Old Fort Niagara: The French and Indian War

Well, this weekend was the huge reenactment at Fort Niagara focusing on the tension during the French and Indian War of the 1750’s (a.k.a. The Seven Year’s War.)  The fort is unique and very beautiful as it sits on the side of the Niagara River on the border of New York and Canada.  I spent the day there yesterday and was surprised at the large amount of re-enactors (Native, French, and American) who participated.  While the majority of those reenacting looked amazing…I did notice a few people who, well, just looked plain sloppy and tried to hide the tops of their Nike socks by turning them down….not a good look in any century.

There were many sutlers there and live music which made the whole place a giant flashback to 1750!  Although in spite of all my wanderings through the shops, I didn’t buy anything.  There were two reasons why…one legit, and one personal.  First the legit reason:  I focus on 1860’s fashion and I found myself wandering through thinking “too old-fashioned” or “no longer in use…something else has been invented” or “while beautiful, this is something an 1860’s women’s grandmother would wear…soooo nope!”  Don’t get me wrong, the fabric and trims were beautiful, but just not my era.

The other reason I didn’t buy anything was that I was completely and utterly ignored by the majority of sutlers.  It seems that if you aren’t dressed in period clothing than you are invisible.   Literally.  Not ONE shop owner even acknowledge me.  Am I so special that I have to have to world stop? No, but it is good business practice to greet each customer…especially one who (if found the right fabric) was ready to plunk down hundreds of dollars to stock up on accurate fabric.  I know I have ranted about this before, but between getting snubbed at small quilt shops by older women who think I’m an idiot, to sutlers who do not see me, I am getting very disappointed in the reenacting/sewing community.  We need to be welcoming so more people WANT to get involved!

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Fort Niagara French and Indian War Reenactment

Well apart from the mugginess and occasional downpour, the reenactment at Old Fort Niagara was wonderful! There were so many different battles and activities going on as well as many sutlers to visit. My two favorite being Smoke and Fire and Smiling Fox. I so enjoyed myself that I am debating about getting involved in this time period for reenacting. I have always just done Civil War, however I thoroughly enjoyed reliving the history and costume of the 1750’s. Something to definitely think about!
Here are a few pictures. It was really muggy and cloudy out, so the pictures turned out a little drab.
If you want to visit this amazing fort check out their website for future events! www.oldfortniagara.org

As for shopping I got surprisingly little. Although the conversations I was able to have with the sutlers was wonderful!
Here is what I did pick up…

The beeswax heart is wonderful for strengthening thread and reducing the amount of knots. I usually use the wax when I do buttonholes. All you do is take the thread and drag it over the wax.
The stork scissors are just cute and perfect for reenactments and clipping those tiny threads.
The stays I picked up for my new corset I am going to be making this week.
To get any of these items or to see what else they have to sell check out these sutlers!
Smiling Fox
Smoke and FireIf you do 1700’s reenactments please let me know! I would love to hear what from you!