Happy Holidays! Wow-what a year! Writing this month's blog has been more difficult than I thought it would be. In 2020, I haven't been able to attend a reenactment event. Besides a contentious Presidential election, we have had to endure a Coronavirus pandemic that appears not to be under control any time in the foreseeable future. Add a recession to this mess makes for a stressful year. Plus, I have been working remotely from home since the middle of March. Luckily, everyone I know is well and healthy.
Not attending reenactments has me appreciate the 5 core events I regularly attend most years. Also, since I live so close to Valley Forge National Historical Park, I'll visit as often as possible to photograph something unique.
Every June I look forward to the Battle of Monmouth reenactment. I have so many good photos, over the years,from this event. It is an easy drive from my home in the western Philly suburbs, only about 1 1/2 using the PA & NJ turnpikes. Here are my comments about this event from my first blog posted in June 2018
Why do I enjoy this event so much? Its location is one reason. When walking behind the visitor’s center, you stop and gaze. There are clusters of trees sporadically growing everywhere. In the middle of the field is a big grass area gently sloping downward. In the distance is a large cornfield. The entire area is green throughout. It’s so stately. This awe feeling comes over me every time I visit.
When fall arrives in October, the Battle of Germantown reenactment occurs. For me, it's also a short 30-minute drive from the western suburbs to North Philly. This year there was the Revolutionary Germantown festival but with no reenactments and a limited number of reenactors. It felt great attending any event this year, even if it wasn't the same!
Amazingly, the original stone house that was so pivotal in the outcome of the day's battle still exists with visible bullet holes and cannon indentions in the walls. In 2020, I photographed the reenactment from the 2nd floor. What a special, unique opportunity it was to be permitted to do this. It was a tight fit with everyone crammed together. And wow, was it loud. It provided me an idea of what it must have felt for the British soldiers defending this house during the battle.
Visiting Ft Mifflin is an easy drive for me. It's right next to the Philadelphia International airport, a 20-minute trip. The first time visiting was in 2007. It reminded me of the time, as a young boy with my family, initially seeing Ft. Ticonderoga. Both forts appear so massive with their high stone walls and flags flapping in the wind. There is something magical about visiting these magnificent structures that is hard to describe. Maybe you feel the same?
In 1776, a British Navy bombardment destroyed Ft. Mifflin. The fort started to rebuild in 1794. Ghosts, including a screaming woman, supposedly haunt it. Ft. Mifflin conducts numerous paranormal programs & events yearly. Reenactors who have stayed overnight said they heard voices. Not exactly a restful night's sleep!
Thank you for reading. Blog # 31 will be posted in January 2021. Be safe & well!