Another weekend in December - another Christmas time-travel experience...
|That's our home - the white one |
(This photo from the Fort Wayne website)
Historic Fort Wayne is located in downtown Detroit and is situated on the Detroit River at a point where it is about a mile to the Canadian shore. The original 1848 limestone barracks (with later brick additions) still stands, as does the 1845 Star fortification (renovated in 1863 with brick exterior facing). On the fort grounds but exterior to the original star fort are additional barracks, officers quarters, hospital, shops, recreation building, commissary, guard house, garage, and stables.
|Our entrance way - quite elegant, |
wouldn't you say?
The star fort today is substantially similar to the original construction, although some changes have been made.
It's here that annual Civil War reenactments take place during the summer months. It's also here during December that a semi-annual Christmas living history event will also take place known as Christmas at the Fort.
(The above was taken from Wikipedia)
|Ready to begin our |
Christmas Eve 1861 celebration
On December 10th of this year a number of us donned our period clothing and brought the past to life for a few hundred tourists that took a scheduled tour, stopping at different locations to learn of Christmas celebrations past. They visited the barracks where Civil War soldiers were shown participating in the same activities they would have done a hundred and fifty years ago. They also stopped at a home to show what it was like for southern families during that time.
I was part of a group stationed inside a very elegant commander's home, though our scenario wasn't about the commander; it was to show how a well-to-do northern family would have celebrated Christmas Eve.
The house was as ornate and elegant as any Victorian home I have seen, and we got to call it "home"!
|Family and friends gathered in our front parlor |
to enjoy this joyous holiday
This was a unique presentation, for the group of visitors were not allowed to roam throughout the home and speak to the various living historians. They, instead, were able to stand in the doorways of the various rooms to peak in and see the 1860's in action. While they did this, one from our group would quietly get up from our activity and move over to where the visitors were and speak of how we were celebrating Christmas.
|Yes, we were ghosts of Christmas Past |
to the visitors from the future
I must say, this was a bit difficult to do as a presenter. We normally ask if there are any questions or employ the help of another reenactor in a sort of tag-team presentation. We're not used to just ending our speech and walking away. So, we kind of did a combination of the two. It worked well but it is my hope that should we do this again next Christmas that we re-visit this goal and see if we can make it kind of an ethereal presentation.
|We gathered 'round the pump organ |
and sang Christmas carols
|Our servant girl continued doing what |
she was paid to do, especially on Christmas Eve!
On a side note, as we gathered all of our participants together for a group photo, one elegantly dressed woman told the domestic, "Servants in the back!"
The young lady obliged.
Yes, we do take our fun seriously.
|Posing for a photograph - |
this is what WE saw
|Posing for a photograph - |
this is what the future sees
And now my wish, my dream, my prayer seems to be coming true.
I never thought I'd see the day...
~If you would like to see more photos of this event, please click HERE to see photographer Ian Kushnir's picture album on Facebook~