Sunday, June 24, 2012

Demo at the Nanticoke River Jamboree

We were priviledged to demonstrate colonial blacksmithing at the Nanticoke River Jamboree, this past Saturday at Handsell to support the efforts to restore the house of Handsell and to celebrate the historic nature of the area.  It was an amazing event, filled with interesting people and fascinating history.  We've never been at a place before where the content of a festival was so solid - early American history and the war for Independance....the Underground Railroad and African American history... and Native American history all focused on one place.  I was so jealous of the folks that got to attend all the various talks.  There was so much to learn!

We deliberately seek out events that are interesting and family-friendly, and the Jamboree definitely fit the bill.  Our kids had a blast "working" at the colonial games tent, hanging out at the Friends of the Library tent, and making prints of various fish at the Nanticoke Watershed Allience tent.  I grabbed a few moments to walk down to the Chicone Creek and enjoy the amazing farmland.  It made me rather homesick for the farmland of the Midwest, where we spent many years.

While the Jamboree had reenctors from 1612 through 1812, more "modern" craftspeople and others displayed their talents in a seperate area.   In that area, the Jamboree had a great musician performing throughout the day.  I had to laugh at myself interpreting in full Colonial attire in 90 degree heat for Jeff who was forging colonial nails, while humming "Every Rose Has Its Thorn", by Poison.  That was definitely a first! 

Jeff demonstrated how to forge leaves before moving on to making nails, which really appealed to a lot of men.  These guys knew their nails!  We'd never before demonstrated in front of a people who knew to ask right away if Jeff was making "rose head" nails.  It was great fun!

Near the end of the day, a reenactor with the militia asked Jeff to make a combination tool for him -- part screwdriver, part tool to clean out a musket (someone will have to fill me in on the correct name!).  Jeff really enjoyed copying, yet changing, the tool to fit his personal style and the reenactor's musket.  As you can see, Jeff chose to make his twist a bit different than the original, and I should comment that this is not a photograph of the final version -- after testing it on the musket, they "tweaked" it a bit more.

We truly had a wonderful time. The folks at Handsell are doing a special thing, and we hope to return next year to support their efforts. 

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