Sunday, April 26, 2009

Fort Frederick Market Fair

If there had been events like this when I was in high school, I might have been more interested in American history. As it was, the history professor/football coach whose teaching style consisted of "Read chapters 1 & 2" while he worked on his strategy for the game just didn't cut it.

The 15th Annual Market Fair at Fort Frederick, whose website does not do it justice, was so much fun, we considered going back again today.

135 sutlers in period costume, and at least as many reenactors who were merely camping, pitched rows of white canvas tents that filled the grounds surrounding the fort.

Handmade knives, pottery, tinware, furs, muskets, furniture, treenware, leather accessories, and period clothing were sold by makers who were dressed as colonists, frontiersmen, Indians (some very scantily clad—my mom was thrilled), and Highlanders from the time period of the French and Indian War.

I snapped a photo of two men in Scottish Highlander attire for Ethan—a woodworker who loves kilts. Ethan, I want you to know that I was forced to listen to a naughty Scottish joke in order to get this photo for you.

A Crocodile Dundee look-alike knife maker and other head turners were everywhere. One lady pulled a heavy wooden cart, which was loaded with her wares.

Now, maybe it's just me, but if you're going to be a reenactor and you can wear any outfit or pretend to be any historical person you want, why would you voluntarily choose to be "Ox Cart-Pulling Lady"? Seriously. If I were to be a reenactor, there would be some kind of crown involved.

I met several woodworkers, one of whom was Brian Graham, of Patapsco Valley Woodwright, who builds and sells furniture and handtools and sells antique tools (I bought three handplanes). He worked at a shaving horse that he had made from tiger maple.

Another furniture maker, Dennis Bork, of Antiquity Period Designs, Ltd., set up a double size tent as a showpiece for his cupboards, writing slopes, bed, tables, chairs and other beautifully-made pieces.

Ralph Aument of Fort Augusta Woodworking displayed sawbuck tables, settles, chests, and other pieces and showed me some of his antique tools, including a strap hammer and brace from Colonial Williamsburg.

Richard Toone, of Living History Shop, makes authentic campaign furniture. Some of his pieces can be seen at Monticello, Mt. Vernon,
Yorktown, and the Smithsonian. Richard talked to me at length about joinery methods and historical facts about his furniture. My partner had to drag me out of his tent.

I think my history teacher would be proud.


Chod Lang said...

The rule joint on the bed is extraordinary! Did you get to see it folded down?


A.J. Hamler said...

So, what was the Scottish joke? As a reenactor (although for a different time period), I think I've heard most of them. Hopefully, it's one I haven't heard. [g]


Shazza said...

If you gals ever come down this way we will take you to Allaire Village. There are people who live year round in period clothing and there is a "Village Carpenter" who is a fun guy to watch and listen to.

I think all you carpenter guy/gals must be cut from the same cloth!

Woodfired! said...

Shazza - perhaps that should be hewn from the same log.

Kari Hultman said...

Chod, I didn't see it folded up but I did see the rather small box that transports it when it is.

A.J., it was a joke about his "laddie" winning first prize.

Shazza, sounds great!

Mark, how 'bout "boards of a feather", something like that.

Frontier Carpenter said...

I like the take down oak bed frame, I will have to make me one.

The hammer and brace is nice to. I wish Colonial williamsburg sold tools!

Funny I've always found ox cart woman hot

Anonymous said...

Great post Kari, I really enjoyed all the pictures. Btw, I think a timber framer would be pretty familiar with the tenon poking through another tenon type joint.


Ethan said...

Aren't you the nice one, then, Kari!

The lad on the left is wearing his a bit low, but I love the Argyle stockings!

After one of Chris Schwarz's latest blog entries on kilts, I was SOOOO tempted to show up for class on day one with my "May the Schwarz be with you" shirt and my Irish National kilt.

In the end, though, I decided I'd much rather focus more on hand planing than answering questions about the kilt, so I just wore the shirt. :)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kari Hultman said...

Frontier Carpenter, maybe you could build an ox cart for your wife for her next birthday? Just a thought...heh heh

Pete, I didn't know that's a timber framing joint. Not sure how well it would hold up in furniture, but it was definitely cool looking.

Ethan, glad you liked the picture! So you just wore a shirt to class? Didn't THAT lead to some questions??? (not to mention, shocked expressions)

Deleted Comment Dude, this is no place for religion or porn, let alone from one of my people (Swedish). C'mon!

Presbyfruit's History Bits said...

what did deleted comment guy say? please, please tell me!

Kari Hultman said...

Presby, they were links unrelated to ww. And the one, well, it wasn't exactly porn I guess. More like scantily-clad lassies.

And I AM Presbyterian, you know!

A.J. Hamler said...

Ah, yes; the blue ribbon. However, I first heard it as a song, and not a straight joke. Many is the time I've sung it to entertain my "pards" around the campfire at a few CW reenactments.