MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Fort Gibson

October 17, 2012

Fun times at Fort

— By Chesley Oxendine

Times Correspondent

Early rains on both Friday and Saturday couldn’t stop Fort Gibson Historic Site from hosting its yearly Fall Encampment last weekend.

Guests were treated to a slice of life in the 1840s as interpreters in period clothing demonstrated daily tasks, played music, and ran military drills.

The festivities drew in Falyn Harris and her family thanks to her dad’s appreciation for military history, she said.

“We came down to visit from Broken Arrow and were in the area, and we found the event on Facebook, so we brought my dad,” Harris said.

Also accompanying Harris were her two children, Natalee and Dalton Harris. Falyn said the children “couldn’t believe the little beds,” which visitors could inspect as they roamed the historically accurate living quarters throughout the fort.

“They can’t get over those beds,” Falyn said. “They just keep yelling ‘that looks so uncomfortable!’ All these cabins are really cool to see.”

While Natalee, 6, said her favorite part were “the cannons,” Dalton, 4, couldn’t decide what he enjoyed the most.

“I just really, really like everything,” he said. “It’s all really cool.”

Several times throughout the event, a group of four interpreters lined up, prepared and fired blanks out of a 12-pound mortar, shaking the entire property with the sound.

Interpreter Frank Ruggero from Oswego, Kan. said firing weaponry proved the best part of his job.

“I love shooting that thing,” he said. “I love everything about American history, but I love shooting the cannon the most.”

Ruggero said this event marked his first time at the Historic Site, though he served as an interpreter in Kansas all through his grade school years.

“I really enjoy living history, and I can’t wait to do the 150th next year in Honey Springs,” he said.

Interpreters like Ruggero made history “come alive” for students like Emily and Greg Haan, who came with their mother, Theresa.

“We’re actually studying this period of history right now at home,” Theresa said. “That’s why we came out here.”

Greg said he enjoyed “multiple things” about the encampment.

“I loved when they fired the cannon, and seeing the blacksmith, and the animals, and all the ancient American history,” he said.

Theresa reminded him this period was not necessarily “ancient.”

Emily said seeing the actors stay in character proved “cool.”

“It really helps me visualize what we’re studying,” she said. “It makes you feel involved in all the history going on.”

That was the idea, according to interpreter and Historic Site employee Corey Twilley.

“We wanted to invite people and the local schools out and give them a hands on taste of what life was like back then,” he said. “This was a huge part of Fort Gibson history.”

Twilley portrayed a fife player in the Fort’s burgeoning music band, which patrolled the fort throughout the day, leading drills and giving signals.

“Musicians back then acted like an alarm bell at a school,” he said.

This marked the first time that the Site band’s 25 members were all present for a single event, spread out through the property, Twilley said.

The interpreter said the Fort’s next big events are Bake Day in November, on “the Saturday before Veteran’s Day,” and the Candlelight Tour in December.

“People can come out and see what Christmas was like in 1848 as soldiers returned from the Mexican War to the fort, to spend time with their families,” Twilley said.

1
Text Only
Fort Gibson
AP Video
Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: MH17 Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball
Poll

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

Yes
No
     View Results
Featured Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks