me on a different level and never let go;  it was when I purchased a book about life in colonial times called  "The Cabin Faced West,"   a story that very much affected me as a youth and played a pivotal role in my love of  history.  I bought my copy at a school book fair many years ago when I was only around nine - we're talking 1970 here.  I loved it because it showed daily life during the 1780s,  and there weren't very many like it available at that time;  most history books and lessons were based on names and dates.  Important,  yes,  but I wanted to know how  people lived in the past in comparison to the present - their daily experiences.
I wanted to read what my life would have been like had I lived back then.
And The Cabin Faced West was the book.
I still enjoy it to this day.
So now I get to experience the past as well.  But I still didn't answer the doom & gloom question I wrote above,  and I don't suppose I can.  I just really enjoy experiencing the many aspects of the past.  
At least I know how it turns out  (lol).
Well then!  Let's visit another month of pictures from my past reenacting the past...
As I have posted on my daily Facebook  (and in March,  my MeWe)  page:
To change up the news feed and help get away from all of the harsh and getting harsher doom & gloom of our modern time,  here is my daily Living History Photo for another month - February 01:  Day 312----and I plan to continue until whenever I decide to stop.
February 1
A sad day for us reenactors,  for we just found out that Greenfield Village has decided,  for the 2nd year in a row,  not to have Civil War Remembrance over 
Memorial Day Weekend.
So,  for my living history photo of the day,  I am posting a group shot of the 21st Michigan group from the last one that occurred in 2019.  We are standing in front of the 1858 Smiths Creek Depot for this shot.
Again, *sigh* - - - - - 

February 2 - Ground Hog Day's Groundhog Day---or Candlemass if you happen to be in the colonies during the 18th century.  
Candlemas celebrates three occasions according to Christian belief:  the presentation of the child Jesus;  Jesus’  first entry into the temple;  and it celebrates the Virgin Mary’s purification  (mainly in Catholic churches).
Candlemas,  by the way,  occurs at a period between the December solstice and the March equinox,  so many people traditionally marked that time of the year as winter’s  “halfway point”  while waiting for the spring.  And since many Christians consider Jesus as the  “light of the world,”  it is fitting that candles are blessed on this day and that a candle-lit procession precedes the religious service,  or mass.
By at least the seventeenth century a popular superstition had arisen that,  if the sky was clear on Candlemas and the Sun was shining,  there would be more winter to come.  This was before any rodent was brilliant enough to predict when 
spring would arrive.  
As for the groundhog:  in around the eighteenth century,  the idea arose in German-speaking lands that if a badger comes out of his hole on Candlemas and lies out in the sun,  there will be four more weeks of winter,  but,  if the badger comes out of his hole and finds it is too cloudy to sunbathe,  he will go back in his hole and winter will be over soon.  A variant of this was brought over to the English colonies by the Pennsylvania Dutch around the eighteenth century.  Here,  the badger was replaced with a groundhog,  the number of weeks winter would last was extended to six rather than four,  and the determining factor of how long winter would last became whether or not the groundhog saw his shadow rather than if the badger decided to sunbathe.  It was in 1887 when a newspaper editor in Punxsutawney,  Pennsylvania,  declared a random groundhog who later became known as  “Punxsutawney Phil”  the United States’ official forecasting groundhog as an advertising scheme  (that continues to this day). 
So why the picture of the three of us colonials with our muskets about to go hunting?
Groundhogs are not only edible,  they're tender and delicious if properly cleaned and prepared.  They live on a completely vegetarian diet,  and carry no life threatening diseases for humans.  Groundhogs are similar to rabbit in taste, and most recipes for groundhog have you prepare them in the same manner.
Meat on the table during these last six weeks of winter!

February 3
I believe this picture of Patty and I,  with our good friends Dave & Jean Cook on the porch of the mid-19th century Susquehanna Plantation House,  just may be from 2005 or 2006 during Greenfield Village's Civil War Remembrance.  The Cooks played a large role in our earlier reenacting days,  guiding us in the right direction and showing us the ins and outs of this wonderful hobby.
To this day it is always a pleasure when they will still join us at events,  
though it's not nearly as often as we'd like.

