Wednesday, October 2, 2019

My 2019 Summer Time Travels: Fort Henry Days, 2019 (Wheeling, WV)

Well hey there!

These past couple of weeks and weekends have been quite the whirlwind between events at the museum, music gigs, speaking engagements, fitness training, and a few other projects and events that I'm getting underway. I also have 2 lectures in the month of October (A History of Chocolate and Early Folklore and Its Origins), and an 18th century bonfire stories night, on top of regular museum events and rehearsing for music gigs. So I'm not exactly resting on my laurels! :D
With all that said, though, I am presenting you with another blogpost on my summer travels (combined with a few gigs!). In the last few weeks, I was absolutely thrilled to have April C. Thomas of Fashions Revisited on for an interview and Eliza Vincz (Silk & Sass 1776) back for a blog swap. I am having on a few more cool folks on here in the coming weeks, including ones that are a dream opportunity to interview!
As we have now entered the month of October, I will be discussing some of my Gettysburg experiences from back in August, starting with a review of the very haunted Farnsworth House. But first, without further ado, I am doing a little recap of Fort Henry Days, an even that takes place in Wheeling, WV every year on Labor Day weekend. This was a camp out, as well as a music gig at which Wayward Companions and I performed our early music with a celtic folk flair. :D

Of course, packing for these things is always an event in itself as you very often pack a combination of modern and 18th century (or whatever time period you're doing) items! And I keep adding to my period correct personal care products thanks to the likes of LBCC Historical. :)

All packed! Divided between period correct luggage and modern luggage!

Then it was time to set out on my (time) travels!

Arriving in my natural habitat!
Now I'm REALLY in my natural habitat :)
The event schedule and the Betty Zane shirt for the 2019 season. This year's reenactment theme was Betty's Run. And if you don't know who Betty Zane is, look her up! She's awesome and quite a fascinating woman in American history.

Upon the participant registration before the event opened, we were all gifted with this lovely swag bag.

The Swag Bag!

My favorite parts of the bag were the Fort Henry Days sticker (which now adorns my laptop) and the wooden needle case. Anyone that sews can tell you that one can NEVER have too many needle cases. Or beeswax cakes. :D

Morning has broken at Fort Henry on a beautiful Saturday morning!

When morning broke upon Fort Henry, we all got some much needed coffee from the concession stands. I cannot sing the praises of coffee nearly enough. Seriously.

After I got my period attire on

Once I was dressed in my period attire and the event was open for the Saturday, I made sure to catch my friend Kara Gordon's presentation on the clothing and other items owned by a real life frontier woman of the 18th century. She also did it in first person as a relative of the woman, which was definitely a cool touch.

Kara begins her presentation, "All I Own"

Kara is quite knowledgeable and has done a couple period clothing presentations with me and other members of the Pittsburgh Historical Costume Society. She is also a very talented seamstress and has a side business, The Rose in the Heather.

Among her gorgeous items, these blue earrings were calling to me, so I snatched them up before anyone else could get a chance to!

My purchase from The Rose in the Heather!

While Kara doesn't currently have an online store, she does have an Instagram page, so feel free to give her a follow. :)

Aside from my Rose in the Heather purchase, my main objective was to start picking up some items that will aide me in my French and Indian War (French) soldier impression. Yes, I will sometimes be crossdressing as an 18th century man at a few events and participating in artillery and battles. I am really excited about it and do plan to do some blogging on it, especially as it will allow me to see things from both the perspective of men and women from that era. That is also something I look forward to exploring more here.

Just a look at my full attire

But first, some pics of the initial stroll around the Fort Henry sutler row.

Next to my group's camp was another sutler I purchased from. Cocked Hat Publishing is owned and operated by historical fiction author, Geoff Baggett. He and his wife are great to talk with and it was a pleasure meeting them. While I haven't had a chance to read any of his books yet, I do plan to put some of the titles on my 'to read' list as they look quite fascinating.

Among the items that Geoff had, this roll up journal and case caught my attention and ended up being among my Fort Henry purchases. I love it!

Some other nice leatherbound journals that Cocked Hat Publishing had
Geoff and his lovely wife

My journal! ❤️❤️

Finally, I then scored in the area of finding items to help in my research and embodiment of a French soldier of the 18th century, thanks to Able's Trading and Smoke & Fire.

My purchases from Able's Trading and Smoke & Fire

After some socializing and shopping, I had to take the stage at 4pm with Wayward Companions. The audience themselves were great fun and we really enjoyed performing our set, as always!

Post 4pm set photo!

At 5pm, the event closed to the public and the participants all went to the main hall for the dinner always provided for us, and it is always delicious. A couple hours after that, the tavern was to open, during which Wayward Companions provided the music to enhance that atmosphere. So we had our second concert for the event (which did include some less than genteel songs)!
Inside the tavern setting up for the evening's set!

Then the crowd starts to enter...

On Sunday morning, I got to spend a little time with everyone, but had to leave early so that I could get to the museum. I therefore had to miss the ladies' tea that they always have, which disappointed me a little. I have attended every year in the last couple years that Wayward Companions performed at this event and it is lovely. I hope to be able to attend that next year!

As a whole, Fort Henry Days is always a great event that keeps growing and one that is definitely worth visiting, especially if you love history! 


Thank you for reading! Go on a five day journey through time with me and receive a song or mystical story each day!
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