CNN and other news outlets bring live, up-to-date images of the world’s war zones and stories about our troops. But what was life like for frontier soldiers? Experience life beyond the battles at the Frontier Skills Weekend at Fort Meigs in Perrysburg, set for Aug. 23 and Aug. 24.
In Frontier days, much of a soldier’s time was spent not in fighting, but in drill, in recreation, or in fatigues (chores of the day). In fact, not all soldiers even fought in battles. Some soldiers were responsible for the care and well-being of the army.
The Frontier Skills Weekend will highlight the duties of these soldiers and the skills needed to survive in frontier Ohio.
Visitors can watch as 20 trades-people demonstrate their crafts and learn how, in 1813, the army couldn’t function without them. Blacksmiths, artists, Native American trades-people, spinners and weavers, and more will be on hand to show their skills and answer questions. Learn about the roles these skills played during the War of 1812 and in the daily lives of early settlers.
Those who enjoy one craft or another can even take it home because the trades-people will offer their wares for sale to the public.
Soldiers and civilians dressed in clothing of the time period will provide demonstrations and hands-on activities that highlight life in the fort and Ohio’s early frontier period. Enjoy the pleasant aromas during the cooking demonstration using a period bake oven or get involved by churning butter in an old-fashioned churn. Visitors can help with chores too, like washing clothes using a scrub board and homemade lye soap, or hand-dipping candles. Soldiers will demonstration how to fire muskets and cannons.
Take a break and enjoy the entertainment of “Common Stock” at their Early American Theater. Local author Jim Mollenkopf will be at the visitor center Saturday signing copies of his latest book on life in the Great Black Swamp.
Fort Meigs is open from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. both days of the event. Admission is $8 for adults, $4 for students and $1 for Ohio Historical Society members. Children 5 and under will be admitted free.
Fort Meigs, one of 60 sites operated by the Ohio Historical Society throughout the state, is located one mile west of downtown Perrysburg on SR 65. Further information is available by calling the museum at 419-874-4121 or visiting on-line at www.fortmeigs.org or www.ohiohistory.org.