Follow the cavalry’s charge to the Old Stone Fort Museum, on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 7 and 8, for Stone Fort Days, featuring a weekend full of immersive, family friendly, living history re-enactments and activities. 2017 features a special 240th Anniversary commemoration of the 1777 Tory Uprising and Battle of the Flockey.
Activities both Saturday and Sunday of the Columbus Day weekend event, which will highlight all aspects of life in the Schoharie Valley during the American Revolution. Hands-on workshops and programs provide the opportunity for visitors to roll up their sleeves and get in on the action, which helps bring the history of the New York frontier to life.
“In addition to military skirmishes and full-scale, narrated battle re-enactments, there will be programs on colonial-era social life, medicine, the Iroquois, crafts, trades, toys and games,” said Old Stone Fort Museum Director Carle Kopecky. “There will even be opportunities to stitch your own sewing roll or ‘housewife’, and hand dip candles.”
Highlights of the event will include a discussion and book signings with noted author and historian, Gavin Watt. His insight will provide event goers with a unique loyalist, or “Tory”, perspective of life during the American Revolution. The year 1777 was the flashpoint of the war in this region, ignited by General Burgoyne’s campaign to occupy the Champlain, Hudson and Mohawk valleys to split New England from the rest of the colonies. Loyalist uprisings in support of Burgoyne will be recognized with re-enactments of George Mann’s defection and the Battle of Norman’s Kill. The highlight will be members of the Second Regiment, Light Dragoons, Tallmadge’s Troop re-creating the Battle of the Flockey cavalry charge.
An important milestone in American History, the Flockey marks the US cavalry’s first documented charge, as a troop of Continental Light Dragoons charged on ambushing Loyalist Americans and Mohawks. The cavalry charge, supported by rangers and militia under Colonels John Harper and Peter Vrooman, was a significant American victory as the Loyalists were scattered into the rainy, wooded hillside and forced to abandon their Schoharie Valley homes. This ignited a kind of civil war, with former neighbors and even family members fighting one another for the next five years.
In addition to viewing narrated battle re-enactments on both days of the event, visitors will also be able to witness numerous educational demonstrations, drills and military exercises, tour the British and American camps, get a look inside the tents, view a variety of historical vignettes, see artisans and merchants at work in their trades, and get a taste of both colonial food and modern fare and refreshments.
Stone Fort Days will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7 and from 12 noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday Oct. 8. Admission to the event is $10 and includes admission to the entire museum complex. Anyone under the age of 18 is free with adult supervision.