Fort Frederick Market Fair

May 23, 2014 - No Comments

by Jim Barnes

Maryland Provincial sentry

This year, Linda and I attended our first Market Fair at Fort Frederick in Maryland. I have been hearing about this event for years, but have never gone. I am glad that we finally did so.

Located just off I-70 near Clear Springs, MD, Fort Frederick is in and of itself worthy of a visit. Completed in 1757, it was built to protect settlers on Maryland’s frontier from attacks during the French and Indian War (1754-1763). Built of stone, the fort was relatively safe from fire, although not from artillery. It saw service not only during this war, but also during Pontiac’s Rebellion in 1763 and later held British prisoners during the Revolution. The fort was also used briefly during the American Civil War. It was restored during the 1920’s and 30’s.

The Market Fair consists of a large array of period 18th Century sutlers (around 140 by my count) and a large encampment of reenactors. Various living history demonstrations were scheduled throughout the event, including period music and travelling period novelty performers. The Maryland provincial guard drilled in the fort and I observed representatives of the British military as well as Colonials. There was no shortage of longhunters or native Americans to represent the frontier areas. I also saw quite a few well-to-do gentlemen and ladies and even, judging by their wigs, a couple who appeared to be  members of the Royal Court.

This was a great event and one that is open to the general public. Though, if you are planning to come, you may want to bring a lot of money!

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