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Celebrate the Past at Heritage Days
By Warrior Run-Fort Freeland Heritage Society
September 29, 2010
Each year, hundreds of volunteers participate in the Annual Warrior Run-Fort Freeland Heritage Days recreating the past and interpreting the daily activities of the colonial-era pioneers who settled Central Pennsylvania.
Held early in October, on the grounds of the Warrior Run High School complex, expert and apprentice trades people will demonstrate more than 80 skills of the 18th and 19th centuries, using authentic period tools to recreate traditional trades and pastimes. The two-day living history event will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 3.
Heritage Days, sponsored by the Warrior Run-Fort Freeland Heritage Society, has been recognized by the Pennsylvania Federation of Museums and Historical Organizations with their prestigious Award of Merit. The PFMHO recognizes institutions from across the state whose projects have made an exemplary contribution to the preservation and conservation of local history. Heritage Days is a 2005 award winner. National Geographic also has honored the event by selecting the festival for inclusion in its special edition "Geotourism Map Guide to Appalachia," as an event that sustains and enhances the geographical character of the area, the environment, culture, and heritage.
Members and friends of the society dress in authentic costumes of the period and demonstrate and share living history experiences in an old-fashioned rural setting recreated for the weekend’s event. Staged at the site of an historic military engagement, visitors may watch a re-enactment of the Battle of Fort Freeland as American Revolution patriots are challenged by the British and their allies. When not engaged in battle, the Independent Rifleman of Fort Freeland give details of their military life and experiences at their camp.
Members of the Southeastern Woodland Loyalist Native American Confederacy, wearing either 18th century regalia or portraying colonials who were their military allies and trading partners, set up camp in the Native Village. Its members specialize in Native American women’s and men’s roles, clothing, warfare and weapons, pottery, finger and wampum weaving, twinning and games.
Some of the demonstrations include bobbin lace-making, tatting, cross-stitching, spinning, weaving, quilting, rag rug crocheting, knitting, basket making and wheat weaving. Traditional trades are represented by the blacksmith, tinsmith, cooper, timber framer, wood carver, chair caner, gunsmith, brick maker, potter, and nail and cigar makers. Using old-fashioned cook stoves, food demonstrators willingly share their pig stomach, onion eggs and corn fritters, pickled cabbage and sauerkraut. Potato candy, homemade ice cream, hand-churned butter, freshly pressed cider and gingerbread may be sampled, as well. In addition, the event features lectures, displays, storytelling and special music, along with the Three Sisters Garden.
This year’s festival will include demonstrations of hide tanning, herb culture, paper-making, powder horn engraving, fraktur writing, and stained glass art. On the entertainment schedule, there will be children’s stories and special presentations on George Washington watchkey and its comparison with the charred pendant uncovered during the 1978-79 archaeological dig of the stockaded Fort Freeland site.
The nearby historic Warrior Run Church, which is listed on the state and national registries of historic places and the American Presbyterian/Reformed Registry of Historical Sites, will be open for tours. This three-acre site includes the burial ground where at least 73 soldiers of the Revolution are interred. The public is invited to the formal worship service at the church at 10 a.m. Sunday.
Pets and smoking are not allowed on the premises during this “rain or shine” event. Admission is $7 for adults, $1 for students. Free on-site parking is available.
October 2-3, 2010 - Heritage Days Schedule of Events -- http://www.freelandfarm.org or call 570-437-4048