Hosted by The Tippecanoe County Historical Association

The birthing of a new nation does not happen on a regular basis. To live through such an experience would be something worth writing books about. Many of us will never get to experience such an event, let alone write the books. But that does not mean that we cannot experience a re-creation of that time period.

While you may not experience the sense of gravity one would have had during the time period, it is still possible to get a taste of buffalo, to see someone shoot a musket, or request a special item be handcrafted on a smithy’s forge, a cooper’s mallet and chisel, or a bowl-maker’s whittling tools. The Hartley Team decided to send out its new administrator to experience this period, the period of the birthing of the United States of America. We want to share his experience with you. So, put down the musket, make yourself a cup of apple cider, kick off your moccasins, and read along as our Administrator describes his experience at The Feast of the Hunter’s Moon.

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From Our Administrator, Travis Stockton:

I was overwhelmed by the amount of tents and bodies. Row after row of tents dotted the landscape as individuals wove themselves in and out of the tents to purchase a trinket, taste some buffalo stew, or to barter for a hand-woven bag. There were hundreds of people seeking to re-live that time period which our country is most proud of.

Individuals go to great lengths to recreate it. They live the part the entire weekend. Many will camp out, living in tents and tee-pees, and forego all modern conveniences such as televisions and iPods. This helps add to the ambiance and on occasion, the smell.

Children will join in the activities, selling various goods and dressing up as children of the time period. But this is only a part of what brings a person to “awe” at the power of this festival.

What really struck me though, is the history. Everywhere I looked, I saw history. It was in every costume, every trade craft, and in every shot of a musket. It hit me in the face everywhere I turned. It was hidden in every shadow, hiding unseen by the naked eye.

To really understand the history, we must dig deeper, deeper than this blog post will go. But perhaps a drop of history will cause a ripple of interest into the background behind this feast. A short snippet of history then, is in order!

The fort was established in 1717 by the governor of New France. What is ‘New France’? Well, after North America had been discovered, all the major powers of the time endeavored to establish trade with the newly discovered continent. The various countries continued to fight for control over it. France considered the entire continent to be theirs and laid claim to the continent in name and in deed. They named the continent ‘New France’.

The fort was established on the Wabash River and generally housed less than 40 people at a time, a fraction of the amount of people that attended this year’s event. The fort endured many transitions as the powers involved in the region fluctuated. Control went from the French, to the British, and eventually the fort was burned down. It was reconstructed in the 1960's.

If you are intrigued by American History and have not experienced The Feast Of The Hunter’s Moon, this is the place to be. History can be found in text books, but there is something about this festival that brings its past to life. Seeing the flag stirs something deep. It stirs up a sense of strength and appreciation. Appreciation for what this country has gone through, and what we are capable of facing in the future.