• Newcastle students bundle up around the fire with Fort Belknap actor Dennis Guenter during the 2017 Fort Belknap Days. The cold rain and sleet didn’t stop students from experiencing the educational day with booths set up to show students different aspects of 19th century life. Every second Saturday throughout 2018 the Friends of Fort Belknap are sponsoring a Living History Program starting on Jan. 13 with black-iron cooking. (Leader file photo)

Fort to host monthly hands-on educational programs

The Friends of Fort Belknap are sponsoring a Living History Program every second Saturday throughout 2018 at Fort Belknap, with the first starting on Jan. 13, featuring black-iron cooking.

The organization will have a new living history program every month from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for all ages. The cost of each program is $3 per person and the public is invited to stay as long as they like for each.

A youth program will be held on the same dates, from 10-11 a.m., to introduce living history and re-enacting skills to a younger generation. Some of the activities in the youth program include school of the soldier, drill, school of the piece and posting of the colors.

Through these classes, members of Friends of Fort Belknap will teach marching, recognition of rank and position, servicing of the resident cannon without firing, and posting of the color ceremony as well as honoring the flag. The group will also participate in the living history programs and will have access to other events such as the Young County Historical Commission seminars and field trips, as well as Friends of Fort Belknap-sponsored seminars and speakers.

For more information or to register for the programs contact Jim or Amber Hammond at jnhammond1836@gmail.com or 940-846-3322.

2018 Living History Schedule

• Jan. 13 – Black-Iron Cooking: An overview of the history, care and art of cooking with cast iron over an open fire. Features hands-on demonstrations for visitors.

• Feb. 10 – Fire building and Safety: Lessons about the basics of fire safety in a period setting. Visitors will learn to start a fire with period techniques as well as how to build a fire and maintain it for cooking and heating safety.

• March 10 – Shelters and Camps: Lessons on the skills needed and layout of setting up period military and civilian equipment. This includes tents, shades, fire pit location and maintaining a period appearance.

• April 14 – Field trip to Fort Richardson: Visitors will apply the skills they learned in the previous living history programs at Fort Richardson’s Living History Days.

• May 12 – Soap Making: Hands-on demonstrations of the making of lye soap which includes the history, recipe and techniques used.

• June 9 – Woodworking: A demonstration of period woodworking techniques and tools and includes a hands-on project using the skills learned.

• July 14 – Spinning and Weaving: A demonstration of spinning and weaving on the fort’s spinning wheels and looms. The program includes a hands-on demonstration of various sipping and weaving techniques on instruments such as drop spindles and potholder looms.

• Aug. 11 – Folk Music: Demonstrations of period music and musical instruments.

• Sept. 15 – Food Preservation: Lessons on period food preservation techniques used before widespread refrigeration. Features hands-on demonstration of steps for preservation in the various methods.

• Oct. 13 – Field Trip to Fort Griffin: Visitors will apply the skills they learned in the previous living history programs at Fort Griffin’s Living History Days.

• Nov. 10 – Tanning: Lessons on the various techniques used for turning animal hides into useable leather and buckskin. Features hands-on demonstration of steps for tanning by various methods.

• Dec. 8 – Victorian Christmas: Visitors can come celebrate a Victorian Christmas with traditional foods and decorations, make a Victorian-style ornament or learn an old recipe for foggy pudding.

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