Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Grassy Run Rendezvous

It's pretty awesome to live in an area where so much recorded history took place. Over half my life was lived in Illinois, otherwise known as The Land of Lincoln. And there, it seemed, popular history certainly began and ended with the great orator, statesman and president. I grew up loving New Salem and the Metamora Courthouse, and felt properly solemn and awed when visiting Lincoln's tomb and his home in Springfield. But there is so much more to the early American frontier story. 

(Originally from the Narragansett area of Rhode Island, I sadly was too little to realize and enjoy the extremely rich history of that area before I moved with my family to the midwest. I gotta go back there someday.)

I love southern Ohio because there is so much history here, too. And it's not Lincoln. It's new and different and so interesting and delightful to me. It's as close as down the road, or across the ravine in a grassy field. It's the thin roads threading through the hills and the little cemeteries with stones too worn to read. It's the river and the huge, old trees along the shore and the crumbled remains of stone foundations. It's the 200 year old buildings that are still standing, still in use, still beautiful and proud and mellowed with time and the lives that have played out within their walls. I live in such a beautiful place. 

There are quite a few pockets of local historians who are actively keeping history alive. It's been a huge enjoyment to meet them and to talk with them and to hear their stories. This past weekend the kiddos went out to the Grassy Run rendezvous and spent a fun time learning about earlier days. Here are some pictures in no particular order. We had such a great time! I can't remember the last time I spent such a happy weekend.

Grassy Run is the name of a so-called battle that occurred near here between white settlers and Native Americans in 1792. It was a small encounter but resulted in deaths on both sides, unfortunately. The history of the Native nations that lived here and were driven out by whites is extremely painful and tense. I am really grateful to these historians who share the history of their culture with others.

The kids enjoyed all sorts of activities. Here, they are making a pattern in tin with a nail and hammer. 

Then they used a two man cross cut saw to cut through a log. It took them a while to get through it!

Then they made rope. I had never seen rope being made before and it was a really interesting process. Three guys were required to operate the machine. Malachi here is waiting to crank it. David held the end of the twine and Judah held the paddle. 

They visited the vendors, of course. They each had a little bit of money they could use to buy something and Anne got a wooden dinosaur with hers. She loves dinosaurs. Benjamin proudly walked around with the gun that Judah bought (he got his own, too, but preferred to use his beloved "Jew-Ah's")

A few days before the event I had been out in the woods with the babies and we had seen pools of wiggly black tadpoles. Anne wanted to see if the tadpoles were still there so we took a little walk to visit the big puddles. 

There weren't very many left, but some were still there. 

Anne and Benjamin decided to wade out in the warm water. Benjamin fell down and got soaked. He was so mad. Poor little dude! 

But back at the Cherokee camp he was consoled with candy. 

And he and Anne found some flowers to pick. 

Here is me and my girlies! I didn't really have an appropriate era dress to wear (except my white Vernet dress, which I didn't want to ruin with all the mud!) so I am not really dressed appropriately at all. For next year I think I will make a 1780's or 1790's dress. Not sure yet. But definitely something 18th century. 

The Boone Frocks worked out great for the littles. Of course they were covered in filth by the end of the day but washed up no problem. 

Malachi and Anne tried their hand at grinding corn. I asked them how long it would take to grind enough for a skillet of cornbread. Malachi said it would take too long. 

We didn't want to leave when it was over but of course all good things come to and end. Only, it's not really an end, but rather a new beginning! We can't wait to go back next year!



  1. That looks like tons of fun! Your kids are so lucky to have a mom that will take them places where history comes alive. :)

  2. I loved seeing photos from your event. You are blessed to live in such a beautiful spot, and I hope you and your family enjoy it for many years to come!

    All the photos were fantastic, but my personal fave was the one of Benjamin and his gun and the mud on his dress. Just perfect. :)


  3. Beautiful pictures! This event looks so fun!

    -OldfashionedEliza from Instagram :-)

  4. What a great post! I know exactly how you feel. I grew up in Indiana and absolutely love the history there. Then we moved to Maryland fur my husband's job and while the history here is different, it is so rich and there at every turn! We've been enjoying all the historical sites Maryland had to offer!


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!