• Tag Archives Living History
  • Over 10,000 expected for Kalamazoo’s 40th year of Living History

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    This weekend the Kalamazoo Living History Show will celebrate its fortieth year.  As in recent years, the owner, Leslie Martin Conwell, is anticipating over 10,000 in attendance.  Over 270 artists, craftsmen, exhibitors, and vendors of ware will set up at the Kalamazoo County Expo Center on the Kalamazoo County Fairgrounds 2900 Lake Street, Kalamazoo, Michigan.  The show is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on  Saturday March 21 and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, 2015.  Admission is $7 for one day or $10 for both days and free for children 12 and under when with a parent.

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    Whether you are a Living History participant, antique collector, steampunk, or just like fun, historical collectibles, the Kalamazoo Living History Show, the largest, indoor living history event east of the Mississippi, is an event that is well worth the trip with hundreds of booths to shop for crafts, art, clothes, jewelry, books and other pre-1890 living history supplies.

    There will be hundreds of folks dressed for the period from Native Americans and frontiersmen and women to military men from the Civil War and earlier.

    This year the show’s them is “Rangers Lead the Way – The American Ranger Tradition” and the featured speaker will be Lieutenant Colonel Danny Davis, Ph.D. Retired.  Lieutenant Colonel Davis will speak on the rich history of the American Ranger from the Revolutionary War through the Civil War and beyond.  Tim and Terry Todish will be presenting on “wilderness Warriors of the French and Indian War.”

    Additionally the Bush Native American Drum and Dance and the SouthEastern WaterSpider Drum groups will be performing traditional Native American music and dance.  So you don’t need a modified DeLorean to drop back in time a century or two this weekend and check out the beautiful costumes, crafts, and cultural exhibits at the Kalamazoo Living History show!

    For more about John N. Collins, find him on TwitterInstagram, Youtube, and Facebook.



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    British soldiers line up at the bicentenial of the Battle of New Orleans
    British soldiers line up at the bicentenial of the Battle of New Orleans

    This past weekend in Louisiana, the final battle of the War of 1812, The Battle of New Orlens, was celebrated by living history reenactors from the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain.  The Battle of New Orleans was fought in Chalmette, Louisiana.

    On June 18, 1812, President Madison signed a declaration of war due to British agitation including blockading American ships, impressing Americans into serving in the British navy in the fight against Napoleon, and inciting Native Americans against the citizens of the U.S.  After winning many battles, the British entered Washington D.C. and burned down much of the city, including the U.S. Capital building, the President’s Mansion,  and the Library of Congress and all its books.  This was in retaliation for the destruction of private property on the north shore of Lake Erie.

    In November 1814 the British fleet in the Gulf of Mexico, led by General Edward Pakenham and reinforced by ships and troops who had been in the war against Napoleon, set sail for New Orleans.  They invited pirate captain Jean LaFitte to join them and guide them through the difficult waters to New Orleans.  Instead he stalled them and sided with the Americans, providing his knowledge, men, and weapons to defend the city of New Orleans.

    Being warned of the attack, Lousiana Govern Claiborne sent word to General Andrew Jackson.  General Jackson and his men arrived in New Orleans on December 2nd, 2015.  In December, General Jackson’s men fought to delay General Pakenham’s advance and built an earth wall at a point where the land land was blocked on one side by swamp and on the other by the Mississippi in Chalmette between the British and American forces.  Meanwhile British troops continued to arrive until they numbered around 11,000 men, more than double the men under General Jackson.

    On the eighth of January, 1815, General Pakenham implemented a rather clever plan, using ladders to scale the wall in the early morning fog.  Unfortunately, the fog had cleared along the wall leaving the forces in plain view of the American troops on the wall.  Additionally, when the men arrived at the wall, due to an oversight in planning, they had no ladders to scale it.  General Pakenham and his second in command were fatally wounded in the battle and, although he ordered his third in command, General Lambert, to fight on, the British retreated after his death with over 2,000 men lost in the battle.  Ironically, the Treaty of Ghent ending the war of 1812 was signed December 24, 1814, two weeks before the Battle of New Orleans.

    The reenactors of the battle set up camp, provided military and civilian demonstrations of the of the era to thousands of visitors in addition to staging multiple battles over the weekend.

    For more images from the reenactment check out the author’s photo album.

    For more about John N. Collins, find him on TwitterInstagram, Youtube, and Facebook.  Be sure to let him know your thoughts on his articles!



  • Canons roar and Pirates perform in celebrations civil and medieval

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    Canons will roar in Hastings!
    Canons will roar in Hastings!

    This weekend in Hastings, Michgan the canons will roar at the annual Hastings Civil War Muster in Charlton Park, while less than thirty miles away the Blackrock Renaissance Summerfest at The Olde World Village in Augusta, Michigan will be celebrating with medieval merriment and mayhem.

    Olde World Village manager Mike Wkii with The Weird Review's Staff Model, Minion, and Sidekick, Lillian Fox
    Olde World Village manager Mike Wkii with The Weird Review’s Staff Model, Minion, and Sidekick, Lillian Fox

    For a fiver on July 19 and 20, 2014, you can go to Charlton park where they have moved in old buildings from the 1800’s  and have recreated a beautiful, historic town complete with chapel, general store, houses, and during the Civil War Muster, Union and Rebel camps.  They present demonstrations, seminars, 18th century fashions, and a pitched battle in the town square where everyone can watch from the safety of the hillside.

    When visiting camps be sure to identify yourself as friend or foe!
    When visiting camps be sure to identify yourself as friend or foe!

    Visitors will also want to visit the Suttler’s camp where those reenactors of a more commercial nature will peddle their wares to the soldiers as well as the visiters from modern America who will love the crafted, cooked, concocted, and curious items as well as replica and authentic antique items for sale.  In the evening they have music and dancing and then, later, the Emerald Pheasant Saloon will be open for refreshments, cards, and general carrying on.

    Music on the courthouse steps
    Music on the courthouse steps

    Just a short distance away you can enjoy another era of music, mirth, and medieval markets as the Blackrock Renaissance Summerfest continues its second week.  At blackrock you can see acrobatics, pirates, and sword fights.  There is even real jousting with knights in armor charging one another on horseback.  The splinters fly as the knights do battle to show their prowess to the royalty, peasants, and honored guests who attend their contests.

    You may even find a familiar face of wizardry at the Blackrock Renaissance Summerfest!
    You may even find a familiar face of wizardry at the Blackrock Renaissance Summerfest!

    Further to the north is another entire village within the village, The Viking Encampment, where the Vikings of the Great Lakes have staked their claim.  you can drop by and see the Norse ladies and gents as they demonstrate the life in a traditional viking village.

    Ladies keeping house in the Norse Village
    Ladies keeping house in the Norse Village

    You will want to stop by Moore’s Rolling Smokehouse where they  specialize in smoked ribs, chicken, pork, brisket, and they have some of the best brats around.  Elsewhere in the Olde World Village you can sink your teeth into a hickory smoked barbeque sandwich or feast on the chili or other soup in an old fashioned bread bowl at the Hickory Hut!

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    All around the Olde World Village you can visit the various wonderful shops such as, The Crafty HatterUnicorn’s GardenSkullduggery Overseas Trading CompanyFellowship Foundry, and Yulanda’s Soy Comfort Candles.  You definitely want to check out the leather works of Gere Hakon and say hi to the Weird Review’s own Model, Minion, and Sidekick, Lillian Fox, who will be modeling items mad by Gere and from Beckalyn’s Masquerade.

    This is certain to be a great weekend to visit Charlton Park or The Olde World Village but better still, visit both!

     

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