I'm starting to see many events marking the bicentennial of the War of 1812 this year, but we were fortunate enough to attend the War of 1812 Muster at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan last summer.
I thought it would be nice to post some photos and impressions from that event as The Henry Ford prepares to stage another War of 1812 Muster this year on August 18 and 19 at Greenfield Village.
The Henry Ford's 1812 musters feature costumed re-enactors representing the men who made up this country's citizen militias that formed as the War of 1812 brought the only major invasion of the United States home.
Last year's event featured a military encampment, parades of soldiers, musket- and cannon-firing demonstrations, live music, displays of early-1800s medical equipment (some of it pretty scary looking) and, my favorite, a runway show featuring 1812-era fashions for both men and women.
Greenfield Village at The Henry Ford covers several acres, and it can easily take an entire day to tour the 80-acre village, let alone attend events associated with a special event like the muster. Admission to the Village is $24 for adults, $17.50 for kids aged 5-12 and free for members (like us!). The War of 1812 Muster is free with admission to Greenfield Village.
The Henry Ford is also screening the premiere of a 30-minute documentary focusing on Michigan's role in the War of 1812 at 7 p.m. on August 18 at the museum's Anderson Theater. The film, "Michigan at War: The Struggle for the Old Northwest, 1812-1815", documents the state's role as a key battleground during the War of 1812.
Interestingly, the Michigan DNR press release about the screening at The Henry Ford talks about "Michigan's important role in fighting and winning the war", when from what I've read and seen elsewhere seems to indicate that this was a war with no real "winner" or "loser". In any case, you can check it out for yourself at the premiere or later this year on WTVS-Channel 56, Michigan's PBS television station.
Check out the War of 1812 page at Michigan's DNR site for information about other events, resources and War of 1812 bicentennial news from around the state.
I've written several War of 1812-related stories in the past year. Check out Learning about the War of 1812 at Fort Meigs in Perrysburg, Ohio, The Baby House spotlights Canadian history and identity in Windsor, Ontario and Aboard the 1812 Privateer Lynx in Frankfort, Michigan here at Midwest Guest, as well as my story, Living History at Fort Meigs at the Ohio Tourism Division's Discovering Ohio blog.
Want a more scholarly take on the War of 1812? Check out The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict, Bicentennial Edition by Donald R. Hickey.
© Dominique King 2012 All rights reserved