February 4
On a late fall/early winter's day in 2019 a few of us got together and enjoyed spending time making plans for the following reenacting season.  Alas,  the covid fear struck and nearly all reenactments for 2020 were cancelled.  One actual public event took place and multiple private events occurred,  so last year was not a total loss.
I have to say I do enjoy these smaller gatherings quite a bit,  for it can sometimes have a stronger  "you are there"  feeling and atmosphere,  such as what you see in this photo of us in our 1770s clothing taken at Mill Race Village.  
Though we've had a couple of cancelations for 2021,  other events are still planning to happen,  such as Patriot's Day at Mill Race Village on April 17  (Revolutionary War),  and spring day in 1771 at the frontier cabin at Waterloo in early May,  and a timeline event Memorial Weekend in Port Sanilac,  showing military & civilians from the Revolutionary War through at least WWII and possibly Korean War.
Gotta feeling  '21 is gonna be a good year---at least better than  '20!

February 5
Going back to our early days in the Civil War reenacting hobby for this picture.  As you can see,  we weren't too bad.  Tommy & Robbie,  as military,  were spot on.  Yes,  they were at a young age,  but Tommy was old enough to shoulder a musket,  and Robbie was on the march as the fifer  (we're so used to seeing many of the  "older guys"  in reenacting that we tend to forget that so many of the boys in blue who were fighting in the 1860s were actually boys and not older  "men").  In fact,  the average age of the Union soldier was around 25 years old---the  average  age,  so there were plenty younger and some older.
Patty and I had worked on getting our accurate period civilian clothing together - in our first year in the hobby we were pretty horrible,  so we spent the winter months working on our authenticity,  and we were pretty good here.  And Miles & Rosalia were pretty good as well,  though Miles did not like wearing his vest  (lol).
Were we all ever that young?

February 6
Experiencing the wintertime in 1771.
This was one of the most interesting of any reenactment I've ever done,  for the four of us learned quite a bit about an 18th century winter's day on the frontier.  Perhaps the biggest learning experience is that,  just like the journals written at that time explicitly mention,  one really never truly warmed up in cold weather months if they are in a cold-weather colony such as western Pennsylvania,  hence wearing our cloaks while inside...even near the fire.  Our day was spent not unlike our ancestors from that time:  cooking,  processing flax,  and spinning,  among other things.  Oh,  there were other chores and jobs that would have been done on any given day,  we just chose to do what I listed here.  And it was an eye-opening experience.
We would do it again in a heartbeat.
Who knows...we just might...for as living historians,  it is what we are all about.

February 7
During Civil War Remembrance at Greenfield Village I found a banjo that was sitting upon a chair there inside the kitchen of the Susquehanna Plantation. Making sure it was not an heirloom/antique, I picked it up and began to strum a little tune. All of a sudden, in walks a man named George with his fiddle, and the two of us entertained Larissa as she made dinner. It was a fun spur-of-the-moment moment. Such a great time we have every year at Civil War Remembrance. Sadly, it will not return until 2022.

February 8
Here am I at Charlton's Coffee Shop in Colonial Williamsburg,  being served some of the best hot chocolate I ever had.  In the early 1760s Richard Charlton was a local wigmaker and barber,  and included Thomas Jefferson,  Patrick Henry,  and George Wythe among his clients.  It was around this time that he also became proprietor of a newly converted coffeehouse near the Capitol.
When chocolate arrived in English North America,  it was available as chocolate nuts,  as shells,  and in processed  “chocolate cakes,”  lumps of grated powder and sugar ready to be stirred into boiling water,  mixed with whatever ingredients one preferred,  and frothed with the little hand mill.  In pre-Revolutionary Williamsburg,  unsweetened chocolate went for about two shillings sixpence per pound,  slightly more than a free unskilled laborer or sailor earned in a day.  Obviously,  few of those men drank chocolate at that price.
Ben Franklin,  in 1785,  wrote in a letter to John Adams:  “The superiority of chocolate,  both for health and nourishment,  will soon give it the preference over tea and coffee in America which it has in Spain.”
During the ten years the coffeehouse was open,  many important political figures frequented its rooms,  including George Washington,  Thomas Jefferson,  and Lieutenant-Governor Francis Fauquier,  as well as many merchants and gentry.  
Richard Charlton’s Coffeehouse is also significant because of the role that it played in the town’s history.  Beyond its list of famous patrons,  the Coffeehouse served as an important center of social,  political,  and business activity within the town,  due in part to its proximity to the Capitol - nearly directly next door.
The thick chocolate being poured into my cup.

