This is our second tour of duty at Fort Frederica National Monument and Tom and I are enjoying it even more than last year. The weather is beautiful (60 to 75 and mostly sunny) and there isn’t any snow. Best of all, we get to work with lots of great people. There are four other volunteer RV couples here. One couple does maintenance but everyone else is an interp volunteer. On Saturdays and Sundays all the volunteers set up a colonial village at Fort Frederica.
Last year it was just Tom and me doing living history on Saturdays. We hauled all the stuff out, set it up, and I did all the cooking. On days when we were busy, neither of us would get a restroom break. Sometimes we were so busy we didn’t even get to eat the food I made.
Our colonial village this year is a lot more fun. We still have to haul everything out and set it up but there are usually five or six of us working together. We each set up and are in charge of a specific area. I have spinning and my textiles talk. Marcia does candles and colonial lighting. Gail usually tends the fire and does the money talk. Phil has developed a nice carpenter’s talk. Nell talks about the uses for Spanish Moss. Tom does blacksmithing.
All of us are set up every Saturday and Sunday and the guests love the colonial village. We have a father and young daughter who live nearby and are now walking over every Saturday to see what is going on. People who live on the island bring guests over so frequently we are learning their names. Instead of spending an hour visiting, our guests stay for three or four hours, talking to us, asking questions, and learning.
My favorite part is being able to step in for each other. All the women can give each other’s talks. If we need to take a break we can. We rotate tending the fire and checking on things that are cooking. We also rotate who is cooking what. So one day I might make a stew while Gail bakes a cake and Marcia makes corn pone. We can show off a variety of colonial cooking without the burden of one person doing it all.
I love our living history colonial village. Working with other people you enjoy makes the work more fun. And when the living historians are having fun, visitors to Fort Frederica have fun as well.