Saturday, September 19, 2015

For Cause and Country

The weekend of September 12  I attended For Cause and Country; a living history event at Fort Washington, Maryland.

 The scenario I participated in was the Sanitary Commission Fair.

Rather than making a new dress for this event, I spent time producing "fancy goods" for a booth. I decided to make pen wipers and pin cushions. Three of the pen wipers were based on originals.

Another pen wiper I based on images found on patriotic envelopes of the time.

I used cross stitch rather than needlepoint.

The pin cushions were also based, more or less, on originals.

I arrived on site on Friday evening and many people were there setting up.

The sunset over the Potomac was beautiful.

I stayed off site; however, those staying used the two buildings on site. The Sanitary Fair was also in the building in this first picture. 

Saturday was not the best as far as weather was concerned; it rained all day and was humid. But I was inside an air conditioned building so didn't suffer too much.

We had several booths: my fancy goods booth (which turned out more shoes and parasols for sale), baked goods, candies, relics and curiosities, post office, industry table, music, and a display of Scottish items.


Because of the rain we didn't have many visitors; we were prepared for them, but alas...

At one point I decided to get out a bit and left the fort. Upon my return I was stopped and a pass was required. I did not have a pass, but one was quickly written up for me.

This would come in handy on Sunday. After acquiring the pass I noticed that the tie from my hoop had come undone and was dragging in the dirt so I requested to use one of the rooms off the guard's room to remedy the issue. It was quite harmless as the room was dark and I turned my back. However, upon leaving the room I noticed all the gentlemen had turned their backs to the area. I thought it a nice touch.

Also during the day we had a poetry reading of Tam O'Shanter performed by Mr. Duffy. The poem is quite long and written in old Scottish dialect so a bit difficult to understand. That is where Mrs. Duffy comes in and she translated the gist of the poem after the recital. 

Saturday night was a dance with a nice musical group as well as a
dance group. I didn't stay very long as a friend needed a ride to the Metro so we left early and I returned to my hotel.

Sunday morning I returned to the fort and used my pass. As I entered the troops were in formation getting the day's orders. As I approached them I offered my pass to the commander, who first thanked me for playing into the scenario and then proceeded to use my pass to illustrate to the troops what to look for when visitor's arrived at the fort.

I entered the site just in time for church. I am not a religious person; however, the message at this service was delivered very well by the young preacher. I did not participate in the Communion but enjoyed the service very much.

 After the service I went back to the Fair hall. Sunday turned out to be a beautiful day, cool with a light breeze. Some of the ladies required their shawls. We had many more visitors on this day. Part of the visitor's experience was to sign in and then they were given stamps with which they could buy candies and baked goods. Some of the visitors were a little surprised by this but really got into it, picking out different things to try. I thought this interaction was a great idea and it was well carried out by the fair organizers.

I'm sorry for the lack of photos; we were told there was only one person authorized to take pictures so I tried to honor that and not pull out the phone too often. Tim Massey took many photos at the event and you can find some on the "For Cause and Country" Facebook page and on Tim Massey's Facebook page.

All in all I had a decent time at the Sanitary Commission Fair. I would like to see it expanded a bit and perhaps a few other fair activities. However, the organizers did a great job with it this year and really tried to recreate a period Fair for the participants as well as the public.

1 comment:

OldFashionGirl said...

You made such pretty things! I love your posts and sewing projects! Keep 'em up!