February 9
I'm not sure what it is about them,  but I really like mirror shots.  If there is a mirror in the room,  I will often make the attempt to somehow utilize it in a photograph,  such as what I had set up here in the Bancroft-Stranahan Home,  which was built in 
1868 in Romeo.
And if I am feeling really artsy,  then I will do a bit of manipulation,  such as what you see here:  modern reenactor looking at himself in the past.
Oh!  The fun that can be had with cameras and photo software!

February 10
At the frontier log cabin - winter 1771.
You would be surprised at how well my cloak works in the wintertime temperatures.  It could be in the single digits and I am toasty.  Wool,  being the natural fiber it is,  holds in the heat well,  and keeps the cold out.  My woolen stockings also do a fine job keeping my legs warm as well,  even while wearing knee breeches.  Now,  on the other hand,  my feet are another story.  The leather shoes do not do well in the wintertime and my toes will ache pretty good after spending some time outdoors in freezing temps.  Even indoors,  to some extent,  can also be rough on the feet,  due to the fireplaces in most dwellings not giving off the heat as one would think  (more on that in an upcoming picture),  therefore I will spend time at the hearth in front of the fireplace.
Recreating and experiencing the past----maybe to most of you I'm pretty off center,  but,  well,  that's quite alright by me,  for this hobby of mine has been a long-time coming;  I used to dream and pretend to live in the past when I was young.  Now my dreams have somewhat come true.

February 11
Don't look for me---I'm not in this shot.  I'm the man behind the camera.
This picture was taken on the Village Green of the Charlton Park Civil War event a number of years back.  Charlton Park, located in Hastings,  Michigan,  is a sort of mini-Greenfield Village and includes strictly Michigan structures,  most from the 19th century and a couple from the early 20th century.  The Civil War battles on the green here are about as awesome as it gets - and afterward one feels as if they are in a battle town directly following a campaign with the citizens of town - men,  women,  youngsters,  doctors - all running out to help the wounded.  Many times the church,  which sits behind me from where I stand,  will become a makeshift hospital,  just as was done in the actual towns during the Civil War.  As you can see,  pretty much all reenactors tend to get involved here.
I certainly hope this event is back on for 2021.  Fingers crossed.
When this picture was posted on Facebook,  my friend Angela commented:  "I begin by reading,  "To change up the news feed and help get away from all of the harsh and getting harsher doom & gloom of our modern time..."
And then by eye travels down to a field strewn with bodies XD."
She certainly got me on that one!

February 12
My wife likes to chide me because of my historical lighting collection.  Whenever she sees me looking at candle holders,  lanterns,  or oil lamps at an antique store,  a flea market,  or at a sutler,  she tells me,  "We don't need any more of those!"
"But I like them,"  I reply.
"We have enough,"  she'll tell me.
" you have enough yarn,  dear?"
I always get my crocheting-knitting-spinning wife with that one.
Every time. 
Understand,  I didn't start out purposely to accumulate a period light collection.  It just sort of inadvertently happened.  But I usually don't spend a lot of money on most items I buy - I like to wait for deals,  and almost always get them pretty darn cheap.  And sometimes...well...the lantern in these first two photos depicting the 1770s was found after a reenactment in the garbage with the panes of glass broken.  It took me all of about a half hour to have glass cut to size and slide them in.  It's a $40 lantern folks---found in the garbage!  The glass cost me about six bucks total.
In the third picture you can see my collection of replicated 18th century lanterns and candle holders  (I have oil lamps as well,  but their style is suited to the 19th century)~  
The light at its brightest.  

