19th Century Technology has an interesting artistic mechanicalness to it that belies the fact that working conditions where hard, hot and off times dangerous. None the less there is a beauty in its structure.
During the War of 1812 The Battle of Longwoods was a minor skirmish in the back and forth action that marked the fighting in south western Upper Canada (Ontario). Neither the British nor Americans gained any strategic or tactical advantage over the other in this seesaw action as each side didn’t have the troops to exploit their respective successes. As a result this part of Upper Canada became a no man’s land. Each year historic re-enactors come together at the Longwoods Conservation
site to recreate this battle as well as sit around the came fire, tell tales, enjoy each other’s company and drink beer.
Historic re-enacting is something that I have been involved in for well over 34 years. In trying to recreate the past it is interesting just how much study and effort goes into making sure everything is just right. Not just the late night study sessions but the sitting around the camp fires discussing the historic in’s and out’s of any given time period. It’s hard to know just what draws people to try and recreate the past. If you where to line up 500 historic re-enactors you’d more than likely get 500 different variations on the theme. For the most part, as people, we are interested in where we come from because it also helps us to answer the question of where we are going. These are some of the people that I photographed at Stoney Creek Ontario this past weekend who like me are interested in preserving and presenting the past.
Before the advent of modern communications in the military musicians played a vital role. Not just for playing music to entertain or while on the march. Musicians where also the communications network for every military regiment. Every order that regulated a soldier’s life had an accompanying musical tune that told him when to get up, when to eat, when to sleep, and everything in between. The tonal pitch of fifes and drums could also be heard over and under the roar of battle making them vital as a communications system to relay orders and commands. This past weekend I had the joy of photographing one of the finest recreated early 19th century fife and drum unit as well as listen to them play.
The city where I live is small and at one time was an industrial power house. But with the decline of industry and the growth of the rust belt much of that power is now gone. However if you are in reasonable shape and are use to walking then Brantford makes for a good walk with a number of trails or along it’s streets. With the Grand River cutting Brantford in two you can see wild life close to the down town as well as get a number of interesting panoramas. I’ve shot this section of the river many times and each time I can find something a little different in the vista.