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Tea Party Winners: Vicki Talley McCollum's Never Say Goodbye, A National Park Romance novella goes to: Caryl Kane, Deanne Patterson, Deana Dick, Carrie Fancett Pagels' winners Beverly Duell-Moore and Cindy Pratt, Roseanna White's winners - Betti Mace, Gabrielle Meyer's winners -, Deb Marvin's paperback winner - Rachel Dodson

Monday, July 31, 2017

That Day I Visited the French and Indian War.

With our upcoming Barbour novella collection, (and yes I'm writing on deadline...right now!) it was a perfect opportunity for me to finally visit Fort Niagara during their encampment dedicated to the French and Indian War.
Okay, this I did this for my granddaughter who is fascinated with wolves. This is a wolf pelt (head to tail) which I am wearing. So, of course I needed a musket to fend off those of you who would deign to mock me (for being entirely out of fashion as I protect The Castle)

Fort Niagara has been a fort since early in the 1700s when the French built in along the Great Lakes waterway. The French and Indian war saw it transferred to the British. By the revolutionary war, Fort Niagara (on the east side of the Niagara River) became an American point of defense with the British Fort George across the river!

Here's a map of the area:
The Niagara  River flows from Lake Erie in Lake Ontario  and is the border between present day Canada and the U.S, (See Buffalo, Tonawanda and Youngstown). At the northern end, Fort Niagara guards the mouth of the river.
During the Fourth of July holiday, I made the two hour trip to get an idea of what a full encampment would look like, and also to grab some photo opportunities. There's nothing like visiting the setting of a story and my upcoming novella, A HEART SO TENDER, part of Barbour Publishing's BACKCOUNTRY BRIDES is set in 1764 Fort Niagara during the Great Gathering of Nations by Indian Agent Sir William Johnson. I can definitely get lost in research but I'll spare you and just share some photos instead!  You'll hear more about this important decade in "American" history over the next year.
From inside the southern blockhouse, I could look inside the fort where sutlers and the French Army camped. The large building in the distance, closest to the lake, is 'the Castle', the most important and largest of the buildings.

This gentleman uses gourds and grasses to make decorative baskets. I love the authenticity of the vendors and their devotion to history.

It was a low-humidity, lovely day by the lakeshore. The  castle to the right and an artificer's barracks to the left. Artificers were the builders and tradesmen who 'fixed' things for the soldiers
A weaver discusses his choice of wool with this impressively attired gentleman who magnificently showed of the clothing and attire of his ancestors! He also was good at 'pulling my leg' when I asked if I could take their photo. The woven belts were important parts of  the clothing of Frenchman and First People alike.

A young French soldier awaits the British attack.
While Fort Niagara hosts a number of events throughout the year, this was my best opportunity to visit an encampment focusing on the events prior to the setting of my novella.  I hope to capture the flavor of the day and your attention!
While I knew that Author Michelle Griep had visited Fort Niagara the day before, I didn't know at the time that she was also there on the same day, researching for an upcoming novel.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the event, or Fort Niagara. I'm excited to bring it to you, fictionally, in the fall of 2018, along with the stories from my fellow Colonial Quills authors.

For more: visit DebraEMarvin on FacebookAmazon,Twitter, webpage and pinterest.
This week I have a new book release - The Case of the Clobbered Cad, an amateur sleuth mystery set in 1956 Edinburgh for fans of "The Girl Detective."  The ebook is up for pre-order and the paperback will be available later this week. Learn more here!



14 comments:

  1. Wonderful photos! I can't wait to read your story. I love NY history.

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    1. Thanks Kathy! I just explained the history behind my story to my office mate. She didn't even roll her eyes! William Johnson is a fascinating character in 'NY' history and Fort Niagara is definitely a treasure.

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  2. Awesome, Debra! I suppose that wolf pelt was hot to wear! I'm rereading Joan's American Revolution series and one of the Indians wears a wolf pelt - from the head, skull, jaw, body, feet, to the tail, etc. The way she describes it, it is quite chilling! This looks like a place hubby ad I would love to visit. We love immersing ourselves in our countries history.

    Our daughter and her hubby, along with with their along with their sweet toddler, Joseph, are American Revolutionary reenactors. I believe their unit was supposed to be there that day but my family had prior plans. Amber is the model on Carrie's book, Lilac's for Julianna.

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    1. There are many who do both French and Indian War, Revolutionary War and War of 1812 (Which is big in Canada), so I see some of the same Sutlers especially. The wolf pelt was nice and warm and a bit smelly and, yes, I've seen it worn as costume or ceremonial costume. We also have a historical site here -Seneca village called Ganondagan that has a longhouse and a great number of events. I'm surrounded by history

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    1. I was researching the other night and realized that one of the Seneca Villages at that time (and considered loyal to the British) was on the same ground as where I am staying of the summer. I live on Cayuga village land but I'm visiting Geneva. Being a NYer, I learned Iroquois/Haudenosaunee history in fourth grade and have always longed to know more. Thanks Michelle! I'm glad you got to visit and I look forward to yours!

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  4. Wonderful post! What an exciting research trip for you. I would love to go there some day, especially during an encampment. Love your Wolf costume!!

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    1. They do a number of events but I made a point of hitting the French and Indian war reenactment as it was so close to the setting of my story. Plus it was nice for me to get close to 'the big lake' Ontario! I grew up along the shore and it's part of my history, too.

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  5. Great post Debra! Loving the pictures and your wolf pelt, thank you for sharing.
    Blessings,Tina

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    1. Thanks, Tina! It was a lot of fun just to see those in costume. I have done visits to War of 1812 events 'in costume' but I don't have proper 18th century clothing. Not yet!

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  6. Love the pelt and gun. Maybe you should wear it when writing. 😳 Look forward to reading. Have a blessed day.

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    1. I have a cat on my lap half the time so that will have to do!
      Thanks Lucy! I am excited about the great story lines that the Colonial Quills ladies are pulling together for this collection!

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  7. Thanks everyone! I've been unable to comment via my cell phone and now I'm "at work"! But I appreciate your comments and will check in again soon. The pelt was quite interesting. Fuzzy, hot, smelly!

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  8. Great pictures and I enjoyed the history review. I visited Navy Hall in Niagara on the Lake just s few weeks ago - I could see Fort Niagara as we walked along the Niagara River.

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