Friday, November 9, 2012

Living History - Part One

This week I was thrilled to attend a living history exhibition at Ft. Toulouse in Wetumpka, Alabama.  Ft. Toulouse is an important historical site dating back to the French and Indian War.  It's an amazing place, and the Pioneer Days celebration this week was superb!  I took lots and lots of photos (too many, really), but it was all so very good!  Ready for a little tour?

There are several structures like these which are built according to fairly strict historical guidelines.  I was particularly impressed by the great attention to detail.  Notice the log and clay section of the chimney on this period cabin.  Besides being aesthetically pleasing, I wonder what is its practical purpose?  Any of you history buffs know?

And then there were all the wonderful actors dressed in period costumes.  Check out those terrific wooden clogs!

One of the most beautiful buildings is the blacksmith shop.  Can you see the spanish moss hanging in the trees behind it?  This place is so beautiful!

These handsome gentlemen were real blacksmiths, and they were extremely knowledgeable about their craft and trade during the colonial era.  I was so impressed by the authenticity of the actors, their knowledge, and most of all, their enthusiasm for re-creating this period in history.  I know a lot of them are actually retired history teachers!  And they were clearly enjoying themselves.

This wonderful, jolly gentleman with the fantastic whiskers and twinkling eyes was playing an instrument similar to a hammered dulcimer.  He was a master musician and one of the most popular exhibitions. I came back to see him three times! Gosh, he looks so familiar...... hmmm.....maybe I'll think of it eventually ;)

This tall, elegantly dressed gentleman is an amazing musical historian.  

He had over a dozen instruments that were commonly played during the colonial era, and he could play them all!  Just amazing.

Why are they flying a white flag?  Probably because on this day, the place was overrun with about a thousand school children!!
Please note the wattling on top of the pike wall.  They used tall young saplings to weave in and out of those big piked logs.  I love that.  I think I might use that idea in my garden, only on a much smaller scale of course.

This handsome gentleman was recruiting some of those school children to serve in the militia, where they were being taught how to march in formation and salute a senior officer.  They looked like they were having a ball - both the actors and the children!

Next time I'll show you my most favorite parts of the exhibition.   As you can see, it was all wonderful. Everything from the site itself, with its wonderful old fort and historic buildings to the enthusiastic and knowledgeable actors was par excellence.  Come back next time to see the Creek Indian village and the military encampment!  Good stuff!


margaret said...

what a wonderful day out you had, look forward to seeing the rest of the photos.

Suztats said...

Very cool! I think I could spend a week there just absorbing.

Mary Ann said...

What an interesting chimney. Maybe bricks used in the day for chimneys were expensive so they only used them where it was necessary in the construction. Perhaps they had to import them from Britain. It's odd though because the deposits that build up in chimneys (creosote?) can cause fires and you'd think using wood would be dangerous. But, then again most of those deposits would be at the top so that's why there are bricks there maybe. I don't know:)