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Call out the cavalry

Re-enactors on horseback entertained visitors to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park with their skills.

Re-enactors on horseback entertained visitors to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park with their skills.

October 30, 2005|By MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

HARPERS FERRY, W.VA. - For Paul Olson, his first trip to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park on Saturday was made even more special when he lucked into a special program called "Eyes of the Army: The Cavalry Factor."

"I'm very impressed," said the Washington state resident, who was accompanied to the park by his son and daughter-in-law, Mike and Donna Olson of Washington, D.C., who are frequent visitors.

Mike Olson said he is particularly fond of the architecture of the buildings in the town and the park and wanted to show them to his father.

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During Saturday's demonstration, eight re-enactors on horseback entertained the Olsons and more than 100 other visitors with their prowess at walk, trot, canter and gallop on the grass along Shenandoah Street.

There also was the firing of period weapons, a saber drill and bugling. The gear, weaponry and uniforms all were described by a speaker in period costume.

Harpers Ferry's role as a site where weapons manufacturing flourished also was highlighted. All of the natural resources necessary for such a manufacturing enterprise were present there - wood for burning and water for power.

A number of examples of weapons made in Harpers Ferry were shown and demonstrated.

Terry Etters of Chambersburg, Pa., was at the event with her friend, Dave Petit, one of the cavalry re-enactors.

"Dave just loves doing this," Etters said. She remarked that he brought her to Harpers Ferry last weekend just to show her all of the sights.

Meanwhile, other visitors walked through the town, sampled the shops and enjoyed the crisp, fall weather.

"It's so much more than just an historic site," Paul Olson said. "It's a living, breathing town."

Bill and Sue McAllister of Lanham, Md., said they were staying at the campgrounds in nearby Brunswick, Md., so they could visit Harpers Ferry this weekend.

"Harpers Ferry always brings us back," Bill McAllister said. "We just love it here."

It was a rich, full day for everyone, including one little girl who was heard to exclaim, "Hooray for nap time" as she was leaving with her parents.

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