Tuesday, February 20, 2018

James City County Militia encampment at the Yorktown Victory Celebration 2010

The Yorktown Victory Center delivers on its promise to inform the visitor of the collective American and French defeat of the British under the command of George Washington on October 19, 1781.

I had the pleasure of visiting during the Yorktown Victory Celebration on October 16th. The museum invited Revolutionary War re-enactors to display camp life, cooking, fife & drum music and militia drill. I was awed by the spot-on impressions and the exact nature of the participants.

I spent a bit of time with the James City County Militia. These folks are actually a Roger’s Rangers Battalion that also provides a Revolutionary War impression when they need to.  If their Roger’s Rangers portrayal is as good as their Revolutionary War impression, I want to experience it!

Dennis Loba Militia Private

Dennis Loba portrays a private in the James City County Militia. Dennis described the use of a flintlock fowler by this member of the Militia. Note the forestock is cut-back to accept a bayonet. Dennis’ powder horn was made by Lee Larkin, who is a master horner with The Honourable Company of Horners (www.hornguild.org).

Bruce Roberts Camp Artisan

Bruce Roberts is the camp artisan. If his company needs a horn scrimmed, a sheath stitched, a flintlock made or anything bodged at all Bruce is their man. Bruce’s alter ego is Gideon Lott.

Gideon Lott His Horn 1756

Now this is a neat powder measure arrangement. The measure is on a thong threaded through a hole in the stopper. You cannot lose your stopper!

William Blair lights his pipe.

William Blair’s persona is that of a common soldier, today he is a camp cook. Note his patched over-shirt protecting his clothing.

There are about thirty members of the Jaeger’s Battalion in Virginia, see their website at www.rogersrangers.com.

The website for the Yorktown Victory Center is www.historyisfun.org.

Old Salem, NC a haven for old-time gunsmithing and Moravian History

My girlfriend, Pam, and I went to Old Salem for a fun day In September. It was a beautiful day with low humidity for the Piedmont, which is always welcome. We hit the MESDA (Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts) and various artisan and craftsman venues offered there.

Drew Neill is the shoemaker. Drew was kind enough to tell me about the brogan or work shoe of the 1840’s period. Here is Drew explaining how the “last” would be built up with leather to be the same shape as the customer’s foot so the finished shoe would be a custom fit.

As a fan of such things as antiques, Moravian and North Carolina history, flintlock rifles, leather working and wood turning where else would I want to be on a beautiful North Carolina day? (And I want to thank Pam for never rushing me though museums or living history events.)

Here is just a little bit about the history of Old Salem. It was founded as Salem in 1766 by the Moravians, who were ex-Europeans who came down the Great Wagon Road from Pennsylvania, to establish a religious community. While Old Salem is not an operational religious community today, it retains its Moravian flavor through the painstaking restoration of the original buildings, the staff in period clothing and their sharing of the town’s history.

Our Old-Salem day began at the MESDA. Our guide through the museum was Jenny Garwood. Jenny was conversant on anything I asked about. The museum has many period interiors from simple to quite fancy antique southern homes. You begin the tour in a simple room with simple furnishings and wind your way through doors leading from one reassembled interior to another. The rooms are filled with antiques and art that are appropriate to each room’s period of history. The tour ends with seeing the MESDA’s collection of longrifles and shooting accouterments. You will see super rifles from makers such as Kennedy and Vogler.

No pictures are allowed in the museum so you won’t see any here.

Here is the exterior of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts. (Copyright pamlappegardphotography.com)

Bill Bailey is a real-deal gunsmith working in the Vogler Gunshop across from the MESDA. Bill’s historical impression is of an 1840’s gunmaker. He nails it! (Copyright pamlappegardphotography.com)

Bill Bailey tells the history of the Vogler Gunshop. (Copyright pamlappegardphotography.com)

Here is Bill's personal powder horn and bag. (Copyright pamlappegardphotography.com)

Blake Stevenson is the guy in charge of the Vogler Gunshop. Blake is a hands-on interpreter as well as the department head. Here is Blake with his copy of a Vogler rifle (with the iconic eagle patchbox). It is a shooter and has not been babied. It could pass for an original.

Here is Blake’s Personal horn with his own engraving. He says that his scratching is better these days, but I really like the folksy quality of this engraving.

I am lucky that Old Salem is just an hour and a half from me so I can go back soon. There are other artisan shops that I have not written about, but I will when I go back next year.