February 13
On such a bitter cold day as today,  with the temps in the teens and the snow falling,  
it's good to know that the Port Sanilac Civil War Days reenactment,  taking place the 
first full weekend in August,  will be happening this year after taking a covid break 
last year.
For this picture,  it was after the reenactment was over for Saturday that a few of us 
took to the beach to enjoy beautiful Lake Huron in the summer sun.
Imagine what the non-reenacting public thought when the saw us!
Oh what fun!

February 14
On this Valentine's Day I thought I would post a picture of Patty and I taken at the Bluewater Festival in Port Huron on July 10,  1983.  We'd been dating less than a year at this time and were nearly two years away from marriage.  Many of our dates consisted of going to Greenfield Village,  Crossroads Village,  Frankenmuth,  and small-town America in Michigan's thumb region,  seeking out that old-time feeling that only small towns can emanate.  We'd hit the antique shops and ogle at the items that we hoped to own one day - some how I believe we knew we'd own such items when we had our own place.  And whenever they had one of those booths where we could take an  "old-time"  photo  (while wearing those velcro  "period"  clothes),  such as you see here,  we most certainly would. 
I wonder how many young people dating today have dates like this?
Aside from aging  (just a little),  we're still the same.
And I can't imagine growing old with anyone else.

February 15
There was no running water from a faucet or hose in 1771,  so it's off to the stream,  which is hopefully not too far distant,  to gather water for cooking,  washing,  cleaning,  bathing,  or,  if boiled first,  drinking  (no,  they didn't understand germ theory,  but many knew that for some reason by boiling water before drinking it would be okay).  It didn't matter whether it was during the heat of summer or the bitter cold of winter,  water was still a necessity.  Though the idea of utilizing a hose and a mechanism to pump water was already somewhat invented  (the Greeks used ox intestines millennia before),  it would not be until the later 1800s before it would be perfected and used here in America at the average house of the time,  so buckets tied to a shoulder yoke was the easiest and most convenient means of transporting water.
Even in the icy cold of winter.

February 16
Last year,  due to covid,  all of the historic presentations Larissa and I were scheduled to do were cancelled.  I greatly miss doing these,  especially for the school kids.  It is great fun to explain to the kids what their everyday lives would have been like had they been born in centuries past and raised on a farm,  including what their daily chores may have been...and living life with no computer games.  
In this picture you see us as Victorian farmers,  though we also portray Colonial farmers as well,  whichever is preferred. 
Besides schools,  we have presented at historical societies,  the Sons of the American Revolution meetings,  libraries,  fairs,  reenactments,  and wherever else we are asked. 
What you see me with here is a flail for threshing grain,  just one of the many artifacts we bring along to help bring the past to life.

February 17
There is something a bit different for today's picture...something almost a bit ethereal.
I'm always talking about  "if these walls could talk,  imagine what they would say"  when I am inside a home from the past...especially long past,  such as the Daggett House you see in today's photo,  which was built around 1750.  Because I read up on even minute details of the daily lives of our ancestors - especially those from the 18th and 19th centuries - when I enter a historic home I will see it with new eyes...with an engulfing awareness,  and will look at something like this historic 18th century building with a more discerning and intimate mindset;  to see beyond the walls and presenters and feel the spirits - not ghosts,  mind you - of those who once lived within the walls during the time of the good old colony days. you see a spirit within the walls entering the home?  Perhaps it is Samuel Daggett himself...
Ahhh...if only walls could talk indeed!

February 18
It's been a while since the 21st Michigan Civil War reenactors has had a period-dress civilian meeting.  It's been even before covid struck last year.  You see,  as the civilian coordinator,  I've called meetings of this type every spring - usually in March.  Why period dress?  For a few reasons,  with first and foremost being it was a great excuse to get into our historic clothing because,  well,  that's what we like to do.  Our hobby,  for many,  tends to end in the late summer and does not start up again until usually late May.  So why not grab the opportunity midway through?
But also,  the wearing of our period clothing helps everyone to stay focused on our hobby,  on history,  and on future plans of scenarios and ideas to bring back the past during the upcoming season.
And it works quite well,  for,  as this picture from a number of years ago attests,  we've always had a decently large turn-out of membership.  And our plans for activities at reenactments always turn out extremely well. 
I am debating on whether or not to call a meeting for this year.  If we do have one,  it probably will not be until at least mid-April.
We'll see...

