by BETH ALTENA
What was it like when a trip to the doctor meant a long ride in a covered wagon? Maybe that wasn’t even an option. How about building a homestead without power tools? Cooking dinner? Doing a load of laundry? Defending your country 100 years ago?
Find answers to these questions and more this weekend at the Grand Rogue Living History Encampment held each year at Grand Rogue Campground and Paddle Sports at 6400 West River Drive, Comstock Park. The encampment features military re-enactors from every war since the French and Indian war in the 1750s. American history is fascinating in real life. Watch spinners weave wool, cover your ears during the cannon demonstration, and see re-enactors in period dress beginning Saturday, Sept. 17, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., and again Sunday, Sept. 18, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
The event is free to the public, and among highlights are battles in the woods between soldiers and Native Americans, both on horseback and on foot. A trading post will offer some items for sale. The public is encouraged to ask the re-enactors questions about life in their chosen time period or about reenacting in general. Where do the authentic costumes come from? How do we learn about the battle tactics of the past?
In addition to a variety of demonstrations throughout the two-day event, there will be activities for children and adults, and demonstrations of all sorts of weaponry. Re-enactor Mike DeJonge said most of his fellow re-enactors are pleased to do their part to interest youngsters in history. Often entire families take part and represent what family life was like during the Civil War, the Revolutionary War and as a pioneer during times of peace.