Grove City: The Encampment @ Fryer Park

By Kristina, posted on April 22nd, 2010.
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April 23, 2010
7:00 pmto8:30 pm
April 24, 2010
10:00 amto5:30 pm
April 25, 2010
10:00 amto3:00 pm

Watch Union and Confederate soldiers participate in military drills, hear cannon fire and learn the process of firing a long rifle. Civil War field physician with hospital gear, live music, all in the 1850’s settlement of Century Village at Fryer Park. Very hands on and a great event for families. Open free to the public. 10 miles south of Columbus.

Location: 4185 Orders Road, Grove City, OH 43123

For more information:


Friday, April 23
7-8:30 p.m. – Outdoor bluegrass and ballads concert

Saturday, April 24, 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
Various exhibits throughout the day including cannon fire, long rifle demonstrations, military drill, Confederate and Union soldiers, Revolutionary War unit, early settlers of the Midwest including Buffalo Bill and a full size bison, old stage coach, tomahawk toss, Union field hospital, trappers and much more.   Food and souvenir vendor on site.
10:30 a.m. – Bell toll for deceased Society members
10:45 a.m. – Local Civil War veteran remembered and honored
10:45 a.m. – Live music of Civil War era at log cabin porch and grounds
Noon – Ohio Historical Society’s “Muffins” baseball team plays locals following rules of 1846 style games; period uniforms.
2:30 p.m. – Live music at Orders Road one room school.
5:30 p.m. – Encampment continues but building will be locked for the day.
7:30 p.m. – Old fashioned square dance at the Grove City YMCA at Fryer Park short walk from The Encampment.

Sunday, April 25, 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Same activities and exhibits as on Saturday.
10 a.m. – Outdoor interdenominational worship service
12:30 p.m. Musical groups perform at school

By Kelli Milligan-Stammen

A soldier’s life in combat has always been one of survival, but not every day is filled with tension and war. Most days are filled with waiting, watching and passing the lonely hours away from home and family.
The Southwest Franklin County Historical Society showcases those days during The Encampment, a three-day event April 23-25 at Century Village, 4185 Orders Rd., Grove City, which illustrates everyday life for those during the Revolutionary War all the way to through to the Civil War.
Now in its 10th year, the event has become a favorite for visitors to the community, and a source of pride for locals who take seriously the job of historic preservation.
Joan and Louis Eyerman are the Society’s coordinators for events at Century Village. This is the first year the event will be held over three days and, according to Joan Eyerman, the number of attendees and participants continues to grow.
“Last year we had more calls from folks in neighboring states interested in coming,” she said. “All the activities are well-received.”

In addition to the long-term camp set-up, Century Village includes permanent buildings such as a one-room brick school house, log barn and log cabin, which are also incorporated into The Encampment.
“It is so fun and exciting to feel like I have the ability to time travel to my favorite eras of history and bring the visitors along with me, especially the kids,” said Dale Christine Buck, a Society member. “My role at the event is to be one of the school teachers in the school house.   I…bring in American Girl Dolls, books, games and worksheets that teach about the eras of our event timeline.”

The setting helps make the experience even more unique
“The buildings are original, this makes it the history of Grove City and a good back drop for illustrating the time periods presented,” said Civil War re-enactor Jim W. Morris. “No other event in the area could be similar.”

There is entertainment in and out of camp and all of it is free. Bluegrass band “Loosely Strung” plays Friday at 7 p.m. The 1860’s-era Ohio Historical Society baseball team, the Muffins, take the field at noon on Saturday. Activities also include a discussion of the first 100 years of frontier life by Chuck Bell and music by the Walker Family.   A square dance will be held inside the YMCA, adjacent to Century Village, on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. A church service will be held Sunday morning, lead by the Rev. John Grey, a member of the Franklin County Genealogical Society.   Eyerman said more entertainment will be finalized as the event draws closer.
Yet some of the best presentations will be done by the re-enactors themselves as they demonstrate life in camp.

“The people re-enact the hardships of…war and all that entailed,” said Jim Brown of Iron Mule Blacksmithing, which he will be demonstrating at The Encampment. “Plus all of the hands-on instruction of all the folk arts from sewing, cooking, leather working – these things need to be passed down, even if only three days out of the year.”
Because the event has been expanded to three days those who come also will be able to experience nighttime camp life.

“Event camps take on a different life at night with the campfires and candle lights,” said Tina Sheridan. She and her husband, James, portray the everyday life of early settlers. “I can do more with the demonstrations I do.”
Visitors also will be able to do a lot with their own two hands.

“Our group, the Rangers, set up a primitive camp to ‘share a day in the life of a Frontiersman’ complete with tents and cooking gear used to duplicate recipes,” said Terry E. Jones, Ranger coordinator. “We (also) want everyone to learn about tomahawks, what they were used as and how to throw them. If the “thrower” is successful in sticking the tomahawk in the target, they are awarded a certificate of accomplishment and if it is done twice we award them a wooden nickel. If they stick three times, we chase them out of camp because they are better than we are!”
Most importantly the participants are eager to talk with visitors, answer questions and share what they know.

William Jeffery Steece will be impersonating “Buffalo Bill” Cody and the Wild West.
“I have brought the Wild West to life with a full stuffed Buffalo and a real authentic Stage Couch,” he said. “I just wish more people would come up and talk to us about the person or persons that we are impersonating. Some people are a little shy.”
Don’t be, Brown said.
“I feel a real need to teach our youth about the history – hoping they have a better appreciation and understanding of luxuries and freedoms we take for granted today,” he said. “This timeline does just that.”
The event and entertainment are free, but proceeds from food and retail sales are donated to the Southwest Franklin County Historical Society.
“The event coordinators are wonderful people, they are wanting to see history preserved,” said Keith “Kacey” Crager. He and his wife, Kathy, enact K&K Mercantile. “All of the monies go toward the restoration and up keep of (Century Village). That’s what it’s all about.”
Experiencing the way of camp life is fun for visitors and participants alike, and ensuring history is never forgotten is important to everyone.
“People know this event is a work of love,” Jones said. “It shows.”

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