Rowlesburg Volume II

Patricia Patterson is one of our most creative and original contributors. Here are her musings on the Rowlesburg event.

I was thinking about the standard AAR template, and then ever the curious researcher, I read a variety of reenactor AAR’s just for grins.  I read some of the past AAR’s, some of my own, many from events that I attended and some I did not attend.
The standard opening for the dry, matter-of-fact AAR begins with the date and location.
OK, date- We arrived Friday afternoon 24 June.
Now here is the part about the location.  Holy Cow!
This is a beautiful location people, a nice flat land park in the small town of Rowlesburg, WV.  You are surrounded on three sides by beautiful, tall mountains.  Off to the side of the location, just about a hundred yards or so you find you are in fact hard by the Cheat River, the lovely and scenic Cheat River.  This has to be, hands down one of the most beautiful spots for a camp I have ever seen.
We set up camp and greeted our friend and reenactor coordinator, Jim Barnes.  Jim was able to give us information on the surrounding area. There is a WWII museum in the town, and many veterans of past wars nearby.  We passed a peaceful and lovely night in camp.
The next morning, visitors arrived, there were a couple of vendor areas to explore and many, many friendly and interested folks to talk to about WWII stuff and reenacting.  There was an open tent set up for the WWII veterans and others.  In the afternoon there was a fashion show and many reenactors explained their uniforms and equipment, and civilians showed off period fashions.  A local church served food to visitors and reenactors alike with a smile and and a greeting.  Looking up the mountain I saw a curious buck deer staring at the event probably wondering where all the people came from.
The organizers were very good to the reenactors offering help, ice, directions, local stories and on Saturday, a free spaghetti dinner.  There was a dance in the town in the evening and other activities to attend.
On Sunday morning, we awoke to find that local wildlife (Racoons) had also enjoyed the dinner leftovers.  Oddly, we noted a large keg of beer had somehow walked from the dance to the camp.  Rumor has it that the Russian Army “liberated” the keg from the American dance, but it shall remain a mystery.
On Sunday morning, the local folks invited us to a free breakfast, and we even got a ride to the location.
Later, we broke camp and helped our friends and fellow reenactors with loading as we were in turn helped.  We had a great time.
Now here is the part where I get philosophical.  Why do we as reenactors bust our collective butts to make it to places where we are treated like animal droppings and pay for the abuse and lack of control?  You know what and where I mean don’t you?
Why when there are places like Rowlesburg who welcome you, appreciate you and make sure you are well taken care of in all respects, where the beauty of the event site makes it worth the drive, why do we continue to attend places that have no respect for us and what we do?
Rowlesburg will grow as an event, there is much energy, many new ideas much local involvement.  I intend to return, and if you are reading this, I hope you will consider making the scene.
Did I tell you how beautiful the site is?  Just in case you need a look, I attached a picture.
Thank you Rowelsburg, thanks Jim- see you next year!




3 responses to “Rowlesburg Volume II”

  1. Shirley Hartley Avatar

    Wow! What a tribute. Makes us feel good about how the event was handled. With encouragement like this, the event will continue to grow. Look toward next year — last weekend in June!.

  2. Katie Wolfe Avatar

    Gosh, I’m overcome with emotion. Thank you, Patricia for the lovely tribute to the hospitality of the folks in Rowlesburg who worked very hard to make the Living History event a huge success. Without the teamwork of the field crew (all volunteers), the cooperation of all the reenactors, the behind the scenes volunteers, and the love of everyone involved for the WW II Vets and their sacrifices for us, the event might have been ho-hum.
    Put the date (last weekend in June) on your calendar for 2012. We’ll do it again!

  3. Misha Avatar

    Rowlesburg is undoubtedly my most favourite event. Nothing compares to the small town atmosphere and hospitality of this quaint little town in West Virgina. This is truly old school America and brings back fond memories of yesteryear. I hope tghis event will continue to thrive despite the hiccup incurred this year. If I wasn’t locked in to my job and mortgage, I would settle here.

    As for the keg…Я был направлен Ставкой освободить этого прекрасного пива от угрозы фашистского hoardes.Отряд из лучших осуществляется Сталина эту миссию в обязательном порядке!


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