The raid at Martin’s Station was this weekend and it was really nice. I have to say that the battle recreation was very exciting, especially with seeing all the Natives in motion.
Most of the members got to the site at various times on Friday, which was their “school day”. Ken, Retha, Melanie and Sharli and girls came sometime Wednesday.
This was my first time inside this Wilderness Trail State Park. I’ve passed this place dozens of times on the way to my haunts in Kentucky without knowing what it was or how significant this area was to our local history. This was the original “Wild West” and reading about the life of Joseph Martin, imagining what went on there, almost seeing Daniel Boone walking though the trees gives gives those with imagination plenty to dream about.
This was the 10th anniversary of the Raid reenactment and it was very well attended. Some placed the numbers of reenactors at around 450. Further, it’s very strictly run so that the public sees authentic recreations of settlers camps and doings.
The weather was pretty nice, though hot up until Friday night. What happened when the cold front came in vied for first place in terms of excitement. The Washington Co. Militia was set in the middle of perhaps 50 other camps, natives were in the trees nearby and the sutlers were below the hill. At 1 AM , it started to rain but I had read that this front coming from the North West was going to pass fast so I wasn’t too concerned UNTIL the winds began blowing some time around 2 AM. By 4 AM, it was near cyclonic and in every area of the park, the tents were begining to crumble and the sound of tents and flies going TWUMP,TWUMP, TWUMP as they blew in and out was like bellows. You could hear people outside tap, tap tapping, trying to reposition their ropes while canvas was weezing and expanding. Chris, to the right of Mike and I, rapidly lost his fly. Our fly and tent almost collapsed. Bob McCroskey’s big fly looked more like a big bat, wings spread and ready for take- off. Ronnie, to the other side of us, got it the worst as his whole camp, tent, fly and everything else collapsed around him. He actually got a pretty nasty cut over his eye when he got hit by his ridge pole and the next day he went to the registration area asking for FEMA relief. This went on until somewhere around 6 AM and then it got pretty chilly but nice. The winds never left after that though.
The day went pretty well even though there were a lot of tired people in all camp areas. There was a lot of activity , from viewings of famous artists’ works in the visitor’s center to seminars to contests. The battles were terrific with a lot of shooting, whooping and hollering and posturing.
I left on Saturday night as Sunday was Mother’s Day but from what I heard, attendance was light so most of the unit was gone early in the morning.
I think organization and good publicity has made this event something to go to for reenactors and public alike and I’m looking foward to going again next year.
Check out the Southern Indian Department Pics (Courtesy of Ronnie)