Life rewinds a few centuries at Fort Frederick Market Fair

April 29, 2011|By ANDREW SCHOTZ |
  • Gary Moshier, left, of Painted Post, N.Y., bought shoe cleats from sutler Scott Rathfelder, right, Friday afternoon at the annual Market Fair at Fort Frederick State Park.
By Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

Two hundred fifty years are fading away at Fort Frederick State Park, where an encampment is recreating the past.

It's part of the 17th Annual Market Fair, which runs through Sunday. For four days, the fort is a sea of white tents, while people live as settlers and sell their wares as sutlers.

There are plenty of smiths — a silversmith, a goldsmith, a bladesmith.

Dressed in 18th-century clothing, others are selling pottery, clothing, furniture and boiled peanuts.

The Clear Spring Historical Society is running The Tavern on the Potowmak, a restaurant with a name honoring an historic spelling of Potomac.

On Friday, the smoky smell of campfires was a constant.

Every so often, the crackle of musket fire pierced the air and a fife-and-drum corps marched past.

Robert Vanlier of Earlysville, Va., near Charlottesville, talked about the "committees of safety" that armed troops during the American Revolution.

Vanlier, a civil engineer, makes and sells replicate muskets of that era. He said he has flintlocks that are associated with each state.

"I probably make two bucks an hour ... but I have fun doing it," he joked.

Charles Boland of Springfield in Hampshire County, W.Va., stood on a circular piece of wood and chipped at it with a hook-like pronged tool called a gutter adz.

The wood will be used for a revolving chair devised by a Virginian named Thomas Jefferson, Boland, in character, told spectators.

"Do you think that lawyer'll ever amount to anything?," he asked.

James R. Tomasek of Hopwood in Fayette County, Pa., wove baskets.

He demonstrated a twill weave, which is two over followed by two under. He said the basket will be used for processing hominy and corn, so it needs to be stronger.

Paul A. McClintock, a bookbinder, showed how printed matter is folded into sections and stacked, then stitched into a block. Boards are added and finished with leather as covers.

McClintock came from Whidbey Island, Wash., near Seattle, for the Market Fair.

"I've had an awesome welcome," he said.


If You Go

What: Fort Frederick Market Fair

When: Thursday, April 28, to Sunday, May 1. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday

Where: Fort Frederick State Park, 11100 Ford Frederick Road, Big Pool

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