Thursday, July 09, 2015

Living History at Fort Atkinson

Our whirlwind summer continues! We've driven to Utah and back, then all the way out to New York and up to Vermont where I'm currently camped out in the kitty-free zone with my sister Callie (thank you allergies). We could give you a riveting report on the day which would include a cranky baby, delayed flights, and oodles of projectile vomit (Eila) or a listless toddler, lengthy car ride, and spikey high fever (Annie.)  

Instead, let's recollect the wonders of modern medicine by recalling how they used to treat the ill.  Here's Talia being bled by a practitioner during the Living History days in June at Fort Atkinson, Nebraska.  Don't worry, if the bleeding had been unsuccessful, they might have applied slugs.

While we'd visited Fort Atkinson before, the living history reenactments made this trip extra special.  During the 1820s, this military outpost was the largest in the nation, housing over 1000 U.S. soldiers, one fifth of the army at the time.  Established to protect the fur trade, the fort only experienced one small skirmish in 1823.  Even so, one might have occasionally heard a cannon.

Ready, steady...


Eli thought the cannon was pretty loud.

This commanding officer gave a marvelous speech reminding us all about the true significance of Memorial Day.

A solemn march in memory of our fallen soldiers.

The kids had so much fun watching these two women make beautiful lace.

What a magnificent talent!

Naturally we had to stop by the blacksmith shop as well.  It was well-worth the trip, if only to see this beard.

Hard at work forging a spoon.

Before too long, we were in need of refreshment, easily procured at the general store.

Afterward, we watched the youth dance...

...and talked to the fur traders.

Interestingly enough, the primary reason the army abandoned the fort in 1827 was fashion.  The fur trade lost its importance when styles changed and the silk stove pipe top hat replaced the beaver felt hat.

No matter what the style, baby dolls will always be in fashion.

For all the sick babes here, get well soon!

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