Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

Old Wethersfield, CT Memorial Day 2012
Camp after public hours.  We were so busy during the day that
no one got any pictures until then!

Over the weekend, we joined our Rev War re-enacting group to present a special Memorial Day "encampment" program for the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum in Wethersfield, CT.  Wethersfield is officially Connecticut's oldest town (founded in 1633), and is most famous for being the place where Washington and Rochambeau planned the Battle of Yorktown.  The house that served as Washington's headquarters during that time - the house that saw and heard the strategizing of those two brilliant military minds and where Washington slept while in town - is now part of the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum and is open to the public.  Take a look at Ashley's post from last year's visit if you're interested in learning more about the museum and its incredible contributions to our nation's history.

Old Wethersfield, CT Memorial Day 2012
Ashley at the end of the day.

Our group contributed to the Memorial Day festivities by setting up a miniature encampment next to the museum.  A row of sleeping tents and our kitchen fly provided the backdrop for day-long demonstrations of military tactics, 18th century foodways, medical history, and period music.  Ashley and I offered a display and discussion of clothing during the 1770s and early 1780s. 

Old Wethersfield, CT Memorial Day 2012
Our fashion display next to the camp site.

Our display of fashions was intended to represent the wide variety of clothing types, styles, textiles, and accessories.  We included everything from a bedgown, jacket, and four different styles of gowns, to cloaks, hats, a muff and mitts, and supplemented it all with period prints and paintings to help illustrate how the different types of clothing and accessories functioned during the period.  Knowing very little about gentleman's fashions of the period, we enlisted the help of one of the gents of the regiment to help us cover that half of the discussion.  The kids delighted in seeing how they would have been dressed during the Revolution - especially the little girls, who got a kick out of imagining their brothers in long gowns with silk sashes!  We also thoroughly enjoyed meeting several blog readers who introduced themselves throughout the day.  Thank you for saying hello and it was lovely to meet you!

Old Wethersfield, CT Memorial Day 2012
I took the excuse of not have camp duties for the day
to get slightly more poshed up than usual!

Old Wethersfield, CT Memorial Day 2012
My new birthday pinball ring debuted with its new
pinball made of red silk velvet gifted from Ashley
especially for the purpose.

The gentleman of the unit also provided a rousing skirmish for the crowd of spectators as they fended off a couple of rogue Redcoats who dared to venture too near to camp, undoubtedly the visitors' favorite part of the day's program!

Old Wethersfield, CT Memorial Day 2012
The gentleman prepare to serve as impromptu honor
guard for an on-site wedding after our official program
had closed for the day.

We saw over 750 guests during the course of the day, many of whom were very enthusiastic to learn as much as they could about all of the different aspects of 18th century civilian and military life and took their time moving from one part of camp to another observing, listening, and asking thought-provoking questions.  The level of interest displayed by the many people we spoke with - families, children, and young and old individuals alike - was so impressive and inspiring to see.  Our entire group thoroughly enjoyed our fourth year doing this program and look forward to returning again next year!

Old Wethersfield, CT Memorial Day 2012
End-of-day chatter in camp before clean-up.

1 comment:

lahbluebonnet said...

I'm glad it worked out so well for you!