Friday, October 21, 2011

Musings Extra: Fort Massac Encampment

Hello again blogoshere, I have an extra treat for you this week that finally covers my local community! Don't worry, we'll get back to the pumpkin uses next Monday. I just wanted to share how much fun I had last weekend at the Fort Massac Encampment!

First, a bit of a background. Fort Massac is a historical site just across the river from where I live. As reported by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the area was theoretically used before but was first established when, "the French built Fort De L’Ascension on the site in 1757, during the French and Indian War." It was later rebuilt and named Massiac, in honor of the French Minister of Colonial Affairs.

The French later abandoned the location, and while the British captured it, they never did anything with it. Americans easily took over the territory of Illinois during the Revolutionary war. The IDNR continues to follow the site's history, saying the fort was rebuilt in 1794. The fort has had it's up's and downs of being destroyed, then rebuilt, only to be abandoned. It was not until 1908 that Fort Massac and the land around it became Illinois' first state park.

With that little history lesson, every year, the site is the center of the Fort Massac Encampment. During that time, groups come out to re-create the atmosphere of the late 1700s'. While some camp out and stay for days, most of the public comes during a weekend in October. It's said that the encampment brings in more than 80,000 people a year!
She's making lace!

So naturally, we went with one of my good friends & her family. We had so much fun! There was traditional root beer, buffalo chili, guys in kilts, and lots of fun apothecary stuff! I was even able to pick up a knitting pattern (and lesson) too, but that's for a later day.

Another huge perk is that I also found wool spinners! There's not a reason to now, but one day I want to be able to spin and knit with my own yarn. Huge pipe dream, I know, but hey. So it was great talking to these ladies and learning more about what kind of wheels they use, how they wash the wool, etc.
So all in all, it was a great little morning venture. We'll go back to the pumpkin schedule on Monday. I'll leave you know with an adorable picture of my friend's kids.
What's cuter than this? Nothing, that's what.

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