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Sweet muster

August 27, 2012 Think THF

Last Saturday and Sunday was the second annual 1812 Muster at Greenfield Village, and it did not disappoint. Having enjoyed the event last year, we were eager to see what the second year brought.

For visitors familiar with the very large Civil War encampment and muster that is part of the Civil War Remembrance weekend, this event is on a smaller scale but still chock full of fun and information.

A reenactor demonstrates a musket from the period – explaining the difference between guns used during the War of 1812 compared with the Civil War.

The Porches and Parlor district of the village was bustling with activity. The living quarters for the reenactors – aka tents – were set up on stretch of green between a few of the historic homes. Throughout the district, there were demonstrations and merchant tents that gave us a glimpse of life in the early 1800s.

The milliner fits a handmade hat on a visitor.

We enjoyed visiting the merchant tents. The millinery was an active spot with many hats to try. There was a men’s hat maker, pewterer, a textiles’ seller and a wax portrait artist.

Textile reproductions were displayed and available for purchase.

This hat maker is demonstrating how men’s felt hats were made by stretching the material on hat blocks.

Left: A pewterer uses authentic molds and pewter-casting processes to create coins, buttons, spoons and other small items. Right: this artisan explains the process of creating intricate miniature bas-relief wax portraiture.

My six-year-old daughter Lillian was completely taken with the beautiful wax portraits displayed and made by Donna Weaver. Ms. Weaver gave Lillian a business card so we could look at some more of the portraits online. Throughout the day, Lillian clutched that card, calling it her “ticket” to the Internet. We’ve since visited and admired the work on the site three or four times.

The surgeon demonstrates on my husband Richard the process of bleeding a patient, a common practice during the time. The kids watch and are duly grossed out.

We spent the most time in the surgeon’s tent. The presenter was so well informed and had a large display of instruments, tinctures and other treatments that would have been used during the War of 1812.

The doctor demonstrates how leeches and wet cupping were used for medicinal bloodletting.

My children and others were eager to enlist and participate in the children’s recruitment.

Ten-year-old Henry signs up to enlist in the military.

After receiving their enlistment papers, new recruits were ordered to visit the doctor who would declare if they were fit for duty.

Left: The doctor determines that Lillian has enough teeth to successfully tear open a paper musket cartridge. Right: Doing a quick eyesight check, he asks a young recruit, “How many fingers do you see?”

Once they passed medical inspection, recruits were issued their muskets and some instructions.

Left: A commanding officer talks to his newest troops. Right: The guns were bigger than (some of) the soldiers.

It was a perfect day to learn some early 19th-century military drills.

Recruits listen carefully to instructions as they learn about formations.

Tactical drills and cannon firing was part of the military demonstrations during the 1812 Muster.

In addition to all the good stuff outside, the Luther Burbank Birthplace was repurposed into a display venue for some rarely seen artifacts of the era that are part of the collections at The Henry Ford.

This lusterware pitcher and other rare artifacts from the Collections at the Henry Ford were displayed at the Luther Burbank Birthplace.

Items displayed included muskets and military artifacts, clothing, needlepoint and artwork and other household items.

Left: Gentlemen’s clothing items from the Collections included outdoor and dress attire. Right: A ladies’ at-home dress and a dress for a child.

Rounding out events were lectures, period music, a fashion show and cooking demonstrations.

It was a great day. Be sure to check out more photos of the event on The Henry Ford’s Facebook page.

Civil War

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