The Washington Co. Regiment met today to celebrate weather that was almost spring-like (once the  sun came up!) at the February muster. We celebrated frontier life in every way and form. After breakfast, ably made by Ken and Retha Reece, the colors were hoisted, men in formation and the Watauga Valley Fife and Drum Corp all saluted what was to turn out to be a beautiful day. It’s such a pleasure to see Capt. Bogart move the men through their paces as they moved through the commands with style.

Throughout the day, craftsmen demonstrated their skills and the public came out in drones. There was a tinsmith, Shay Lelegren and his lovely wife,  who came from Kentucky and his wares and skills were something to admire. A wrought iron worker came and had some -forgive me for saying- YUMMY ironware. Retha and I were busy preparing our contributions towards the communal meals, she in the Talbot house and me in the poor cabin. The commander was busy drilling the troups, Captain Chris Taylor demonstrated the fine art of flax making. Ron Lail warped his monster inkle loom and yours truly, when I wasn’t burning something, was weaving or putting the finishing touches on Bob Penland’s new linsey-woolsey shirt. Bob makes a wonderful tavern keeper; it was so cosy and comfortable. The primitive camp was down in the trees and Tall Bear was keeping guard. Come evening, we all shared a communal meal the likes of which we haven’t seen since Thanksgiving. Diana and Artie O’Neil, Sherry and Dave Shook, Gail and Richard  Ellis- and the list goes on, we all shared and ate until we couldn’t . A special mention of a recent member, Travis Souther, who travels from Boone- so eager, so courteous and such a wonderful addition.

The weekend’s  half over and I can’t wait to take up the mantle of 18th century living again tomorrow.

Feb. 21

“Tomorrow” came and went. Today was even more beautiful than yesterday, if that’s even possible. Colors flew at 10 AM to a resounding huzzah, but before that Ken and Reetha made a breakfast fit for Kings! Even George would have pinned a medal on these two. Sweet potato pancakes and bacon never tasted so good. Bob Penland, our wonderful tavern keeper,  made fresh coffee and  came out with a 13  egg concoction including potatoes, sausage, ham, fresh thyme and cheese that was mindboggling. We all sat around totally sated; if the fort had been under attack, we would have been hurting, for sure.

Capt. Chad conducted a terrific frontier worship service and then everyone went about their business. Col. Bob McCroskey taught us how to finger weave, Ronnie Lail was making a period leather bag, Reetha, Ken Reece and Mike Coon demonstrated frontier domestic  work in the Talbot House and the poor cabin, Chad was making quill pens and people were signing documents. Capt. Taylor was demonstrating linen making, Jacob and Earl Slagle, Tall Bear and friends showed the best part of primitive camp living. Our new friend, Travis Souther, learned the fine art of sewing and Molly Spyder grappled with an inkle loom on steroids.

In spite of seeming so busy, today was a bucolic day. Friends stopped, shared tales, laughter and the comraderie was something born of the pure joy of being together on such a day. All days should be as  great as yesterday and today.

Retha sent me picture so check out the Webshot album : February 2010 Life on Frontier

Check out the video of Capt. Chris Talor demonstrating flax processing:




Filed under 2010 Regiment activity, Sycamore Shoals Historical Site


  1. Thanks for allowing us to come down from KY and visit. Thanks again to Ken and Retha Reece for the food. The weather was lovely.

    Shay Lelegren


  2. ramonaato

    I know I speak for all of us when I say that you and your wife were a pleasure to meet. It was amazing to see what you do and the beautiful and graceful wares that you had. We sincerely hope that you can come back and hope that your trip home was pleasant and safe. Thank you again for coming.


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