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[WarOf1812] REPLY: Too many events? A Great Opportunity!

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  • Gordon Deans
    I second Ray s thoughts. Each of us and our units need to consider reaching out to the local community to offer our services. Some units have already been
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 30, 2005
      I second Ray's thoughts. Each of us and our units need to consider reaching out to the local community to offer our services. Some units have already been doing this for some time and we can look to them for advice and suggestions.

      By participating and volunteering at the local events, we will have an opportunity to make suggestions about the frequency and timing of events. Local events could be an opportunity for those who cannot make it to a particular main event to still get out for a day trip.

      What attracts me to a local event? Being a history buff, I like to research the history of each event before I attend and reread all of my relevant sources. The local event needs to be at a site on or near the actual 1812 occurrence(s) that is/are being re-enacted or have other connections to the period such as pre-1812 buildings. The site should be reasonably period authentic and sympathetic to living history rules. It takes a particularly significant battle to out weigh the presence of an elevated highway or an oil refinery. Personally, I prefer to be reliving a historic event (allowing some leeway for the units that were not actually there) rather than acting out a "typical battle" demonstration that never happened.

      Some of the local events that I have enjoyed include Backus Mills, Fanshawe Village, Fort Willow Depot, Kanata Village / Mohawk Chapel, Port Dover, etc. These are the kind of places where you want to stay an extra day just to soak up the local history when the public have gone.

      I have experienced some of my most chilling "magic moments of history" at local events such as Backus Mills or standing knee deep in the swamp at Port Dover when the 19th Dragoons came thundering out of the mists and rain in the woods. You will know the moment when what you experience gives you the "shivers".

      Not all local events need to be conflicting re-enactment weekends. Perhaps local units can take the initiative to provide a cross-section of re-enactors for a demonstration or educational day to meet their needs. Of course, these will be great publicity and recruiting opportunities for living history.

      And do not overlook the value of small town local museums. This summer, I dropped into one on the way back from a major re-enactment and discovered inexpensive reprints of books that had been on my "want list" for years.

      To sum up, I guess my criteria comes down to "is it just acting" or "is it living history" and "is it fun".

      Enough from the "Old Sailor".

      Gord Deans
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Luthien Tinuviel
      To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tuesday, August 30, 2005 7:53 PM
      Subject: Re: [WarOf1812] Re: Too many events? A Great Opportunity!


      Well said, Ray! I might add that the smaller events
      allow for much more intimate contact between the
      reenactors and the public and that is a very good
      thing. There may be fewer of us there, but getting to
      see us up close (or at least up closer) makes up for
      it. I attended some events as a tourist last summer
      before I joined the 89th and the two that made the
      greatest impression on me were Chippewa and Backus
      Mills. Being close enough to hear the sergeants
      yelling out their orders sent that special chill down
      my spine that made me want to join up.

      From a purely capitalistic point of view, I have
      spent/will spend thousands of dollars buying gear and
      thousands of hours sewing by hand the things I don't
      buy and thousands more drilling, practicing and
      learning all I can about the War of 1812. I therefore
      want to get as much out of my investment as I possibly
      can and share my knowledge and my joy with as many
      people as I can.

      My own two cents worth,
      Beck
      89th

      --- ray hobbs <ray.hobbs@...> wrote:

      > I agree with Bill.
      >
      > One of the ways in which we, as reenactors, can help
      > the hobby, and
      > spread knowledge of the War of 1812 is to interact
      > with local
      > organizations and institutions. This is especially
      > important if the
      > locality had anything to do with the War of 1812. I
      > think we would all
      > be surprised to learn how few folk do not know what
      > part their town
      > played in the war.
      >
      > Town, city and village museums are always looking
      > for help in expanding
      > their understanding of their local history, and
      > spreading the word to
      > the general public. At a recent meeting with one
      > local museum staff I
      > recounted a fairly significant piece of history of
      > the town related to
      > the War of 1812. I was astonished by the response
      > "We didn't know
      > that..." But, as professional preservers of history,
      > they were darn
      > willing to learn. Unfortunately, for many people the
      > pre-Rebellion
      > (pre-1837) period in Canada is a haze. This is a
      > view which seems to be
      > perpetuated by our newly-opened War Museum in
      > Ottawa. (Sorry, but I
      > could not resist!)
      >
      > The hobby does not exist only at events. It exists
      > in the meantime as
      > we train ourselves to be better soldiers; it exists
      > in the meantime as
      > we learn more and more about our own units through
      > careful reading and
      > research; it exists in the meantime as we link up
      > with our own local
      > institutions, and spend that extra time as speakers
      > at their events, or
      > even guards at their doors.
      >
      > I believe we have to adopt the "Parable of the
      > Sower"-approach - throw
      > our names and skills as widely as possible. Some
      > will take root.
      >
      > I fully appreciate the significance of the forts and
      > other
      > establishments in our area particularly. I
      > thoroughly enjoy attending
      > their events, and have developed a respect for their
      > commitment to
      > history, often against great (economic) odds. The
      > events that take
      > place at George, York, Erie, Niagara etc. are
      > showcase events. But the
      > build-up takes place in our own municipalities, in
      > our schools,
      > museums, history associations, even college and
      > university departments.
      >
      > All of this takes time, skill, knowledge and effort
      > - beyond the
      > week-end away at an event. We have to be prepared to
      > do that. I know of
      > several units who do this, but we all need to pull
      > our weight and
      > develop a strategy to do this.
      >
      > My two cents' worth
      > Ray Hobbs
      > 41st Regt.
      >
      > On Tuesday, August 30, 2005, at 02:20 PM,
      > glifencible wrote:
      >
      > > Another opportunity is to educate more people. I
      > wish I had a dollar
      > > for everytime someone pointed to me in my uniform
      > and said "look, a
      > > Civil War guy". If the schools don't teach us
      > what happened in our
      > > own back yard, who will?
      > >
      > >
      > > Regards
      > > Bill
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > The War of 1812: In Europe, thousands fought over
      > the fate of hundreds
      > > of square miles: in North America, hundreds
      > determined the fate of
      > > THOUSANDS of square miles...
      > >
      > > Unit Contact information for North America:
      > > ---------------------------------
      > > Crown Forces Unit Listing:
      > > http://1812crownforces.tripod.com
      > >
      > > American Forces Unit Listing
      > > http://usforces1812.tripod.com
      > >
      > >
      > >
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      >
      > The War of 1812: In Europe, thousands fought over
      > the fate of hundreds of square miles: in North
      > America, hundreds determined the fate of THOUSANDS
      > of square miles...
      >
      > Unit Contact information for North America:
      > ---------------------------------
      > Crown Forces Unit Listing:
      > http://1812crownforces.tripod.com
      >
      > American Forces Unit Listing
      > http://usforces1812.tripod.com
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
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      The War of 1812: In Europe, thousands fought over the fate of hundreds of square miles: in North America, hundreds determined the fate of THOUSANDS of square miles...

      Unit Contact information for North America:
      ---------------------------------
      Crown Forces Unit Listing:
      http://1812crownforces.tripod.com

      American Forces Unit Listing
      http://usforces1812.tripod.com



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