A revolutionary weekend at Martin’s Station

Published 8:42 am Friday, October 14, 2022

JORDAN BROOKS

jordan.brooks@middlesboronews.com

This past weekend, the public got to enjoy the festival-like atmosphere of a late harvest camp as the American and British armies went into winter quarters that was the Fall Encampment that is held annually at historic Wilderness Road State Park.

Visitors were able to immerse themselves into the autumn festival environment along 18th-century Virginia frontier folk at historic Martin’s Station in Ewing, Virginia.

“Winter’s coming, and settlers at Martin’s Station must gather crops and get ready. Even while preparing for winter, they took time to enjoy the fall with frolic, music, just like we do,” said Francis Inwood, historical re-enactor and Appalachian storyteller who frequents the Historic Martin’s Station for their many events.

Hawkers, sutlers, entertainers, gawkers, local gentry, farmers and all the citizens for miles around congregate to offer wares and entertainment, seek pleasure and a spectacle, and most importantly be part of one of the most important local events they might have seen during the 18th century period.

Martin’s Station Fall Encampment is more than just a re-enactment of local historical events. It is a rare opportunity for local folks to have access to such a large event.

“A long summer has given way to autumn,” Inwood said. “The harvest of Powell’s Valley abounds. Our community is gathering to give thanks and celebrate the fruits of their hard labor.

“Just like on the far reaches of the Virginia frontier, we have skilled tradesmen, such as  blacksmiths, gunsmiths, and bakers, mingle with tidewater merchants, and enjoy a celebration amongst vendors.”

On the second day of the event, visitors were able to experience a celebration of southwestern Virginia’s unique cultural heritage. This event featured handmade Appalachian crafts available for purchase on the Karlan Mansion lawn. Demonstrators showcased their time-honored skills, and musicians graced the stage to keep audiences, both old and young, entertained, all while children enjoyed fun and educational activities all within an Appalachian context.

Inwood says there will be a few more events at the state park this year as well.

On Oct. 27, the Wilderness Road State Park is hosting “Pumpkins in the Park,” from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Activities will include pumpkin painting, costume contests, storytelling and a community-based Trunk-or-Treat, where children enjoy an old fashioned Halloween, all while in a family-friendly environment.