It is a good day in my book when my professional life and my living history hobby intersect. Talya and I enjoyed a fine Saturday morning in our 18th century garb as part of my employer The Housatonic Valley Associations "Free Family Fun" event celebrating the history of the river. The rain stopped in the early morning hours and the weather was not oppressively hot, so we did not wilt in our heavy wool and linen.
We set up our tent by the riverside across from the hydropower station at Falls Village. The old iron bridge between that community and the Amesville section of Salisbury is now closed and badly needs repairs, and we were able to tell those who attended the event that the first bridge on that site was owned and managed by Charles Burrill, who at the time of the revolution was a militia Colonel. I turned out in my civilian attire representing one of Burrill's 14th CT militiamen, and Talya did her Quaker apothecary impression to the delight of one little girl in particular who had a grand time holding her woven egg basket.
I got to share a few original artifacts as well, including this 1773 Connecticut made fowler flintlock with a 60" barrel, and to read a letter written by my 5th great-aunt Hannah Ogden in 1779 containing all sorts of juicy gossip of the goings on in Elizabethtown NJ with the British just across the water at Staten Island.
There were 20-30 people who turned out for the three hour event, which featured a walk with local historian and expert on the colonial ironworks of our region Ed Kirby and a presentation on the native American cultures of our region. There was actually a spectator there who is Lakota Sioux and was in the area visiting family. He told us about attending a ceremony in Goshen, CT a few weeks ago for the naming ceremony of a rare white buffalo calf that was just born there, an event of great sacred significance to many native American people.