Friday, December 12, 2014

Prospects of Peace: Harpers Ferry

Over the first weekend in December I participated in an event I have wanted to experience for some time: an event at Harpers Ferry National Park. It was amazing being in the town in period dress, visiting the different exhibits and occupying one of the historic buildings. The event was Captain Flagg's 1864 US Quartermaster City. It was an AGSAS sanctioned event and since I am a candidate for membership in the group, I decided to attend.

Since I just started a new job I couldn't head out until around 4:30 and arrived in Harpers Ferry about 8:00 pm. Polly Steenhagen had arranged for several of us to stay in the Master Armorer's House. It is located just down the street from John Brown's fort.

This structure includes a visitor's center downstairs and a four bedroom apartment upstairs used to house interns and volunteers.

The apartment has a living room, one bathroom and small kitchen.

Period graffiti has been preserved under glass in the bathroom and kitchen section of the house.
I shared a room with Sherri and Sami. Our bedroom included two wardrobes and two chest of drawers. The room was huge.

Through the door in the above picture is the porch. 

As you can see, Saturday was not the best weather for an event or for public visitation. Sunday was much better. But we were inside the Confectionery and out of the weather. 

Saturday started with a reenactor meeting, including Santa Claus. Thank goodness they had a huge tent to stay out of the rain. 


For the last few years, Faith Mark Hintzen makes goodies to "sell" in the Confectionery. She prints script to give the soldiers who then use it to "buy" sweets. She had pies, cookies, breads, and candies. 

The other part of the house was the living quarters for the Roeders who originally owned the Confectionery. (You're not seeing double, the photos were taken on different days)

The are four rooms upstairs but they are not open to the public. It is reached by the stairs behind the orange colored door in this picture. I did sneak a peek at the stairs. 
In an ironic twist, the Confectionery has a Hopewell furnace; the Hopewell site doesn't have a Hopewell furnace. 

Since the weather was so bad, we had few visitors which gave me a chance to get out and look around town and the other exhibits. 


The Confectionery also has a basement, which housed the kitchen.

During the event the basement was used for a candy making workshop. 

Saturday concluded with a catered turkey dinner. After dinner we went back to the apartment, warmed up and relaxed.

Sunday was a much better day, bright and sunny but a bit cold. 

We had more visitors because of the more pleasant weather and one of the rangers joined us. I still got out and roamed a bit. 


Two of our visitors were soldiers, female soldiers. Their impression was great! They really tried to hide that they were women. It was really difficult to tell until up close or talking to them, but even then they looked and sounded like young men.

We started cleaning up about 4:00 and left about 5:00. I really had a great time. Being able to stay in a historic building and populate the town in period dress was really great. I with the weather had been better, but I still had a great time. 


Additional photos can be found here.