It has been four years since I last visited La Fontaine, Indiana for the annual Missisinawa War of 1812 Re-enactment weekend.
It is the largest living museum of the War of 1812, which includes a military encampment, Indian Village, and a wilderness area. Rivertown offers reproductions of many 1812 reproductions from that era including fine yard goods, silver, tinware, pottery, muskets, and candles.
There were rows and rows of vendors selling their wares.
But one caught my eye.
I came upon a tent with a man outside chipping away at a piece of marble. I didn't know that you could chip away at this dense stone so easily. It was the portrait of the first white man to go to the state of Kentucky. His name escapes me right now. I stood there and watched a while. On the ground, I noticed that there was a headstone for a grave. Then I flooded the artist with questions about his craft.
He answered my questions in a sweet Southern drawl. My favorite of all the American accents. David Gillespie, a native and resident of South Carolina has been carving tombstones for over ten years and demonstrating at Eighteenth Century Re-enactments to bring to life the lost art of stone-cutting. David and his wife Renee demonstrate all across the Eastern U.S. If you would like to read more about the art of tomb and grave stones check out the book above that Mr. Gillespie wrote. I brought a copy home with me. By the way, the new trend of putting a portrait on a grave stone is not new. This was done back in the 1700's. Click on the Link for purchasing options. Now I want to visit Charleston, South Carolina to see the stones that are found in the book. David Gillespie and his wife have a web site called Pumpkintown Primitives. They do more than just cut stones.
I couldn't resist the Williamsburg style fabric that would make a great tablecloth for the kitchen and possibly curtains to match.
History doesn't have to be boring. There is more to it than names and dates. Researching my family history has caused a love of history to well up within me that never existed before. Now I try to get out and learn as much as I can about the country in which I live. Going to this kind of thing is not for everyone. But try it as least once. You may change your mind.