Ontario Re-Visited ~ Life as a Re-enactor
Several years ago, Judi and I became interested in the War of 1812. The bicentennial was coming up and Judi and wanted to become involved in promoting it. As a result, we visited a number of re-enactments and talked to several re-enactors. The first re-enactment we watched was the Battle of Stoney Creek. After that we talked to a number of re-enactment participants. Here are two excerpts from Judi’s War of 1812 Blog.
“Chris Robin’s says part of the “sense of authenticity is to feel the vibe of the 1812 Era … or period of history being portrayed through “living history”. As an example, some encampment areas use authentic canvas tents. Chris jokes with me telling me that as he and a few of his regiment are becoming “advanced in age”, they sneak out to the local hotels for the evening, get a good rest, warm shower, and sneak back into camp before anyone else gets up and is the wiser. It doesn’t distract the visual authenticity for the public. Again, Chris laughs when he told me about a time the were participating in a re-enactment at Chryslers Farm in modern tents… the torrential rains literally flooded the tents… when Chris and his buddies woke, they saw their shoes floating around in the flooded tent. At one point, Mr. Robins regiment used “wooden canteens” to help stay “authentic”, but as he told me they were utterly useless as mold and cracks cancelled this idea quickly. Chris says they still wear them, but hid modern recycle able water bottles under their frocks. Now Chris and his buddies say the invention of “stainless steel canteens” are more authentic with time and assist with this ongoing issue.”
“The excitement of the event was overwhelming. I could not believe that I was about to be at the exact place where the first battle of the War of 1812 was fought and where the Major General had died. I would be marching the 12.5 km and then the 3 battles that the militia was in, for the first battle was solely fought by the 41st.”
Original historic “Art Sketch” by Susan ‘Shadow’ Caron