Fort Scott, Kansas 1840
Meg and I were transported to Fort Scott, Kansas circa 1840 for the weekend. We were invited to reenact and teach period dancing as part of their Frontier Days celebration. Meg spent virtually the entire weekend in character.
Corporal Moeller and daughter Miss Moeller
Fort Scott is an 1840 frontier fort run by the National Park Service. Meg and I checked out costumes from the park service. The festivities started Friday evening with a parade. Meg and friends got there in time for the parade but spent the entire parade time adjusting the costumes to fit. So they missed the parade. I worked Friday and drove the two and a half hours to Fort Scott after work on Friday. I did get there in time to meet them for dinner. Meg stayed in a period tent. Mark roughed it in a historic hotel that was converted to a bed and breakfast.
The Ladies Spacious Accommodations
Markís Roughing It, The Courtland Hotel
There were several other re-enactors on site for the weekend. They had organized events every hour and a tour each day. I liked the Lewis and Clarke re-enactors and the fur traders. They were in an encampment near the ladies tent.
French and Indian Re-enactor
The ladies taught period dancing. Here they are dressed up for the dance. They danced so much that they ended up with blisters on their feet from the period shoes.
Dance, Dance, Dance
On Saturday they had the post women on duty and they prepared a period meal for all the re-enactors. It was a chicken stew and it was cooked over an open fire in a dutch oven. There were a lot of vegetables in the stew and likely one chicken to feed the crew. It was very tasty as we were hungry. They also had the post† bakery fired up. But it took so long to get hot that the bread wasnít ready in time for the meal.
In the afternoon, they had a fashion show:
1840s Flannel Bather
They had an armory display as well. Meg was in character and could not go visit the rough men without an escort. So she missed out on some of the fun.
On Sunday we had a picnic for lunch. It was enjoyed by all:
All in all, it was a most enjoyable weekend. For a short trip in Kansas, it was a lot of fun.
This weekend all we did is go on a kayaking trip in El Dorado on Saturday. Meg wants to make day trips around Kansas to see what is available. Did you know Dodge City and Abilene are in Kansas? Sounds like an adventure to me.
Mark and Meg
Ps: The uniform was wool. The weather was HOT but there was a breeze. The uniform breathed well, so as long as one was in the shade it was tolerable. The shoes were something else. They were flat soled and simply stitched with just holes for eyelets. In spite of very heavy socks they were somewhat uncomfortable. They were also hard to walk in on smooth surfaces.
†P.P.S. Dad wants me to talk about the outfit they had me wearing, so here goes: When getting dressed you must first put on bloomers and a chemise, then socks and shoes. After that goes the corset, then corset cover. In this time period they didnít have hoop skirts (it wasnít until 1860ish that they came in fashion) so they achieved the full skirt look with lots of petticoats. I wore three. Finally, after this you put on your outer skirt and top. The top I wore with long sleeves is for the day dress, and the short sleeve one is for converting it into an evening ball gown. I had to wear a hat when outside, but was lucky because I could pretend to be younger than my real age and just wear flowers in my hair inside. A lady covers her head at all times.