February 19
I feel bad for forgetting who took this picture of me at the Eagle Tavern - it was someone from the Friends of Greenfield Village Facebook page  (I apologize for not being able to give credit!),  but I've always liked the period look and feel of it - you would never know it was taken at a tavern that was built in 1831,  around 50 years after the clothing I am wearing went out of fashion.  The basic inside layout and style architectural differences in most taverns I've seen from the 18th century to taverns built in the first part of the 19th century are very minute.  Oh yes,  there were some changes,  of course,  but I've been in or have seen enough pictures of taverns from both periods,  from Colonial Williamsburg to New England through the mid-west,  to see that the differences were minor...subtle...from one time to the other.

February 20
Me & my son Miles as we may had been in the 1860s.
Miles prefers to stay away from the guns and military side of reenacting.  
He'd rather hang around with his buddies and do other things,  which is just fine.
These first two pictures above show pretty well how our clothing can depict father and son farmers of the mid-to-late 19th century.  In the first shot we are sitting on the porch of the Firestone Farm.  The second photo shows the two of us with the Firestone field behind us.
And for the third picture I was able to get a few of our other reenacting youths to 
add a bit of flavor to the scene.
Farm living is the life for me---or was---lol
It's a great feeling to be able to have family & friends help 
bring the past back with you. 

February 21
The site for the Vermillion Creek Revolutionary War reenactment,  which takes place in October,  is in the far-back area of the Peacock Family Farm,  located in rural mid-Michigan.  There they had a cabin set up as a trading post,  which was pretty darn awesome.  The immersion feel was there,  for my friend Jackie and I had to walk a ways down a dirt road past an Indian encampment to get to it. was very cool.

February 22
Another thing I greatly miss doing during covid crap are school presentations,  such as this event we did about the Civil War at a middle school a decade ago in Bloomfield Hills.  The kids are almost always very excited to see us decked out in our period garb,  they get the chance to see soldiers fire off their muskets,  and hear the stories of the home front from the civilians.  And for the lot of us it is usually an all-day affair - even luckier if it is a beautiful spring day and we're all outside.
I look forward to the day when we're invited back to schools once again.

February 23
Here you see my wife and I in our 1760s/1770s clothing at the 
Lac Ste.  Claire Voyageur event at Metro-Beach in Harrison Township.
I remember the first time Patty ever dressed in period clothing.  Boy!  Was she nervous!  It wasn't wearing the old-time clothing that made her apprehensive initially:  it was being the center of attention;  she'd prefer to blend in.  Plus it was her first time doing such a thing.  However,  once she stepped out of the van and went over to where the public was,  she soon found herself becoming very comfortable...acclimated,  and it didn't take her very long before she began to speak to the interested folks who asked about her clothing,  asked about her  "past life,"  and asked if she was  "hot in all those clothes."  That was nearly two decades ago.  Since then she has learned to spin on a spinning wheel,  cook great period meals over a fire,  and learned more about everyday life of the 18th & 19th centuries than even she realizes.  Though she does not reenact nearly as often as what she used to,  due mainly to having a dog that requires a lot of her attention,  she still comes out with me when she can and very much enjoys spinning on her wheel and teaching the interested public about life in the old days.
I am a lucky and bless'd man indeed.

February 24
For nearly a decade I was a part of the Michigan Soldiers Aid Society  (MSAS),  which was based on the various Aid Societies that were around during the Civil War.  The function of the societies was similar in both the north and south regions:  first and foremost was to gather supplies and get them to the soldiers—food,  tents,  clothing,  blankets, and bandages.   These items were made or purchased using funds from donations.  The societies also supported soldiers’  families on the home front,  donating food and necessities to poorer families.  Donations were raised by social events such as concerts,  tableaux,  dinners,  and dances.
In the top picture a group of us were accepting,  keeping track of,  and distributing the donations received while at the 1858 Smiths Creek Depot,  which,  during the War,  was located in Smiths Creek,  Michigan,  west of Port Huron.
In this bottom photo you see an actual picture of an Aid Society 
from 1865 in,  I believe,  Philadelphia.
It was with the MSAS that I really learned to hone my 
1st person and immersion skills.

