Mississinewa 1812

Sadly, I've had these photos on my desktop for over a month. (I've very far behind when it comes to photos and journaling. And emails, for that matter.) In short, Mississinewa 1812 is a living history commemoration of the battles fought along the Mississinewa River in December 1812.

It was rainy the weekend we went, and a bit gray. Dull. Damp. I had never seen a battle reenactment before but, to tell the truth, I was a bit disappointed. Cannon boom. March. March. March. March. March. Stand. Stand. One step. Two steps. Cannon boom. Stand. Stand. Point gun. Lower gun. Stand. Stand. Cannon boom. The lack of "deaths" was discouraging; since the ground was still saturated with rain, many of the "soldiers" refrained from falling into the squishy, yielding grass. It was interesting, but a bit boring, in my opinion. Too much standing and needless hollering. Furthermore, the reenactment just reminded me of how bloody America's history is. We had to fight the British. The French. The British and the Native Americans. The Mexicans. More Native Americans. Each other. If it's anything we're good at, it's slaughtering each other.

However, I absolutely loved the villages; there were military encampments, Native American longhouses, and camps along the river. It should be said that within each camp area, each item must be authentic. It doesn't have to be an actual antique, but it must be authentic to the 1812 era. Food must be cooked over a fire. Beds must be made of straw and wool blankets inside the cloth tents. There are craftsmen and traders, cooks and musicians. Fiddles. Wooden whistles. Tin cups. Cast iron skillets. Each of the participants of the three-day festival must wear traditional garments. Of course, visitors can buy garments: cloaks, leather shoes, fibrous pants, gauzy aprons. You can purchase wooden cooking utensils, spy a blacksmith hammering away at a weapon, forging and shaping and manipulating. You can buy quills, handmade soap. Hand-bound journals and feathers and beaded moccasins. Eat apple pie. Drink root beer. Gorge on a fire-roasted turkey leg. Ask. Talk. Receive answers and information. It's this--the living and functional atmosphere--that draws so many thousands each year. 


  1. How cool!! I love historical re-enactments!! They are so much fun and I love little kids reactions to things! =)


  2. These pictures are absolutely amazing! I am looking into getting a new camera soon.. I'm over my digital and I'm wanting to upgrade to a DSLR. What would you suggest??

  3. wow, these photographs are beautiful! what an incredible experience!


  4. Very cool photographs! I love historical commemoration events - it is so interesting to see people in colonial dress. I really like the last photograph - the skull is fantastic!

  5. So, so cool! I love living history towns...and your photos are stunning.

  6. This looks incredible!! And as always, your writing and photographs make me feel like I was there in spirit. What could be better than food cooked over an open fire, handmade soap, and apple pie?? :)

    Enjoy your weekend Dawn! xx

  7. Gorgeous stuff! I've already scrolled up and down several times, eating up the textures and atmosphere...

    (By the way, I love how so many reenactment actors sport extraordinary mustaches the rest of the year as well. Oh! And I read somewhere that back in the day people preferred cider to water, due to the fact that water wasn't safe to drink in many cases... These fellows in costume made me think of it)

  8. Oh so beautiful! You've capture it so beautifully! I wished I lived in a little villiage. :)

  9. Wow :)
    this is amazing! I love these shots :)

  10. This is so fun! I love stuff like this. Hands on experience with history.

    I was actually a part of a revolutionary war reenactment when I was in 5th grade. It was filmed and everything. I can also assure you that there were a lot of deaths. My brother even volunteered to flip over an explosive to make the film look more authentic. :]
    Needless to say, it was a good time.

    I need to find more things like this to explore around Springfield.

  11. Dawn, you are a great photographer! really! you are an artist, I love all the photos (the one with the colorful yarns just make me want to get all of them!).

    Looking at the photos it´s easy to understand the story that you tell about the battle. When I was looking at those photos, where they are doing battle (I do not if it is well said) they seem n¡to be miniatures! haha as all colors and light are too perfect that could be a battle in miniature.

  12. This looks like so much fun! Do you know - do members of the public dress up too? I was going to take my niece to the Jane Austen festival in Louisville this summer, but it got cancelled. She was bitterly disappointed that she didn't get to wear her regency dress. This might be a fun alternative, though!

    1. Hi, Amanda! No, members of the public are not allowed to dress up! Everyone that is costumed is a certified participant, and they actually wear buttons/identification to show that they are officially part of the festival! I'm sorry to hear that the Jane Austen festival was canceled. I didn't know that such an event existed! Hopefully your niece will be able to visit a similar event! Feast of the Hunter's Moon (held in the fall in West Lafayette) is also a great alternative!


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