Saturday, September 3, 2011

Education Day: Fair at New Boston

Quite by accident, while looking for something else, I stumbled onto the information about a historical reenactment that was happening not too far from us (about an hour north) and after contacting the coordinator and learning the event was FREE to families with a child in 4th or 5th grade, I asked another homeschooling family we knew if they would like to join us and we made plans for the day!  Good thing I had asked them to go or I would have probably backed out at the last minute since the temperature was approaching 100, if I had backed out, we would have missed out on one AMAZING event!

Without knowing the others plan, both Sophia and her friend dressed in period attire!  Throughout the day people kept asking them if they were part of the reenactment and they would smile and proudly say "no, we are homeschooled"....well YES, that explains it ALL doesn't it?  I know that at least 4 people took photos of they two of them together!

It is hard to say just what part of the day or exhibit was out favorite, we loved the cannon (fired every hour on the hour), visiting with the militia man (from whom I learned my interesting fact of the day, you could only be in the Ohio Militia if you had at least 2 "opposing" teeth so that you could bit open the rifle cartridge!), the medicine woman along with the ENTIRE Indian village (Grant particularly loved watching them skin a deer!), playing nine men morris, getting to practice stilt walking and driving the oxen!  We loved chatting with all the reenactors, especially the amputee with a "peg leg" who humored the kids by letting them "knock" on his leg and we were thrilled to see Gary Barker, the oxen "guy", who we have met at numerous other reenactments throughout the years!  We had such a great time that we didn't even notice the oppressive heat until after 1 PM.  The location offered plenty of shade and free lemonade and water!

We hope to be able to make the event again next year and will hope for a bit cooler weather!

Prior to the "Fair" were were sent the following BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

When you enter the Fair at New Boston, you step back in time two centuries to a trades fair, where tradesmen showed their skills and wares, people bartered or bought goods and animals, enjoyed entertainment, foods, and drinks, and socialized with their friends and neighbors.

Ohio was still a part of the NORTHWEST TERRITORY. Settlers were coming into the area, making their living by farming, hunting, blacksmithing, operating mills, and the like. SHAWNEE INDIANS had previously lived in two villages – KISPOKO and PECKUWE on the north side of the Mad River where George Rogers Clark Park is now located. Other Native American tribes had joined them and warriors used these villages as home base for their attacks on white settlements in Kentucky. This was before the settlers moved into Ohio country. Kentucky residents, fearful for their lives, called on their hero, GEORGE ROGERS CLARK, to lead an army of 1,000 men against the Shawnee villages.

On August 8, 1780, Clark’s men attacked and defeated the Indians in the BATTLE OF PECKUWE (Piqua). Among the Indian children who witnessed the battle and escaped with most of the tribe was TECUMSEH. Tecumseh grew up to become one of the greatest Indian chiefs in America. However, it wasn’t until after the 1794 Battle of Fallen Timbers and the 1795 Treaty of Greenville that settlers felt safe to move into this area. In 1803, Ohio had enough population to become a state.

In 1809, settlers started building the log cabin town of New Boston on the very ground where the Shawnee had once lived. New Boston soon faded into history after nearby Springfield was picked to be the seat of a new county named CLARK. The Fair at New Boston was named for an old village. Littlejohn’s Tavern was named for an actual tavern that existed in New Boston. The Hickory and Blackhorse Taverns were named for other historical taverns in the county.

This is only a brief history of the area. We hope that you have fun learning much more and that you come to enjoy history just as we, the members of the George Rogers Clark Heritage Association, do. You might want to read books or Google for information online about the Shawnee, Tecumseh, Daniel Boone, and George Rogers Clark. On the computer, OHIO HISTORY CENTRAL is an excellent source.

If the SLIDE show isn't displayed below, if you click on the box it will open it in a new window and play the pictures!

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