February 25
Here you see myself with my friends Rae Bucher and Karen Stanard,  once again,  
over at the Daggett House.  The first photo was taken one evening in late 
December 2017,  and,  yes,  it was bitter cold out - single digit temps.  But the cloak I 
had on kept me very warm indeed.
If I had money to have a house built,  this is the kind I would have.  From the first time I saw it in 1983, it's been a favorite - even more so now - and each and every time I visit Greenfield Village,  I always stop in to see if Samuel Daggett is around.
Now known as a saltbox  (but called a break-back or sometimes a lean-to back in the day)  it originated in New England,  first seen in early-to-mid 1600s,  and is a prime example of truly American architecture.  According to folklore,  the saltbox style home came to be because of Queen Anne’s taxation on houses greater than one story.  Since the rear of the roof descended to the height of a single-story building,  the structure was exempt from the tax.  Most historians agree,  however,  that the saltbox shape most-likely evolved because adding a lean-to onto the rear of the house was the most economical way to expand the home for growing families.
Due to these distinctive high pitched asymmetrical roofs,  and flat,  unadorned exteriors,  along with the sturdy central chimney,  which is a simple but effective focal point,  these homes,  with their simplicity and strength of design,  can convey years of American colonial history in a single glance,  for they show how people lived in the nation's earliest days.
I want one.

February 26
July 7,  1863 - Gettysburg,  Pennsylvania:
Four days after the fierce three-day Battle at Gettysburg had ended,  teenaged Tillie Pierce,  who unwittingly found herself situated in the middle of the fighting,  returned home - the very same house you see in the second picture - where  "everything seemed to be in confusion,  and my home did not look exactly as it did when I left.  I soon found my mother...  At first glance  (she)  did not recognize me,  so dilapidated was my general appearance.  The clothes I had  (on)  by this time become covered with mud...I was soon told that my  (clean)  clothes were still down in the cellar on the wood pile,  just where I had put them  (when she left just before the battle commenced),  and that I should go at once and make myself presentable.  (There were)  no less than five Union soldiers in the house.  They were all sick and disabled;  two of them were captains,  and were very badly wounded.  Mother nursed and dressed their wounds during all the time of the battle..."
And we got to stay the night and eat breakfast in this very same house.
What most people do not think of when they read about battles such as this is what occurs in the towns nearby - the fear and excitement the citizens lived through as well.
Staying in the Tillie Pierce House had truly been a highlight of our Gettysburg vacation.  Yes,  we wore our 1860s clothing pretty much our entire time there. 
As one who loves history,  places like Gettysburg and Colonial Williamsburg are MY Disney World,  MY Caribbean cruise,  and MY tropical Hawaiian paradise.

February 27
Just a couple of guys hanging out with Dr.  Benjamin Franklin.  
I suppose if I would want to actually meet anyone in our wonderful American history,  it would be Ben Franklin,  a true Patriot and,  perhaps,  the United States'  finest citizen.  
Upon researching and learning about this man I have come to realize that,  like many others of the Founding generation,  so much of what is told about him is a myth.  You see,  it is very  "in"  right now to come down on our Founders,  and most today tend to believe the lie over the truth,  or the myth over the fact.  Or even concentrate on the wrong without adding the right.  Too many would rather believe a facebook meme or a one-sided history teacher rather than search out the actual truth.  Our Founders were human,  and given that,  were not perfect.  And,  yes,  they were of their time.  And their time was not our time (someone actually said to me in a serious tone that if they were so smart,  why didn't they invent the computer!  Haha!  They actually did---check out the Jacquard  loom).
And of the many from this generation who I admire - and,  mind you,  my greatest heroes are from this time - Ben Franklin is in my top 3.  Truly an amazing man. 
Bob Stark,  who portrays Dr.  Franklin,  does a remarkable job at it.

