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Friday, September 10, 2010

Living History Encampment

Here is a Press Release about a great event coming to our area.

From: Jean Gross, Chairwoman; W-989-734-5274; H-989-734-0463; Cell 989-351-0418

P.H. Hoeft State Park Hosts Living History Encampment

Park Address: 5001 US 23 North, Rogers City, MI 49779

Date of Event: Friday and Saturday, September 17 and 18, 2010
The Day use area of P. H. Hoeft State Park, North of Rogers City, will become a hum of activity that will take you back in time. Friday September 17 and Saturday September 18, Historical Reenactors will time travel you back to the 1700’s through the 1860’s. Dressed in period clothing and using primitive skills such as tomahawk throwing, fire starting, spinning, and cooking over an open fire they will bring North East Michigan legendary history vividly to life. Friday September 17, 9 AM till 3 PM is set aside for school groups, 3 PM till 5 PM open to the public; Saturday September 18, 9 AM till 5 PM open to the public. School groups, to reserve your time, please call P. H. Hoeft State Park at 989-734-2543. All events are outside so please dress for the weather, if you want to participate in the Tomahawk Throw and Bagataway Game, please wears enclosed shoes/sneakers. A “Traders Row” will be available to shop for historically accurate items, many hand crafted by the traders. The Living History Encampment is free; however all motor vehicles entering the park must display a Motor Vehicle Permit.

The Historical Reenactors coming to P. H. Hoeft State Park are from all parts of Northern Michigan. We are a not specific club or organization, although many of us do belong to a period specific club (French *& Indian, Mountain Man, Civil War etc.) but we all share a love of making history come alive and exposing the public to the “new world”; by conducting demonstrations and interactive activities. The reenactors pride themselves on the accuracy and authenticity of interpreting and sharing this knowledge and using items that are accurate to the 1700 and 1800’s. The students and visitors will get a real feel for what it took to do things that modern conveniences have made so easy; microwaving a meal, grocery shopping or sewing and knitting clothing. Historical reenactors really immerse themselves in their hobby, if you can call it a hobby. For some it becomes a lifestyle.

Always a crowd pleaser is “Hawk Man”; visitors will have a chance to personally relive a Mountain Man Rendezvous by throwing the tomahawk. If you cut the playing card you get to keep it and show off.  Be sure to read the rules before you get in line.  Kids must be old enough to handle sharp knives and have an adult present.  Did you break a handle at the tomahawk throw?

The Old French Voyageur Monsieur Michael can make a new handle in no time at all. While he is at his shaving horse ask him about his adventures as a voyageur paddling and portaging on these Great Lakes and why does he wear a long sash and leg ties?

A basic survival technique was Fire Starting with Flint and Steel.  At the Buck skinner’s camp, ask for a small hank of rope; make a bird nest, and then time how long it takes to catch the bird nest on fire.  Be sure to ask about char cloth.

Follow the enticing smell of bread, pies, gingerbread and cornbread baking in the Adobe Bake Oven. Madame Baker stomped the clay, straw, sand with a bit of water, then Monsieur Baker took this adobe mixture to mold and shape the oven.  The walls are 8 inches thick and it takes 3 hours and many bundles of wood for the oven to reach 600’F. But then we can bake for several hours.

Visit the ladies who are busy carding and spinning wool, sewing, knitting, and beading.  We will have children’s toys on hand, including, the old button on a string whizzers, checkers, and farkle.

Test your physical stamina by playing the American Indian warrior training game of Bagataway (Lacrosse).  Monsieur Coach Don will go over the one rule of playing the game.

Find your birthday using an American Indian calendar, thirteen moons on a turtle’s back. There are thirteen large segments which represent the thirteen moons which make up the lunar year. By counting the smaller segments around the lower edge of the shell, you will find there are 28 segments, when represents the 28 days between new moons.
Visit with our fine gentlemen and gentlewomen with the South Carolina 1st Volunteer Confederate Infantry, attached to the North-South Skirmish Association.  They will have a magnificent display of firearms and accoutrements from the Civil War Period.


“Is that a real fire?” Yes we use it for cooking and heat

“Is that real food?” Yes and we are going to eat it ALL

“Is that a real gun?” Yes and they are always considered loaded

“Do you really sleep here?” Yes these are our homes

“Where did you buy all of this stuff?” We make most of these items ourselves, but there are numerous catalogs and small cottage industries where we can buy period correct items. We also trade with other reenactors, called a Round Robin.

“Are you hot in all of those clothes” No, they are made of natural fibers that absorb sweat, and protect us from fire heat, weather, insects, brush and thorns. But moccasins do get slippery when wet.

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