Third Colonial Day at Fort Frederica

Because it is our third year working at Fort Frederica, it is also our third Colonial Day at Fort Frederica.  Colonial Day is the celebration of the colonists arriving at Fort Frederica in March of 1736.  So we have lots of living history people, demonstrations, and hands-on activities at this special event.

Our third Colonial Day was the biggest so far.  Almost 1,000 people visited the Fort, not including the 60 or so that were working the event.  We spent most of the week setting up tents and tarps and sprucing up the grounds.  People started arriving to set up Friday evening.  Tom and Michael worked until 7:30 helping folks unload.

General Oglethorpe and Ranger Denise

The first people here on Saturday were the Spanish (The Spanish are invading!)  They always have a very nice setup with six to eight Spanish soldiers who are experienced at firing the cannon.  We also had four soldiers from Fort Mose, a fort manned by free black men and escaped slaves loyal to the Spanish.  This year there was room in the budget to hire Camp Flintlock.  They recruited British soldiers and did some colonial crafts.  I especially enjoyed the person who played the fife.

Rare picture of me demonstrating

All the Fort Frederica volunteers and staff were on hand.  Jude did candlemaking, Tom was the blacksmith.  One crew of volunteers manned the cannon and muskets.  Jane and her grandson Jimmy led colonial games and Cameron talked about woodworking.  We had a visiting doctor, Brad, with lots of 18th century medical instruments.  Denise talked about dyeing, and I did textiles with my spinning and weaving.  Jim Sawgrass returned as Tomochichi and Scott Hughes came as General Oglethorpe.

All of us working spent the entire day talking to people.  I got a few pictures when people were first setting up in the morning, but after 10 a.m. I didn’t have a free moment.  Tom always had a big crowd at the blacksmith’s forge.  Michael, in charge of the black powder, spent the entire day by the river, not even getting a lunch break.  We were supposed to have floaters who relieved us for lunch and a restroom break, but everyone was just too busy!  Steve, Denise, and Bob spent the entire day directing traffic, trying to keep the driveway clear.  Dick spent all his time driving a golf cart, ferrying handicapped individuals down to the cannon and musket demonstrations.

The Spanish at the Fort
Dr. Brad
Jude with her candles
Cameron on woodworking
Tom and Jimmy
Fort Frederica cannon crew
Fort Mose cannon crew
Some very special visitors

By the end of the day we were exhausted.  Ranger Ellen and I tried to balance the cash register, but we were so tired that we were having a hard time counting!  Plus there was over $2,000 in sales, which is a huge day for our gift shop.  We all decided not to clean anything but to come back Sunday afternoon to clean up and get ready for the next event.

Our third Colonial Day was definitely the best yet.  Every year gets better, so it will be interesting to see how we top it next year!