Monday, July 30, 2018

Weekend at French Creek Heritage Event and DLM Ice Cream Social (Cochranton, PA and Allison Park, PA)

Hey there!

I know, I know...I promised these new blog posts a while ago. These past couple weeks have been a whirlwind of 18th century attire, music gigs, rehearsals, among other things. On a recent Saturday, I ventured out to Cochranton, PA to hang out with friends and check out the French Creek Heritage Festival.
Now I typically attend these events in period attire, but after a couple weeks of being back and forth with fitness training and music gigs that were in 18th century attire (though one gig involved me performing my own music and dressing in a more gothic/celtic/fantasy inspired way), I decided to attend this one in "normal" clothes.

taken just after I arrived :)
Beyond the parking lot of the Cochranton Jr. Sr. High school (which is where we were to park) was this rather charming bridge that could very well have been a gateway to the distant past. In fact, I kind of liked to think of it that way.

 the stream beneath the bridge

On the other side of the bridge was a lovely quaint park also known as the Cochranton Fairgrounds. In fact, the whole town itself has the same very quaint charm.

While the French Creek Heritage event was French and Indian War, much of the park's surroundings and structures fall more into the Edwardian era category (late 19th century into early 20th century). I have dabbled a little in Edwardian and World War I era reenacting and for as much as I love the 18th century, there is definitely a certain romanticism about the Edwardian era that also attracts me.

a small museum space in the Cochranton Fairgrounds that resembles a late 19th and early 20th century business district

Below are some of the displays inside the museum. Much of them were a tribute to the Native American Seneca tribe.

The event also had some pretty cool and interesting speakers. I sat in on one lecture/round table discussion on the interaction and relations between the French, Native Americans, and the English during the French and Indian/Seven Year War. The discussion was an interesting and engaging one, covering the subject of the war from all three perspectives: the French, Native Americans, and English. What I appreciated about this lecture/round table discussion was that they did attempt to cover all three perspectives, as opposed to making it one sided, and very often we only get one side. The thing is that each individual group experienced this event from their own unique perspective and world view. I think that many times, we tend to view history in a way that is rather inaccurate. This not only applies to (in error) viewing history through a modern lens (which does a lot to skew things) but usually we tend to take one perspective and use that as the 'be all, end all.' The French and the English did not have the same culture or necessarily even the same world view, nor did any two Native American tribes (it is a common misconception that all Native tribes had the exact same language, beliefs, viewpoint of Europeans, etc.). I will get more into this in either a future blog post or vlog.

Round Table 1: "Pontiac's War - Uprising and Revenge on the Frontier"

some ice cream I enjoyed during the lecture/round table discussion

Another building on the fairgrounds that is worth a visit is an old railway station that was turned display/art gallery. Upon entering this building, there is once again much from the late 19th and early 20th century.

 Photos of the Cochrantion girls and boys high school basketball teams from the year 1928

Upon exiting the building, I was returned back to the 18th century. :)


setting up the battle reenactment

I also ran into 18th century artist friends John Buxton and Robert Griffing. I gave Buxton a shout out in my Fort Niagara posts, but not Griffing. Now here is his shout out:

Robert Griffing's Website

 Speaking of shout outs, I always like to give them up to the awesome sutlers I purchase from and this time, the spotlight is on Mountain Forge. I've bought from them before and they have nice variety in their inventory. I have been on a little mission to acquire some period appropriate sunwear. Mountain Forge had a large selection of parasols (I bought was $10, which is not a bad price). Next on my list are period appropriate sunglasses. Yes folks, the leopard ones are going away soon (at least at events that have a theme prior to mid 20th century). While I love leaving my own stamp on things and I appreciate that people seem to enjoy the sunglasses, the historical purist in me wins. Plus, since I do help new reenactors and living history interpreters put together their attire at a couple sites, not to mention that I'm part of the Pittsburgh Historical Costume Society, having more appropriate sunglasses might set a better example.

But anyway, here is the lovely parasol I got, along with another hand fan. Because I do love my hand fans, as many of you know. ;)

Show Mountain Forge some love at their website and social media. They are awesome and have some really good stuff.

Mountain Forge Website
Mountain Forge Facebook Page

While the French Creek Heritage Event is not a large one (at least not in the way of a Fort Frederick or Fort Niagara), it is quite enjoyable and the speakers are definitely worth checking out. Check the event out at their website:

French Creek Heritage Event

The day after Cochranton, Wayward Companions and I performed with the Pittsburgh Historical Music Society Orchestra at the Depreciation Lands Museum's 18th century Ice Cream Social. I wore the new hat that I made (there will be a step by step blog post on how I made it) and got to use my new parasol. So it was a win even before we performed to a very enthusiastic audience. :)

the free ice cream, cake, and lemonade that I got to have after performing. Yes I sang for my dessert. 
You can also check out Depreciation Lands Museum at their website:

I am going to try and get caught up on my blogposts and video uploads this week before I go to Bushy Run this Saturday. The next post will be in the Health and Beauty section. Until then, enjoy the rest of Monday. :)

Oh, and if you want to see even more photos from events and such, come into my email tribe. :).

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