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Photo: Barry Goudreau

Battle skirmishes highlight 1812 Living History weekend at Glengarry Pioneer Museum

More than 40 re-enactors brought history to life last weekend as the Glengarry Pioneer Museum held its downsized 1812 Living History weekend.

The September 25-26 two-day event attracted approximately 150 visitors to the museum site in Dunvegan – most of whom came out on Saturday to see War of 1812 battle skirmishes featuring antique rifles and cannons. The museum grounds provided ample space for everyone to set up camp, do drill practice, cook food over fires, play music and generally enjoy the company of other like-minded history buffs.

“Those who ventured out, seemed to thoroughly enjoy the often one-on-one interpretation by re-enactors,” said Pioneer Museum Curator Jennifer Black, who noted the event faced a lot of competition from a busy September weekend in the region.

Historian Richard Feltoe had tables of original and replica artifacts from the early 1800s – from writing boxes and hornwear (cups, spoons, etc), to muskets, pistols and an original cavalry sword. Spinning wool, fashion, early land surveying were other things visitors could learn about.

“The families who reenact are friendly and knowledgeable people who love what they do,” Black commented. “They all were thrilled to be able to come out to the museum on this beautiful weekend and the museum was thrilled to have them bring colour and life to the grounds.”

The weekend marked the end of the prime tourist season and was the last chance for visitors to take in the museum and its 10 historic buildings, containing the site’s extensive collection of artifacts. While it was the last major event at the Pioneer Museum this year, staff encourage visitors to build onto their visit by downloading the Glengarry Routes Heritage Driving Tour, available through the Glengarry Pioneer Museum’s website.

1812 Living History organizer Jim Mullin (left) and Glengarry Pioneer Museum Curator Jennifer Black. Photo: Barry Goudreau
Teaching them young: In the camp of the Glengarry Light Infantry, Suzanne Angle from Sydenham, Ontario, shows young Ariane Despres from St. Bruno-de-Montarville, Quebec, how a spinning wheel works. Photo: Barry Goudreau
The museum utility cart comes handy when delivering fire wood to the camp. Using it in this photo are Francois Despres (left) and Ariane Despres. Photo: Barry Goudreau
Red tunics glimmer in the Sunshine – from left to right: Jonah Ellens, Commanding Officer of the 100th Grenadiers, Joshua McCoy of the 100th Grenadiers and good friend of the Dunvegan event, Michael Monahan. Photo: Barry Goudreau
The camp children are always entertaining: From left to right, Beatrice Despres, Hannah Mullin (standing), Gaelle Despres, Lilou Loiselle, Doug Angle, Carla Oliviera and Kepler the dog. Photo: Barry Goudreau
Soldiers prepare for battle. Photo Barry Goudreau
Photo: Barry Goudreau

Reid Masson

Reid Masson is a graduate of Algonquin College's Journalism Program. He has over 20 years of experience as a staff writer and editor for various newspapers across Canada, including The Ottawa Citizen and Brockville Recorder and Times.

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