9/16/2010 7:46:00 AM Trail of Courage starts Saturday
The Sentinel report
The 35th Annual Trail of Courage Living History Festival is Saturday and Sunday.
The popular event is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Fulton County Historical Society grounds, three miles north of Rochester on the west side of U.S. 31.
Visitors will find frontier Indiana coming alive with music and dance on two stages, Indian dances, pre-1840 crafts and trading, foods cooked over wood fires, contests, horses, muzzleloader shoots, cannon demonstrations, canoe rides on the Tippecanoe River and more.
Admission is $6 adults and $2 for children ages 6 through 11.
The grounds are accessible to the handicapped. Trams pulled by tractors offer free rides from the museum and parking field to the admissions booth. There is adequate seating capacity with seating at each stage and the Indian dance arena.
Attendees may watch programs of frontier music and dance from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. One stage is in the woods; the other in the trading field.
At 10 a.m. Saturday, during opening ceremonies at the Chippeway Village Stage Rochester City Councilman Mark McCall will present a key to the city to Potawatomi Trail of Death Association President George Godfrey.
Godfrey has been attending the Trail of Courage since 1988. He had an ancestor on the Trail of Death from Indiana to Kansas in 1838.
A former professor at Haskell Indian Nations University, Lawrence, Kansas, and a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, he was instrumental in founding the Potawatomi Trail of Death Association in 2005.
Although there are plenty of returning performers and craftsmen at the festival, each year there are new additions.
This year, Doyle Blooding, South Bend, will teach the history of, and demonstrate, the Atlatl at the shooting range.
Margaret Carter, Rochester, will bring her horse, Sassy, to meet the public in the pen at the edge of the woods, originally built for Dr. John Haste's animals. Carter will tell about riding side saddle and about the Arabian horse.
Joseph Vannasdale, Bowling Green, Ky., is a cooper. He will demonstrate making barrels.
The 78th Frazier Bagpipe Band of Culver Military Academy will perform and set up a camp. They are planning a dance for Saturday night.
Also, last year's drum will not be returning. There will be a new singing drum this year. It is Winter Hawk, led by Brian LaJeunesse, Walkerton.
The Trail of Courage includes historic encampments representing the French & Indian War, voyageurs, Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Western fur trade, Plains Indians teepees, and Woodland Indians wigwam village. There is also a recreation of Chippeway, the first trading post, post office and village in Fulton County in 1832.
Food purveyors and traditional craftsmen set up in wooden booths to demonstrate and sell their wares. Craftsmen also sell pre-1840 trade goods from blankets and in historic merchant tents, offering a variety of items from clothing and jewelry to knives and candles - everything needed to live in frontier days.
Canoe rides, muzzleloader shooting, tomahawk throwing contests and a frontier blab school add to the frontier activities.
Visitors will find the Metocinyah Long Rifles camp along the riverfront, with mountain man tug of war games off and on all day and the Chippeway trading post, where there are demonstrations on the porch.