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Home > Magazine > History > Port Huron Re-Enactor Fest: Pics & Report

Port Huron Re-Enactor Fest: Pics & Report
May 31, 2010

We visited the "Feast of Ste. Claire" Re-enactor Encampment yesterday, Sunday. It's near downtown Port Huron right on the gorgeous blue St. Clair River. (Guys were fishing along it under sun umbrellas -- one guy had 3 big walleye. I wanted to dive in for a swim. So blue!)

This is a fest for the 1740-1840 period, basically. It's the French & Indian War time. 600 actors in 100 camps covering French, Indian, British and American styles.

Sadly, we only saw two Indian actors the whole time. Maybe Saturday was bigger for them? They were both fine examples, though -- one gave a great talk.

Interestingly, I only saw one little cluster of leghold traps at a camp. What about the trappers whose furs the Voyageurs delivered? I would've thought that trapping would've been a sizeable part of the re-enacting of that time. The traps probably would've been quite primitive, hand-forged.

Hundreds of flintlocks in view; zero percussion-caps. Quite a few gun-maker tents, blacksmiths, knifemakers.

The styles were verging on Ren-Faire -- minus the "grog" -- made us eager to attend the huge Faire in Holly this Aug/Sept.

I heard there were pirates in attendance on Sat.

We bought a large pewter dinner spoon that an old guy had molded, filed and polished. Elegant. Doesn't tarnish. $12. Our kind of deal!

Here are my pics...


A Ranger. (Not one of Roger's, I don't think.)

Fur tent. We like beaver the best. Plush!

French food table. Dang, I neglected to take a pic when it was untouched.


Don't tread on me.

Nice Damascus knife. I could see this one in our kitchen...

A handmade rifle. Well, he put it all together and customized it, like they did back then -- they'd buy a lock and barrel and do the rest. The guy said it and its carvings were patterned after Crockett's first gun, but he doubted that it was really his first gun, a bit too fancy.

Riflemaker. See the progression of the carving of the stocks?

War hair.

War! ...The French won this one.

Marching to war.

Lady soldier with upholstery-type shirt -- I always dig the paisley.

Legs. I didn't quite get this part of the period. But it was on display.

French chest pieces.

Tents galore.

An amazing kid was stunting on this tree. Over and over. He'd do a jig beforehand then run up and do his flip then land with a pirouette and a jig again. And throw in a few Tai-Chi moves. Hard to catch what he was up to. Modern or ancient or what kids always have done or both?

Good paint.

Good storyteller.

The British doc was very engaging. Dang that medicine was NOWHERE back then. Just don't get hurt.

The best actor there. He was a spectator. I think. Maybe. Very mixed periods, eh? Military surplus belt knife. Modern recurve bow. Vintage 60's-era wood arrows. Fake fur hat. Pale bare feet. He rocked! I asked to take a pic and he dropped into Action Pose in a heartbeat. Dang!

Damsels. Whups, wrong period. But just as fun!

Reader Comments - Add Your Own Comment
Kenna2010 - , posted on Aug 19, 2010
"Legs" belongs to Fred Strebendt, one of our Ste Claire Voyageurs out of the Metro Beach Nature Center on Lac Ste Claire. He portrays a French Canadian Voyageur, who historically used the Indian loincloth and paired it with a trade goods shirt. Any leggings or boots or duck pants would be continually soaked during the repeated portaging, and the colors worn by the Voyageurs were historically brighter than men wear today. Fred, me and other Voyageurs were at the Great Lakes Primitives Gathering in August.