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.
The Porches and Parlors 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.
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.
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.
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.
My children and others were eager to enlist and participate in the children’s recruitment.
After receiving their enlistment papers, new recruits were ordered to visit the doctor who would declare if they were fit for duty.
Once they passed medical inspection, recruits were issued their muskets and some instructions.
It was a perfect day to learn some early 19th-century military drills.
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.
Items displayed included muskets and military artifacts, clothing, needlepoint and artwork and other household items.
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.