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Scotchtown demonstrations, presentations, displays bring local history alive
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Scotchtown demonstrations, presentations, displays bring local history alive

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Visitors got a realistic peek into the past as they strolled the grounds of Scotchtown last weekend as Preservation Virginia presented its 300th Celebration and Fall Festival.

A collection of artisans, historians, re-enactors and vendors filled the grounds of the plantation that once served as the home of Patrick Henry during the Revolutionary War.

In addition to a number of craftsmen demonstrating their skills from another generation, area museums set up tents and booths to highlight and inform visitors of their offerings.

Proceeds from the event benefited the home’s Raise the Roof campaign, an ongoing effort to replace an aging roof at the landmark.

“Scotchtown’s 300th and Fall Festival was an amazing success,” said Preservation Virginia CEO Elizabeth Kostelny. “The event reaised $25,000 for preservation efforts at Scotchtown, and more than 500 folks from all ages enjoyed the demonstrations, presentations by Michael Twitty and Valerie Davis, vendors, and tours of the house.”

“Scotchtown is part of the fabric of the Hanover County community and we look forward to more opportunities to welcome people to the site to learn more about its history and people,” she added.

Pete Peterson traveled to Hanover to participate in the event from Northern Virginia. Dressed in authentic attire, he walked the grounds portraying a member of the First Virginia Regiment, a legendary Revolutionary War company that fought in several integral battles of the war.

“I’m portraying a corporal in the First Virginia Regiment and we’re a regiment that is based here in Virginia,” Peterson said.

The regiment was originally founded in Williamsburg in 1775 as a state militia unit. The current re-enactors’ regiment is comprised of members from across the Commonwealth and North and South Carolina.

“We represent the middle states just as the original regiment did,” Peterson said.

When the first regiment was formed in Williamsburg, it was led by Patrick Henry, who later resigned to pursue a political career.

“The original First Virginia fought in many of the battles from Great Bridge up to Princeton and Valley Forge,” Peterson said.

The company was captured during the Battle of Charleston in the second British invasion of the war.

Peterson described his dedication to a realistic vision of the time period as a hobby. “Ive been doing this for about nine years. I started as a raw recruit.”

His group attends eight to 10 of these types of events annually, and about 20 of his fellow members attended the event at Scotchtown.

“If you love history and the camaraderie of being in an Army unit and you want to sit down with people who are professional historians who know this era inside and out….. this a fantastic hobby,” Peterson said.

He noted that achieving that sense of realism doesn’t come cheap. The musket alone costs $1,100, and a regimental coat can cost $700.

Peterson said the Scotchtown event is one of his favorites and he attends regularly. “This is my third visit to this event.”

Tidewater rope maker Barnaby Wylde said he likes explaining how rope was made in Colonial times and demonstrated his skills at Scotchtown.

He became interested in historical reenacting about a decade ago, and has been making rope for six years. “It’s the history of rope making that intrigued me,” he said. “I started researching the history of rope making and it fascinated me. No one else was demonstrating this so I decided to take it up.”

Wylde meticulously strung strands of yarn that were joined by a wooden block that weaves the strands together producing a strong finished product as a group of observers asked questions.

People who made rope could be called an artificer, but “usually they were just called the rope maker or the roper.”

In addtion to the numerous historical demonstrations visitors witnessed actual architectural digs as students from Randolph Macon worked at the site and explained the process to onlookers.

County administrator John Budesky attended with his family and said the event captured the flavor of Hanover’s continuing 300th Birthday Celebration.

“We could not be more proud of the efforts of Preservation Virginia and the 300th Celebration they hosted,” Budesky said. “They have been great partners representing historic places and their efforts at Scotchtown is a major success.”

Budesky said he was impressed with the turnout and enthusiasm of the attendees.

“Any event is only as good as the citizens that turn out to learn and engage. The Hanover community and the region turned out en masse to learn more about Scotchtown and the full story of Patrick Henry and the home’s history,” he said.

He said the atmosphere allowed visitors a glimpse back to another era.

“The period vendors, exhibitors, and reenactors helped take you back in time to appreciate the value of handmade goods and how they evolved over the years,” Budesky said. “This event may live beyond this past weekend and into the future for many more to visit and learn about this part of our history.”

The 300th Celebration continues with a Veterans Day Observance on Nov. 11 at Hanover Wayside on Route 301, but Budesky said more events are planned as the celebration continues.

