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Women on the Frontier at
Fort Boonesborough

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Guest Speaker Randolph Hollingsworth

June 20-22 2008

Photos by Jim and Kathy Cummings

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The Skills
Competition

Some of the many participants in the 2008 Women on the Frontier. This photo was taken on Sunday morning and our apologies to those who attended Saturday only and did not make the photo!

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With a full day of classes and hands on seminars - everyone was eager to get started.

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Clare Sipple, Preserve Manager at Lower Howards Creek spoke on Native Plants, Trees and Their Uses

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Basic Horsesense with Larry McQuown - basic knowledge of horsemanship in the 18th century and today.

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Laura Willyard presened this session on the basics of campfire cooking, including choosing the right wood, starting and tending a cookfire, dutch oven basics and fire safety.

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The Gentlemen of Salt River Longrifles taught “Flintlocks for Beginners” and there was certainly no shortage of folks wanting to learn. Special thanks to Larry Wilcher and Tommy Barnett (above) Carl King (at right) and Tony Richardson (far right).

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Making candles by traditional 18th century methods was conducted by Debby Jenkins. After tthe discussion on 18th century lighting and a candle making demonstration - the children got some “hands on time.”

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Native re-enactor Jim Green (left) presented an indepth session focusing on the lives of frontier women taken captive by the Indians. Most people are surprised to learn that most Indian captives were reluctant to return to the white world. Green is pictured above with Scott Heasley.

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Featured Guest Speaker Randolph Hollingsworth - Her topic - “Searching for the Real Rebecca Boone: The Idea of Womanhood in Early Kentucky History”. Visitors sat on the hillside near the half face shelter for this presentation.

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Veteran re-enactor Krista Graves (left) presented a hands-on seminar demonstrating techniques for construction of a kerchief, with an emphasis on sewing techniques, styles and the types of materials which were available in early Kentucky.

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Interested faces at every session spoke of the high quality of speakers gathered by event planner Melanie Kuntz. Some sessions were repeated from last year - specifically for newcomers, while other new sessions were added this year.

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Basketweaver Arlene Mattingly demonstrated and discussed basic basket weaving and construction. Her daughter, veteran reenactor Kristi Heasley, gave us a concise look at the use and construction of baskets on the frontier.

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Larry Wilcher and Bill Farmer, Fort Boonesborough’s Living History Coordinator, will demonstrate firestarting with flint and steel. All participants got to try their hand at starting a fire by this traditional 18th century method. Farmer also spoke on Sunday of “All Things Natural” a program about how the early settlers used natural objects found on the frontier to replace everyday items which were lost, broken or left behind in the “civilized world”.

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Sessions were attended not only by re-enactors but members of the visiting public also.

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Building a Persona and the Basics of First Person Interpretation was presented by Melanie Kuntz. This session covered the basics of researching and developing a persona, first person interpretation, and tips and techniques for interacting with the public.

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Sunday morning found participants at a brief worship service held by Dennis “Doc” Muzzy. It was followed by an “Old Time Hymn Sing” conducted by Martha and Roseanne Gordon. This session combined the history of religious hymns along with worship and filled the fort “with a joyful noise unto to the Lord.”

Photos from The Skills Competition

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Read  A Frontier Travel
 Account from  2007

Link to the Fort Boonesborough Living History Web Site for more from Women on the Frontier

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One of the benefits of an overnight trip to the fort - for me is the morning mist and the sun rising over the fort!

                         Kathy Cummings

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