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WV DNR News Release
L E G E N D
Facebook: WV Commerce - State Parks
Hoy Murphy, Public Information Officer (304) 957-9365 firstname.lastname@example.org
18TH Century Living Encampment at Beech Fork State Park September 14-16, Legacy of Mary Ingles Weekend
BARBOURSVILLE, W.Va. – The Legacy of Mary Ingles Weekend, in its 24th year, is an 18th century living history event that introduces visitors and guests to life and the ways of pioneering ancestors. Demonstrations and the portrayal of life in 1755 that Mary Ingles lived and encountered is the focus at Beech Fork State Park September 14-16.
Mary was captured in 1755 by Shawnee Indians and carried 500 miles from her home. Years later she escaped and found her way back by traveling alone through the wilderness. It’s been 257 years since Ingles made her trek through the Kanawha Valley and New River areas, and her remarkable story is woven throughout each day of the primitive encampment as well as our current rural Appalachian culture. The presentations feature interpreters and tradesmen and women staged in primitive encampment settings.
“The interpreters will talk, in character, with visitors about the typical work and lives of the pioneers of the 18th century,” said Beech Fork Supt. Matt Yeager. “The presentations are not lecture style. People coming to the park get to participate and be involved with the activities.”
Encampment activities will concentrate on the importance of trade, animal care, spinning and weaving, music, salt making, edible native plants, and medicinal native plants as early healthcare, finger weaving, blacksmithing, candle making, lye soap making, hunting skills, tomahawk throwing, plant dyes, toys and games, wood working, hide tanning, Indian pictographs, women’s and men’s roles, and frontier cooking and foods. Demonstrations are conducted by interpreters at various times throughout the day.
The event is open to the public at Beech Fork State Park September 15-16. The site is handicapped accessible. The encampment, Friday September 14, is designed for school and homeschooled attendance. For information about this event, call 304-528-5794 or visit www.beechforksp.com.
The Legacy of Mary Ingles Weekend schedule
Friday, September 14
School Day invites homeschooled and school fieldtrips to learn about Mary Ingles and the lifestyle of the 18th century. Contact email@example.com to schedule school participation.
John Wysocki will teach period English country dances. English country dancing is open to the public and will be held in the shelter in the encampment field.
Living History Encampment - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A variety of 18th Century life skills will be presented throughout the day. These life skills may include animal use and care, child care, clothing, cricket, life as a captive, medicinal plants, native life, salt production, and tomahawk throwing. The presentations will be a mixture of first-person dialogue and hands-on demonstrations and games. Due to the volunteer nature of our organization, all demonstrations may not be available when you visit.
"PLAY BALL" 18th Century Style - 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
One of the most popular sports with Americans in the 18th century was the English game of cricket, which was being played in the United States as early as 1709. American cricket player and historian Tom Melville will conduct short, informal, 18th Century cricket games. Relive this long lost sporting tradition; games are open to everyone and absolutely no experience is required! Come and discover what "play ball" meant to Americans in the 18th Century.
Tom Melville is an American cricket player who’s been introducing cricket for more than 25 years. He’s the author of Cricket For Americans and The Tented Field: A History of Cricket in America.
“Lunch with Eleanor” - Noon to 2 p.m.
Attendees should bring a sack lunch and enjoy the recollections of Eleanor Lahr as she recounts her journey following Mary Ingles’ path. A question and answer period follows. Special guest Eleanor Lahr wrote the book, "Angels Along the River," after hiking the trail Mary most likely took on her trek home.
When Eleanor Lahr read “Follow the River,” a novel based upon the true experiences of Mary Draper Ingles, it changed her life. Eleanor felt inexplicably compelled to retrace Mary's escape route. With little previous experience in the great outdoors, but with plucky courage, she planned and trained extensively. Sometimes alone and sometimes with strangers, she hiked for 43 days along the Ohio, Kanawha, and New Rivers.
“Ostenaco” – 4 to 5 p.m.
During the French and Indian War, Ostenaco (ca. 1703 - 1780) was a leader of Cherokee warriors who allied with Virginia military leaders against northern tribes fighting with the French. His leadership provided a vital alliance for the British colonial settlements in much of present West Virginia. His influence contributed significantly to the expansion of English-speaking peoples into the Mountain State. A question and answer period follows.
Special guest Doug Wood honors his Cherokee ancestors by telling the story of Man Killer Ostenaco’s efforts during the French & Indian War. The Chautauqua style first-person presentation was developed with assistance from a West Virginia Humanities Council History Alive! Grant. Presented by Doug Wood.
Sunday, September 16
Living History Encampment – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
A variety of 18th Century life skills will be presented throughout the day. These life skills may include animal use and care, child care, clothing, cricket, life as a captive, medicinal plants, native life, salt production, and tomahawk throwing. The presentations will be a mixture of first-person dialogue and hands-on demonstrations and games.