Living History Encampment 2023

Encampment – East Civic Center Lawn

The Living History Camp consists of artisans, enactors, artifacts and exhibits representing the Indigenous People, Colonial, Mountain Man and Civil War Periods. On view will be several kinds of lodgings, such as wall tents, marquees, wedge tents, diamonds, lean-to’s and lodges. Many of the campers participating have traced their lineage to indigenous people who migrated through the Ozarks region and have strong historical connections to those who settled here. Traditions such as flintknapping, bow making, and atlatles will be demonstrated.

You will find oak basket making, sassafras paddles, carved wooden dishes, leather work, muzzle-loader musket building, firemaking, tin smithing, seed bead weaving and linen button making which were part of both the Colonial and Mountain Man periods.

Processes such as blacksmithing, soapmaking, toolmaking, and whiskey making were essential over all of the historical eras. Our demonstrators are masters in these processes.

All of these are part of the “Living History Encampment”. Look for a “River Camp” with famed C.W. Nichols at the helm of the jonboat. You might see other river folks like “Lewis & Clark”. You can experience food making – dutch oven cooking and chuck wagon cooking. The Rendezvous Store will have merchandise from Colonial and Mountain Man eras, and other objects for purchase.

Participants will explain clothing, equipment and “how things were done”. Visitors are encouraged to ask questions throughout the camp.

Of special interest this year are the Civil War enactors. This part of the camp will feature demos of flint-lock musket-firing, camp exhibits with uniforms and equipment. Leaders of this area are Veteran Civil War enactors who have participated in reenactments throughout the country. They have attended National Battlefields’ events at Wilson’s Creek, MO; Pea Ridge, and Prairie Grove AR; New Market and Appomattox, VA; and Gettysburg, PA, just to name a few. They will share Civil War stories from the Ozarks area, family stories and local history.

BCC Chuckwagon

My name is Kenneth Bradshaw (Dough Boy), and with the help of my wife, Angela Bradshaw we own and operate BCC Chuckwagon. With the help of our son Colton, we do open fire, cast Iron, dutch oven cooking. BCC Chuckwagon strives to be as historical as we know how. We welcome people to look around at all the neat pieces we have and encourage everyone to take their time and ask questions and enjoy the experience. We started off buying our wagon in May of 2022. When we bought it, it was just a grain wagon, and with the research and help of friends, built the wagon to what it is today. We still have a long way to go, but it does take time and experience. We encourage everyone to look us up on Facebook and like and follow us. We post when and where we will be set up. Hope to see you all at Ozark Heritage Days.

Sid Brink – Blacksmith

Jeff & Betty Goris – Tinsmith and Linen Thread Button Maker

Tinsmith Jeff Goris became interested in the trade of Tinsmithing while visiting Old Fort William in Ontario, Canada in 1981. He researched the trade, attended additional classes, and began collecting the specialized tools. Soon, he was making reproductions of the old tinware including making candle lanterns and cookie cutters. He has attended living history events for many years, demonstrating tinsmithing, sharing his love of old tools and history.

Linen Thread Button Maker Betty Goris. Linen Thread Buttons date ack to the medieval time period. They were used as decorations on the finest of women’s gowns and dyed with nature plants. The natural color buttons were used by people of lesser wealth. They used them mainly for collars and cuffs. The entire button is made of linen thread. We have been re-enacting since the mid 1970’s and enjoy living history.

Kevin Hogan with Doc Nappier– Civil War stories, Lewis & Clark

David Lohr – knives, bows atlatles, arrowheads, Native lodge

Rick Mansfield – C.W. Float Camp/Jon Boat

Ron McGeary – Civil War Camp – enactors

Mike McHenry – Civil War Camp – enactors

Sarah Elrod – MDC – fly tying

Sarah Elrod is a Conservation Educator for the Missouri Department of Conservation. Her job involves working closely with schools in Douglas Wright, Texas, Shannon, and Reynolds counties to utilize different programs that the department has available such as Discover Nature Schools Curriculum, Discover Nature Fishing, Missouri National Archers in Schools Program, and Hunters Education. She also provides public programs such as kayaking, fishing clinics, wood working, and cooking your harvest. She has been tying fishing flies for over 10 years and has a small business, selling trout jigs at small tackle shops and online. She also enjoys crafting leather goods such as belts, wallets, knife sheathes, and many other products. She enjoys spending time outdoors hunting, fishing, and learning new skills that she can share with others.

Ozark Mountain Long Rifles – Mountain-Man era camps

Kevin & Candy Sanders – Childrens Toys

Jim & Linda Strauch – Carved implements and Oak baskets

We moved here 14 years ago after retirement in central IL farming community.   After living  here a few weeks we became volunteers at Twin Pines Education Nature Center  in Winona MO run by MDC.  We were exposed to wonderful people and ideas and also became volunteers with The Heritage Workshop at Van Buren that is part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.  We both became very interested in historical crafts and old country skills.  Using hand tools, Jim hand carves sassafras boat paddles from Shannon county trees that he harvests and has cut at a local sawmill.  He learned paddle making from Acel Price and is trying to continue the tradition. Jim has taught paddle carving and spoon carving at Twin Pines. He also hand carves spoons and kitchen ware from local native woods.  He makes butter churns, wooden buckets and cups,

I harvest white oak trees from our timber and make basket splits in the old-fashioned hand pulled way then make white oak baskets.  I harvest hickory bark in the spring and use it for basketry and weaving chair seats on old chairs.   I hand carve wooden bowls from native woods with gouges.   Sassafras, white pine, butternut, poplar, and maple are my go-to woods since they are found on our property. 

Kelly & Bev Wilfong – Rendezvous Store

Edwin Woolsey – Campfire Stories

Cathy & Terry Wyatt – Soapmaking and Whiskey making.

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