Visit yesteryear at Boonesborough days

Visit yesteryear at Boonesborough days
by William L. Bulla

"New and exciting things are happening this year for Boonesborough Days," said Karen Greeley, a member of the event's coordinating committee. "We are working to bring the festival back to its original historical aspect."
For this 35th anniversary year, the Boonsboro Historical Society will feature more than 150 early American arts, crafts, antiques and food vendors. Rain or shine, the event will be held September 9 and 10, from 9a.m. to 5p.m. in Boonboro's Shafer Park. Proceeds from Boonesborough Days are the Society's main source for maintaining the Bowman House and providing donations throughout the community.
To capture the historical atmosphere of colonial days, The Friends of Fort Frederick will erect an eighteenth century camp. These re-enactors will live in the camp throughout the event, dressed in military and civilian attire of the period. They will demonstrate to the public various aspects of colonial camp-life, including cooking. Also, at the campsite, a Colonial sutler will set up a shop and demonstrate an early method of making furniture with lathe and drawknife. Children visiting Boonesborough Days are encouraged to visit the camp and learn to play colonial games. Other activities for children over both days include pony rides and Shafer Park's playground.
"The craft demonstrations will be showing the old skills of our early ancestors," said Jan Wetterer, committee member.
The craft demonstrators, typical of eighteenth and nineteenth century craftsmen, will include a broom maker, chair caner, lace maker, spinner, weaver, soap maker, rug hooker, quilter, basket weaver, and blacksmith. These crafts people will share their amazing skills and answer questions from their audience.
"There will be other traditional handmade crafts for sale," Wetterer said. "These vendors will offer many unique styles of jewelry, dried and fresh-cut flowers, herbs, soaps, pottery, garden art, furniture, teddy bears, wooden toys and clothing. Local artists, working in various media, will showcase their talents in local landscapes, caricatures, architecture, still life, and other art works."
Returning again this year is Aubrey Wright, who hand carves soldiers, songbirds and other items from wood then, hand-paints them in acrylics or oil paints.
A new exhibitor, who will demonstrate her techniques, is Terri White, a Virginian who handcrafts and hand-paints brass jewelry with an antique motif.
"We strive for quality and variety," said Wanda Heuer, President of Boonsboro Historical Society. "We have one exhibitor who represents the third generation to participate in our show."
A popular exhibit returning this year is the "Raptor" display, through the courtesy of Cindy McGee. This exhibit will be available only on Saturday. McGee operates a shelter for wounded birds of prey.
TriState Astronomers (TSA), a group of amateur astronomers from the tri-state area, plan several displays including one on the recent March 30 total solar eclipse as viewed from Togo West Africa, and short video presentations. If weather, sky and solar conditions are favorable, the public may view sun spots through telescopes. The group, formed in 1985, is a member organization of Night Sky Network, sponsored by NASA and Jet Propulsion Laboratories. "We are excited to take part in Boonesborough Days, as it is an excellent opportunity for us to promote the appreciation of the night sky and other celestial events with our friends in the local community," said Mike Sager, TSA Program and Night Sky Coordinator.
In keeping with Boonsboro's historical past, though of a later era, Saturday, from 5-6p.m., the Federal City Brass Band will be performing in the Shafer Park bandstand. The band recreates the sound and appearance of a regular U.S. Army regimental brass band of the 1860s. The music the band plays includes original band journals and sheet music of the Civil War era. Members of The Federal City Brass Band are professional musicians, music educators, historians and re-enactors, and collectively represent some of the finest brass and percussion players in the Civil War music field today. The band is based in Baltimore, Maryland.
Both days there will be free trolley rides to Washington Monument State Park through the courtesy of the Boonsboro Downtown Development Commission. Local artists, working in various media, will showcase their talents in area landscapes, caricatures, architecture, still life, and other art works.
Antique vendors will have a variety of quality collectibles, rare books, postcards, vintage linens, glassware and other memorabilia.
Civil War enthusiasts will be treated to a display of artifacts and relic collections from the South Mountain Coin and Relic Hunters Association.
The new Master Gardeners of Washington County will hold a plant clinic (also called, "Ask a Master Gardener") where one may bring their yard and garden problems, and someone will be on hand to help them find a solution. Visitors can also learn about the Master Gardener program.
There will be a display of native plants for the area, provided by Karen Greeley, and Boonsboro Garden Club president, Brenda Hollar. "We are also featuring a pictorial display of the Heirloom Gardens being built at the Rural Heritage Museum at the AG Center on Sharpsburg Pike," said Greeley, Boonesborough Days committee member.
"And no one should go away hungry," said Heuer. "There will be a variety of food vendors. The majority is from local church and non-profit organizations. This event provides them with a major annual fundraiser. And those funds raised here stay in the area." Some of the food items being served will be country ham, pulled pork, barbecued chicken, apple dumplings, soup, crab cakes, baked goods and much more.
A community worship service will be held in the park at 10:00a.m. Sunday with participation from the various churches in Boonsboro and following that afternoon will be an Antique Car Show--great for all ages!
Shafer Park is located just off Main Street in Boonsboro. Admission is free. For more information call 301-432-5889.