“We plan to continue our 300th celebrations through the end of the year and more events are to be announced soon,” he said. “We are excited to welcome our community to the annual Veterans Day Observance and an exciting partnership with the Hanover Chamber of Commerce around Black Friday for a special shop local 300th program.”efited the home’s Raise the Roof campaign, an ongoing effort to replace an aging roof at the landmark.

“Scotchtown’s 300th and Fall Festival was an amazing success,” said Preservation Virginia CEO Elizabeth Kostelny. “The event raised $25,000 for preservation efforts at Scotchtown, and more than 500 folks from all ages enjoyed the demonstrations, presentations by Michael Twitty and Valerie Davis, vendors, and tours of the house.”

“Scotchtown is part of the fabric of the Hanover County community and we look forward to more opportunities to welcome people to the site to learn more about its history and people,” she added.

Pete Peterson traveled to Hanover to participate in the event from Northern Virginia. Dressed in authentic attire, he walked the grounds portraying a member of the First Virginia Regiment, a legendary Revolutionary War company that fought in several integral battles of the war.

“I’m portraying a corporal in the First Virginia Regiment and we’re a regiment that is based here in Virginia,” Peterson said.

The regiment was originally founded in Williamsburg in 1775 as a state militia unit. The current re-enactors’ regiment is comprised of members from across the Commonwealth and North and South Carolina.

“We represent the middle states just as the original regiment did,” Peterson said.

When the first regiment was formed in Williamsburg, it was led by Patrick Henry, who later resigned to pursue a political career.

“The original First Virginia fought in many of the battles from Great Bridge up to Princeton and Valley Forge,” Peterson said.

The company was captured during the Battle of Charleston in the second British invasion of the war.

Peterson described his dedication to a realistic vision of the time period as a hobby. “Ive been doing this for about nine years. I started as a raw recruit.”

His group attends eight to 10 of these types of events annually, and about 20 of his fellow members attended the event at Scotchtown.

“If you love history and the camaraderie of being in an Army unit and you want to sit down with people who are professional historians who know this era inside and out….. this a fantastic hobby,” Peterson said.

He noted that achieving that sense of realism doesn’t come cheap. The musket alone costs $1,100, and a regimental coat can cost $700.

Peterson said the Scotchtown event is one of his favorites and he attends regularly. “This is my third visit to this event.”

Tidewater rope maker Barnaby Wylde said he likes explaining how rope was made in Colonial times and demonstrated his skills at Scotchtown.

He became interested in historical reenacting about a decade ago, and has been making rope for six years. “It’s the history of rope making that intrigued me,” he said. “I started researching the history of rope making and it fascinated me. No one else was demonstrating this so I decided to take it up.”

Wylde meticulously strung strands of yarn that were joined by a wooden block that weaves the strands together producing a strong finished product as a group of observers asked questions.

People who made rope could be called an artificer, but “usually they were just called the rope maker or the roper.”

In addition to the numerous historical demonstrations visitors witnessed actual architectural digs as students from Randolph Macon worked at the site and explained the process to onlookers.

County administrator John Budesky attended with his family and said the event captured the flavor of Hanover’s continuing 300th Birthday Celebration.

“We could not be more proud of the efforts of Preservation Virginia and the 300th Celebration they hosted,” Budesky said. “They have been great partners representing historic places and their efforts at Scotchtown is a major success.”

Budesky said he was impressed with the turnout and enthusiasm of the attendees.

“Any event is only as good as the citizens that turn out to learn and engage. The Hanover community and the region turned out en masse to learn more about Scotchtown and the full story of Patrick Henry and the home’s history,” he said.

He said the atmosphere allowed visitors a glimpse back to another era.

“The period vendors, exhibitors, and reenactors helped take you back in time to appreciate the value of handmade goods and how they evolved over the years,” Budesky said. “This event may live beyond this past weekend and into the future for many more to visit and learn about this part of our history.”

The 300th Celebration continues with a Veterans Day Observance on Nov. 11 at Hanover Wayside on Route 301, but Budesky said more events are planned as the celebration continues.

“We plan to continue our 300th celebrations through the end of the year and more events are to be announced soon,” he said. “We are excited to welcome our community to the annual Veterans Day Observance and an exciting partnership with the Hanover Chamber of Commerce around Black Friday for a special shop local 300th program.”

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