Here is the link to Old Salem. www.oldsalem.org

Thanks for reading,
Rick Sheets

Announcing The 14th Annual CLA Show, “Certifiably Native”

July 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Events, Fine Artist, Related Trades

“Certifiably Native”
The 14th Annual Contemporary Longrifle Association Show And Live Auction

by guest author, T.C. Albert

The central theme of this year’s upcoming live auction held during the 14th Annual Contemporary Longrifle Show is “made by, used by”, or made “for” Native Americans. With that in mind our contributing CLA members have crafted and donated an assortment of the finest contemporary Native American “trade” items available today. There will be quill work, leather work, decorated powder horns, firearms, trade silver, cutlery, finger woven bags, museum documented re-creations, researched copies, and inspired artist interpretations. All this and more will be found among the items up for bid, and it took the talent and generosity of many of the nation’s top artists to make this world class assemblage available to you.
Some of these items were made by the combined talents of several artisans working together, each making the part that they are best known for and capable of, while other items were made by dedicated individual artists who spent patient hours at their solitary work benches . Many of these artists will be well known to you already, and have well earned international reputations, while some are craftsmen on the rise, working hard and being inspired as word of their talent and accomplishment grows. Whether it’s made by a team, an individual, a veteran craftsman, or a talented and emerging artist, every item donated this year conveys the Contemporary Longrifle Association’s continuing standard of excellence and exemplifies this year’s theme of being “Certifiably Native.”
As in the past years, The 14th Annual Contemporary Longrifle Show will once again be held at the Lexington Convention Center in Lexington Kentucky. The show dates for this year are August 20th and 21st, with the live auction being held on Friday the 20th at 4:00 pm.

You can contact the CLA for more information about the auction, the artists, or bidding by telephone at 1-540-886-6189 or e-mail your question to cla@longrifle.ws.
Alternately you may write us at:
PO Box 2247
Staunton, VA 24402

See the website at www.longrifle.ws

The Artists

Todd Bitler
6333 Ewen Circle
Grove City, OH 43123
Phone: 614-305-3773

James Blake
143 Chambersburg St.
Gettysburg, PA 17325
Phone: 717-334-9444

Roland Cadle
PO Box 560
Claysburg, PA 16625
Phone: 814-312-1825 or 814-696-1379

Dave and Diane Chambers
(Please see in person at the CLA show in August.)

Tom Conde
P.O. Box 155
Mouth of Wilson, VA. 24363
Phone: 276-579-6718

Art DeCamp
2210 Acorn Circle
Huntingdon, PA. 16652
Phone: 814-643-6343 or 814-386-1889

Rich Dillon
703 Saturn Dr.
Effort, PA 18330
Phone: 484-357-2874

Ken Gahagan,
9401 Woodcrest Rd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15237
Phone: 724-713-1936
Email: kgahagan4@gmail.com

Mike Galban
PO box 94
Victor NY 14564
Phone: 585-398-2276

Tom Gifford
2060 Ogle Rd.
Gatlinburg, Tenn. 37738
Phone: 513-504-6693

David Hughes
3803 Shepard Rd.
Gibsonia, PA 15044
Phone: 412-302-9590
Email: dhughes@consolidated.net

Frank and Lally House
PO Box 257
Paris, KY 40361
Phone: 859-707-5429 or 859-707-9677

Steve Lodding
6510 West Elcampo Grande
Las Vegas, NV 89190
Phone: 702-656-6085
Email: patentbreech1@embarqmail.com

Glenn McClain
7896 N. Bear Creek Rd.
Morgantown IN 46160-9064
Phone : 812-597-5885

Joe Mills
2202 Sheffield Court,
Owensboro, KY 42301

Cameron Pitkethley
72 Roxborough Dr.,
Sudbury, ON. Canada, P3E1J7
Phone: 705-674-9588

Ian Pratt
17775 Warwick Rd.,
Marshallville, OH 44645
Phone: 330-658-4049

John Proud
686 Sterling Park,
Courtland, NY 13045
Phone: 607-756-2207
Email: JProud1@twcny.rr.com

Joe Seabolt
6794 Gaynor Rd.
Goshen, OH 45122
Phone: 513-722-4321

Mike Small
41 Lodge Rd.
Hedgesville, WV 25427
Phone: 304-754-8053

Calvin Tanner
218 U.S. Rt. 50
Bainbridge, OH 45612
phone number: 740-634-3579

Michael J. Taylor
222 Twain Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45233

Joe Valentin
6732 W. Marlette St.
Marlette, MI 48453
Phone: 989-635-4177

Penny Wayne,
9210 Sonora Rd.
Sonora, KY 42776
Phone: 270-369-8474

Shawn and Amanda Webster
172 Wind Song Way
Adolphus, KY 42120
Phone: 270- 618-3451
Email: websterquillwork@yahoo.com

David Gillespie – Carver of Slate Tombstones – Pickens, SC

David Gillespie is a stone cutter; he creates period correct tomb and gravestones from slate.

David Gillespie is standing by his latest work. This stone is loosely based upon the Nathan Basset Stone, the first portrait stone in America. The original is at the Circular Church in Charleston, SC.

Why slate? David says it is as permanent as granite, is easier to work with and has better detail. And unlike marble it is impervious to acid rain. But I am sure the most important part of all is the way the material responds to the folk artist’s hands using only tools available two hundred years ago.

David says the basics of carving the slate are similar to wood. And David admits he would rather cut stone than wood. He can cut left or right without worry of the grain changing. But don’t let that statement about wood fool you. David can build a credible Gillespie rifle! And curiously he is not a descendant of the Gillespie rifle building clan.

David and his wife Renee, who is a spinner and artist, attend many events in period costume to demonstrate their skills. Their website has a schedule posted.

Please visit PumpkinTownPrimitives.com to see many samples of this folk artist family’s work.