February 28
Early in the 19th century, a stage line was operated between Detroit and Tecumseh on what was originally an Indian trail.  With the coming of the early settlers from the east,  due to the opening of the Erie Canal,  it also became the settler's route as well.  As traveling increased and roads were made possible for stagecoach travel,  taverns were built along this route.  The first stage stop that comes our way on our journey west upon leaving Detroit was originally known as Parks Tavern when it was built in Clinton,  Michigan,  around 1831.  Parks Tavern was renamed the Eagle Tavern in 1849 and that name remained until the Civil War.  The Eagle Tavern was one of the first of the taverns built on this road,  which eventually extended to Niles,  Michigan in 1832,  and then,  by 1833,  the road made it to Chicago,  when it became known as the Chicago Turnpike,  and finally the Chicago Road/US 12.
This tavern now sits inside Greenfield Village.
So here we are during the early 1860s,  and a few of us travellers are a-waiting our stage to arrive to pick us up for our trip westward.  Well…actually,  what we have here are the 2010 civilian members of the 21st Michigan Civil War reenacting unit,  and we are taking a group shot during Greenfield Village’s Civil War Remembrance event.
Kinda fooled you,  didn't we?
Now I ask my other friends in the hobby to please post a reenacting/living history picture with a small explanation on your own page and even in the comments here.

Well,  looks like there will be one more month of my Living History Photo Challenge.  I'm really hoping that reenactments - bonafide public-invited reenactments - will be coming back into our lives this year.  But here in early March it's hard to predict what kind of year 2021 will be for those of us who take part in this hobby.  There are a few events already cancelled:  the Kalamazoo Living History Show  (which I kind of expected)  and Greenfield Village's Civil War Remembrance  (which,  to be honest,  quite surprised me).  
However,  as of this writing there are numerous reenactments on the calendar for the lower Michigan area:

Patriot's Day at Mill Race Village in Northville on April 18
A colonial spring planting event in May  (this is a private event)
A timeline event in Port Sanilac on May 29
A Voyageur event at Port Sanilac on June 12 & 13
Blacksmiths,  Soldiers,  and Log Cabin Weekend at Waterloo Farm Museum on June 26
A 4th of July event  (taking place on the 5th of July)  at Mill Race Village in Northville
Civil War Days at Port Sanilac on August 7 & 8
Colonial Kensington at Kensington Metro-Park on August 14 & 15
An 1860's Gathering of Knowledge in western Michigan - possibly September
Vermillion Creek Revolutionary War Muster on October 1 - 3
I am still awaiting to hear confirmation on Charlton Park in July,  Port Oneida Fair in August,  and about Jackson's Civil War Muster toward the end of August.  
And there's been no confirmation on any Civil War or Rev War events at Detroit's Historic Fort Wayne as of yet.  Fingers crossed.
Then there are the smaller non-events that I put together.

God willing,  2021 could shape up to be a much better year for living history than last year by far.  
Normalcy.  That's what we need.
You see,  I am on a journey and let it take me where it will.
So...let's meet back in another month and see what our upcoming days of future past may hold.

Until next time,  see you in time.

To see my other photo-challenges as they have occurred month by month from April through December 2020,  please click 
HERE for January
HERE for December
HERE for November
HERE for October
HERE for September
HERE for August
HERE for July
HERE for June
HERE for May
HERE for April and Late March 2020

~   ~   ~


Olde Dame Holly said...

Thank you for sharing your informative, engaging post! I hope along with you that you will get to re-enact more as the year goes on and the amount of vaccines administered goes up. How wonderful it will be when schools are open again and the students are able to get the enrichment of your presentations, especially. I have a cloak, not woolen as yours is, but it is amazingly warm. I do not need a parka or winter coat, just the cloak. People are always asking me if I'm cold when I'm wearing it - nope. As you know, it seems to trap a warm bubble of air close to the body.

Historical Ken said...

Cloaks are amazingly warm - people just don't get it that our ancestors were brilliant and knew how to survive.
Thanks so much for your kind words.