Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dixon's Part 2

There were some beautiful entries in the competition category - fewer than in some other years, but the quality was high.

Here's my favorite, a seventeenth-century fishtail piece.  Everything from form to inlay work was superb.

There were also some beautiful entries in the accoutrements category.

One of the nicest features of the Gunmakers' Fair is the opportunity to meet with friends.  Renowned period artists Robert Albrecht and Kevin McDonald were there.

My friend Gus Tabor entered  a really nice, macabre horn, complete with skeletons.  It won best folk art carving and judges' choice.

The scrimshaw is based on the Danse Macabre of the late Middle Ages.  All in all, this is one of the nicest horns I've ever run across.

Long-time friends Chuck and Lori Beasley, of American Heritage Clothing, had a nice booth.  Lori has done clothing for a lot of historic sites and living history units, as well as for films like WitnessThe Patriot and The Rough Riders.  I own a pair of rifleman's overalls Lori made for me back in 2005, and I wear them at Revolutionary War events like Washington's Crossing and to other 1770s-1790s events.  They are both comfortable and durable.

All-in-all, Dixon's is a can't miss event.  I go every year, and I hope to see you there next year!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Dixon's Gunmakers' Fair

Every year the last weekend in July is a paradise for muzzleloading enthusiasts, as Dixon's muzzleloading in Kempton,PA holds it's annual Gunmakers' Fair.  Gunbuilders, suppliers, clothiers, and makers of accoutrements converge on Kempton to show off their goods, greet one another, and share the love of 18th and 19th century firearms.

Allen Martin is one of my favorite makers.  I have a beautiful Bucks County rifle that he made for me nearly a decade ago that remains one of my prized possessions. 

As always, he had beautiful pieces on display.

He was far from the only maker with beautiful firearms to show, however.

Eric Von Anschwege also showed nice pieces, as did many others.

Kenneth Gahagan had some really impressive Hudson Valley and Mohawk Valley fowlers, complete with barrels over 50", fantastic inletting and beautiful engraving touches.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Easton Heritage Day 2014

The weather was hot, muggy, and thunderstorms threatened.  Yet they failed to materialize, and Easton's Heritage Day festival drew thousands of attendees.  The NJ Frontier Guard had an exhibit at the central square and we were busy all day.

Lehigh Valley Express Times Article

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Video from Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation

Here is the video from the day's second skirmish, in which the Crown forces repelled an attack by the Regiment de la Reine, its Lenape allies, and a French Coureur de Bois:

Link to Youtube Video: Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation F&I War Skirmish #2 2014

Friday, July 4, 2014

Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation June 2014

On June 21, the Colonial PA Plantation held its annual F&I War skirmish.  This is the second one I've attended with my children, and it was a fun event, as it was last year. There were two separate skirmishes: in the one the French and their Lenape allies won (and I "died"), and in the second, we were victorious and annihilated the French, while the Indians melted back into the woods to lick their wounds.

The Plantation is a working farm dating back to the 1740's, and it's simply a beautiful location for a visit or skirmish.  It is open each weekend during the summer, with a multitude of events.  Most events are focused on the American War of Independence, but the F&I skirmish is a nice mix of action and education.

The British Provincials were a mixed lot, with the majority serving in the Chester County Militia. There were also several members of ranging companies, including one traveller from the Province of the Jerseys (me), traveling together with his children.

Our French opponents were far more cohesive and professional: the Compagnie de la Reine. The unit served in most of the engagements in North America.  Their mixture of European uniforms and and makeshift blanketing uniform coats speaks to the difficulty the French Monarchy had in supplying its soldiers in the face of the British navy, but the quality of the soldiers was superb.

The French were accompanied by a Coureur de Bois and four members of the Lenape tribe.  These warriors terrorized the inhabitants of Pennsylvania and New Jersey between 1755 and 1758, until the signing of the Treaty of Easton, which largely ended hostilities between the Lenape and the British, at least until Pontiac's Rebellion broke out in 1763.