Our nation’s history comes to life this weekend

historyenacBATTLES AND EVERYDAY LIFE—will be featured during the two-day historic reenactment held this Saturday and Sunday. The reenactment covers Colonial times through the present and includes civilian and military demonstrations.

What was it like to cook dinner over an open fire, carve your own utensils and tools, or fight in a battle in the woods? Find out this Saturday, September 19, and Sunday, September 20 at the Grand Rogue Living History Encampment at Grand Rogue Campground, 6400 West River Drive.

The event will feature historical camps, military drills and skirmishes, and everyday life and military demonstrations from the colonial days through World War II.

Admission is free to see authentically dressed men, women and children. Participants have invested around $1,000 for their gear, and thousands of hours of research to perfect their portrayals. Many have participated or been consultants for historic movies and documentaries, such as “The Last of the Mohicans” and the award-winning History channel series “Frontier: Legends of the Old Northwest.”

Mike DeJonge, reenactor, said there are many interesting facts of history that we simply don’t have time to learn. His passion is the founding fathers. He stated it is a little-known fact that George Washington started the French and Indian War, which became a world war.

He said favorites of the event include firing of a replica Revolutionary War cannon, military drills, calvary drills, blacksmithing and woodworking with hand tools.

Demonstrations take place from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., but the event is open until 9 p.m. on Saturday. On that night, the cannon is fired off at 9 p.m. “It’s really something to see that thing shot off at night,” DeJonge said.

He said it is also fun to watch people doing everyday chores without the benefit of modern technology. “My wife is doing stew in big pots over a campfire, sometimes she bakes pies over the campfire. Some people cook ribs or whole pigs. We are so used to our modern things, it’s hard to imagine that you can get along without all them.”

He said another interesting group are reenactors of surveyors, who actually have the authentic tools that were actually used in the 1820s and 1830s. “Before Michigan became a state they literally had to mark out the counties. As big as this state is, can you imagine measuring it out with chains, on foot?” DeJonge said. “A lot of famous people were surveyors, too. George Washington was one.”

The event is free, as is parking. On Saturday visit 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., although demonstrations begin at 10 a.m. end around 5 p.m. Sunday hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with demonstrations 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bring your camera and curiosity.

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