Park plans trip back to 1700sPublished 4:00am Saturday, April 13, 2013
The annual French and Indian War Encampment will be held at Fort Toulouse/Jackson Park in Wetumpka April 20 and 21. The weekend event will offer visitors an opportunity to see firsthand what life was like in the area more than 250 years ago.
Reenactors will portray British, French and Native American people who fought in the 1756-1763 war for control of eastern North America.
Dressed in period clothing and using period guns and equipment, the soldiers, Indians and civilians will entertain crowds with rapid musket fire and bayonet drills. They will also talk to guests about what life was like when Alabama was part of the French colony of Louisiana.
Reenactors from Alabama, surrounding states and further afield will present the living history event, which will feature ongoing demonstrations of various aspects of that time in history. French Colonial Marines and their families will garrison the reconstructed 1751 Fort Toulouse. French civilians and Indians will camp surrounding the fort, and British forces will also be camped nearby.
The reenactment will feature skirmishes and military movements. Visitors will also be entertained with a variety of skills competitions. In addition, merchants will offer souvenirs and items replicating those of the period. There will also be cannon firing and skirmishes between the forces.
Attendees will have the chance to interact with both forces as they offer insights into battle strategies.
The encampment has been held annually for more than nearly 20 years. It is a smaller event than November’s Frontier Days at the forts, but offers more opportunity for interaction with the reenactors.
America’s French and Indian War was part of a series of wars between
Great Britain and France that began in 1689 and continued until 1763, and which historians commonly refer to as “The War for Empire.” The stakes of the lengthy war was dominance in Europe and colonies in the Americas, Asia and Africa. In North America, the conflict translated into raids by both French and British soldiers, along with Indian warfare. The European combatants’ goal was to capture frontier forts and settlements, as well as seaports.
The American campaigns were the final conflicts in the wars, and simply identified as the French and Indian War. The end came when Quebec fell to the British in 1759 and Montreal in 1760. The official agreement to transfer control from France to Great Britain came in the 1763 Treaty of Paris.
Encampment hours will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $4 for adults and $2 for children 7-12. Children under six will be admitted free.
For more information, call 334-567-3002 or visit preserveal.org or fttoulousejackson.org.