I home-school my middle school-aged daughter, so this was part work trip, part field trip. Many of the re-enactors were retired teachers, and they had a lot of information to share! We watched a blacksmith and his apprentice, making a pitcher and door hinge in the old style, with a fire and anvil. There were even functioning billows in the blacksmith shop.
The Laundry Ladies were very nice, explaining how different it was back then to keep clean. In Civil War camps, like this one, women would earn money by doing laundry for the soldiers. Camps were like mini towns!
There were several groups playing bluegrass and folk music on the grounds. These ladies started with dulcimers, and switched to a variety of fun instruments. They were amazing performers! The large dulcimer, pictured on the right, had a wonderful melodic sound.
Several vendors were there, dressed in their historical finest. One gentleman was carving gun power holders and drinking mugs from animal horns. It was amazing to watch, and he answered every question we had.
A woodworking vendor, who married his wife right there at Clayville only weeks before! He showed me pictures on his non-historically accurate cell phone. You can see my daughter over his shoulder, in the tent examining his wares. She purchased a beautifully made wooden fan...mostly because I woudn't let her buy a wooden toy gun. Just not a fan of those kinds of toys!
We learned how to make candles by dipping the wicks into the liquid wax, over and over. The man teaching us was very patient, and when you were finished, he twisted each candle into a beautiful design.
The "Mess Tent" area smelled amazing, she was roasting meat on a wrought iron grill, over a fire pit dug right into the ground...just like they would have back in the "good ol' days". She also did the sewing and clothing repair, in a little tent next door.
The encampment was full of information, fun and friendly people, and amazing sights. The cannon that they shot off every other hour, was a real Civil War Era cannon, not a reproduction!
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