Monday, July 16, 2018

Old Fort Niagara French and Indian War Encampment (Youngstown, NY), Part 2

Hey there,

After another crazy week of fitness and music rehearsals (plus my gig at the Treasure 15 even), we are on to part 2 of my Fort Niagara posts. The really fun stuff about the sutlers and blanket traders. As always, some sutlers are new to me while others I've purchased from before. Either way, they are all awesome. :)
Featured in this blog post, we have:

Grandma's Soap and Stuff
Romantically Bent
Father, Son and Friends

So when I set out on my Fort Niagara expedition, I was stoked to see one of my favorite sutlers. I wrote a little on Grandma's Soap and Stuff and their amazing product in my Fort Frederick blog. Not only is the product great (and like castles, I do have a bit of an obsession with handmade soap), but the owners are an absolute joy to hang out and talk with. I purchased quite a bit from them at Fort Frederick and at Fort Niagara, I bought two more soap bars (Dragon's Blood and Dead Sea Mud & Salt).
Because I make my own lip balm, you won't typically see me purchasing it, but upon my arrival at Fort Niagara, I discovered that I was running low. Thankfully, Grandma's Soap and Stuff also makes lip balm and they happened to have some there.
Now one item on the inventory of Grandma's Soap and Stuff  that I still had yet to try was their tea. And I love tea, so I ended up buying some, along with a maple cake. I will be reviewing a couple of their products in the next health and beauty post.

My Fort Niagara Grandma's Soap & Stuff purchases

Definitely check out Grandma's Soap and Stuff:
Grandma's Soap and Stuff Website

They also offer gift wrapping, so if you are looking for a great gift idea, definitely consider their soap and other products. :)

Next on the agenda (aside from more exploration of the castle and other structures within the fort) was a visit to Romantically Bent. This was a new sutler for me, but I was pretty drawn in by her 18th century clothing display as I approached her tent. The owner, Christine Scanlon, is another fun person to talk to and I loved looking around at what she had to offer. I did need a new pair of clocked stockings, so I ended up picking up a pair (I think the pair I got was $14...not a bad deal). Hand fans are another item that I seem to be developing an obsession for. In my opinion, you can never have too many and you do need a variety of styles depending on the color and style of your outfit and what look you're going for (at least that's what I keep telling myself). Another item that caught my attention was the heart shaped pocket watch. So I bought it because why not. :)

Romantically Bent Purchases
Check out Romantically Bent on Facebook and Instagram:
Romantically Bent on Facebook
Romantically Bent on Instagram

Another type of item I have a weakness for are items Celtic or Celtic inspired. And if you're into that sort of thing Father, Son and Friends are well stocked. In addition to being a store, they are also a musical group and a very good one at that.
So basically I was in need of a sturdy canvas bag to haul music stuff around in and found one such thing at the Father Son and Friends tent. And it also goes with the whole Celtic Fantasy thing I have going in my own music and much of my writing. So yay, I was happy about that.

my bag from Father, Son an Friends

Show Father Son and Friends some love on the interwebs and check out the music too!
Father Son and Friends website
Father Son and Friends on Facebook 

Among those that I had the pleasure of interacting with at Fort Niagara were a couple artists (painters) and an author of French and Indian War novels. These artists are Pamela Patrick White and Bryant White, John Buxton, and William P. Robertson. Many within the living history and reenactment communities in my neck of the woods are familiar with the works of John Buxton (as well as Robert Griffing). The Whites have also been pretty well-known within the history festival circuit. William P. Robertson's novels have been acclaimed and in addition to his historic fiction novels, he is also a writer of horror (he's sending me some goodies so expect a write up/review of the works in the near future). All of these artists are acclaimed in what they do and I am very honored to have them show interest in using my likeness as possible inspiration for future works. Definitely show them love and check out their works!

Welp, that wraps up my Fort Niagara blog and leaves me room to move onto blogging about the next events I attended! To conclude, here are a couple more photos. You can see even more of these by coming into my email tribe. :)

Up next: I tell you a little of this past weekend at the French Creek Heritage Festival in Cochrantion, PA and my gig with Wayward Companions and Pittsburgh Historical Music Society at the Depreciation Lands Museum's 18th century Ice Cream Social!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Old Fort Niagara French and Indian War Encampment (Youngstown, New York), Part 1

Last weekend, I was fortunate enough to kick off the month of July at the Old Fort Niagara French and Indian War Encampment. I also apologize for the slight delay of the Fort Niagara blog posts. It has been a hectic week between fitness training, getting re-rehearsed in my own songs for the Treasure Night 15 event, and then rehearsing with Wayward Companions for the Whiskey Rebellion Festival and two other gigs we have over the forthcoming weekends! So yes, it's been pretty busy here in my corner. :D

But anyway...

It was my first year at this particular reenactment event and was definitely one I was looking forward to, especially upon seeing photos of the castle from friends that have already been there. Fort Niagara also has some pretty cool history behind it.

I set out early Friday evening when I met my travel homies at around 5pm and we made the 4-5 hour drive to Youngstown, NY. It was about 10pm upon our arrival and I was immediately taken in by the night time scenery, from the beautiful Lake Ontario to the castle (I have what might be a rather unhealthy obsession with castles).

After we unloaded our stuff into the tents, I went for a walk, briefly visiting the castle and using that time to observe and take an "I have arrived" selfie.

The night time weather was quite lovely, making the night spent in a tent a very pleasant one.

I got up the following morning and went for a little jog (as I typically do at these events) and in doing so, I was able to take in even more of the scenery.

the castle in the daylight

For this event, I decided to wear one of my newly sewn outfits and I set out on my exploring expedition.

on the third floor of the castle in front of Betsy Doyle's memorial display. She's badass :)

the cool little pass all of us had to carry

Lake Ontario. Seriously, it's amazing to see in person.

another photo taken during my exploration of the castle

A bird was also chilling in the rafters. It turned out that the nest was nearby.

I hung out in the French Military kitchen for quite some time since I met some really cool people who shared food from the hearth with me. Food from the hearth is always welcome. I also had a couple 18th century artists and an author interested in using my image for their future works. I will get a little more into them and their works - along with the sutlers I encountered and purchased from - in the next part of the Fort Niagara blogs.

the castle at close to sun down...

having a beer with friends at the evening tavern

The following morning (Sunday), I had to leave pretty early on due to the fact that Wayward Companions were rehearsing for the Whiskey Rebellion gig which took place the following weekend. A recap of the Whiskey Rebellion Festival will also be posted here soon.

The drive home was very scenic and so I took a couple photos.

the healthiest things I could find at a gas station I stopped at

Stay tuned for part 2 of my Fort Niagara blog postings, along with other forthcoming blog posts that will feature Whiskey Rebellion photos, my step by step process on making an 18th century hat (my goal is to have it completed in time for the next Wayward Companions gig on July 15), and a review of one of my favorite sutlers' product in the Health and Beauty section of this blog. My next adventures also include going to the Cochranton and Bushy Run Battlefield reenactment events. I haven't decided whether I will dress in period clothes for these particular events since I will only be day tripping it on the Saturdays to hang out with friends. We shall see. Maybe I'll feel inspired. :)