History lives on

Published 9:02 am Thursday, May 10, 2018

One of Wilderness Road State Park’s biggest annual events is about to kick off this weekend — the Raid at Martin’s Station.

At this event, you’ll see hundreds of professional reenactors step back in history to recreate life on the frontier during the 18th century.

The raid is historically significant to the area and American history in general. During the 1700s, Shawnee warriors and the British aligned themselves and would stage raids on settlements in the area, and one of those settlements was Martin’s Station.

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This year marks the 18th raid reenactment.

Chief Ranger Billy Heck stated he expects 400 reenactors this year. Around 500 reenactors will attend the event. Besides the battle, visitors will be able to tour militia and Shawnee camps, purchase period accurate wares from from merchants, witness learn about tanning, fly-fishing, musket and artillery firing, open hearth cooking, colonial medicine, listen to live music performed by Sons of Liberty and learn about all aspects of the frontier life.

“We take pride in being known as the most accurate recreated fort in the nation,” said Park Ranger Scott Bowen.

“Many times when people visit historical sites they only experience open fields or empty structures; however, when you visit a reenactment the participants fill in the unexplained gaps and truly bring history alive,” said Heck.

Outside of this event, this month is dedicated to demonstrating life at Martin’s Station. Reenactors will show the day-to-day life of the frontier with gunsmithing, blacksmithing, hide tanning, 18th century gardening, cooking and other activities the men and women of the frontier had to do.

“Our main goal here is to communicate the stories of the settlers that traveled the Wilderness Road in the mid-1770s,” said Bowen.

The event begins on May 11 and will run through May 13.

For more information on the Raid at Martin’s Station and other upcoming events at the Wilderness Road State Park, visit the park itself at 8051 Wilderness Road, Ewing, Virginia, or visit http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/wilderness-road#general_information