Ramona Ato cooking over open hearth in restored Netherland Inn kitchen. Photo by Ned Jilton II
Netherland Inn opened for the 2014 season Saturday with music, dancing, historical reenactors from many different organizations and plenty of food from the historic kitchen.
For the first time in 20 years the restored kitchen in the Netherland Inn was open for actual use. Cooking over the fire in the open hearth were Ramona Ato and Tammy Fletcher who were preparing meals just as done back in the early 1800's using recipes from the period. The room was quite warm which would have been comfortable in the winter but the heat must have been considerable when cooking for the boarders during the summer.
The grounds around the Inn were covered with tents of historic groups and craftsmen that were enjoyed by the people after finishing their tours of the Inn and the Museum of Pioneer Transportation in the bank barn.
The John S. Mosby Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans demonstrated camp life and various drills from the Civil War then answered questions from the crowd while in another area members of the Remnant Nation of Yuchi Indians demonstrated native herbs used for medicines as well as cooking, soap making, and tool making as they share stories of their legends and culture.
There was music throughout the day with the banjo playing of Big Stone Gap's Tyler Hughes during the afternoon bringing folks to their feet to dance.
If you are looking for more history fun there are two big events coming up in the next two weekends. On May 9-11 the Raid at Martin's Station will take place at Wilderness Road State Park in Ewing, Va.. More than 300 living historians re-enact life at Joseph Martin's frontier fort. Activities include tours of Cherokee Warrior and Colonial Militia camps, frontier fort life, and 18th century merchants and colonial traders selling their wares. Various seminars on 18th century topics will be conducted by world renowned historians and lecturers. Frontier battles between the natives and the settlers highlight the event at 1 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The following weekend will be the Siege of Fort Watauga at Sycamore Shoals State Historic area in Elizabethton, TN.
On Saturday, May 17th and Sunday, May 18th, Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area will host 150 living history reenactors for the annual Siege of Fort Watauga. Colonial, British, and Native re-enactors will converge at the re-created Fort Watauga at Sycamore Shoals to relive the days when America's first frontier was the land beyond the blue ridge. The Siege of Fort Watauga is a live retelling of the Cherokee attack brought on the settlers of the Watauga valley in the summer of 1776.
The event lasts from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturday, May 17th and 10:00 am to 3:00 pm on Sunday, May 18th. Step back in time as you visit the fort, militia camps, British encampment, and Native camp. Be immersed in 18th century frontier life as you witness daily aspects of colonial culture. Take advantage of colonial merchants selling period wares in "Sutler's Row". See the clash of two cultures as the attack on fort Watauga is recreated both days at 1:00 pm. Also, attend the auction of 18th century reproductions on Saturday.
If you are interested in the early history of this country you have several events to enjoy in May.