Friday, 25 April 2014

Learning about the French and Indian War and Field trip

We are studying the French and Indian War with the kids and reading several books and watching a few shows to help us learn about this period of history.
Some of the books we have been reading
As a family we watched the PBS documentary on the French and Indian war which was an excellent overview of the time and the war.  I highly recommend it.  My husband's favorite all time movie is Last of the Mohicans so of course we watched that and than as we were reading found all the things that were inaccurate about the movie;).

We decided to take a trip to visit one of the local French Forts in our area and try to get a better hands on feel for the time.  We lucked out and found an re enactment group was there and got to see clothes, food and items of the time period as well:)  SO there are lots of photos as usual:)

The enactment group that was here this day said they were portraying Eastern long hunters which we were told were different from Mountain Men which came after.  I still need to look that up

We were told these metal plates were the last remnants of amour worn up until the Revolutionary War.

The fort has been rebuilt due to the changing of the river

Open court yard and two of the buildings with completed construction

Lots of stands were the kids could see some of the items we have been reading and talking about.  It was interesting to see what has or had not changed since the Viking age

replica of a canoe.  We were told that due to wood shortages that canvass was used to stretch over the wood slates.

We keep seeing tents with what looked to be chimneys in them

Finally found a tent that let us take a look of the portable Brazier stove.

Campfire stove top

I was amazed at how much stuff people brought along with them while moving

no wonder when colonist or pioneers traveled westward they started dumping their possessions along the way.   Although if you are going to camp in a tent this is how I want to do it:)

Examining the gun called the Brown bess which this gentleman told us made America.  We also go to see what a turn screw was and what it does.  While small screws were used for tools and guns they were not mass produced to use in furniture and house building until much later.

Someone working in the garden

Examining the different flags at the time

and learning what they mean...we will be learning more about  different flags soon

Next we went into the two completed stone building and saw how the men might has lived at the fort.

officer quarters

soldiers with some rank would live more comfortable in this type of settings

storage rooms

The fort pub

Looking at a map to see the position of the river and how it has changed over the years and how it affected the fort and why it needed to be moved and rebuilt

Kids exploring the fort walls

The fort ammunition was interesting to see how different the construction of this building compared to the others and we talked to the kids to explained how they constructed this building to contain an explosive as much as possible if it was hit be cannon fire.

Inside was barrels which at one time were probably filled with gun powder 

Super thick walls and double doors 

IN many ways this fort reminded us of many walls that surrounded churches or castles that we have seen while living in England.
We had a wonderful day out exploring history and while talking to the reenactors we were told of two books that help explain the period better which I am looking into.  The books recommended were The Gauntlet runner (which is about the French and Indian War) and Bloodying at Great Meadow (which gives a better understanding of the making of George Washington).  Currently my children are reading the book The Signs of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Spear which gives the children a better understanding of the interactions of Indians with colonist.


  1. What is a long hunter? I have to say that I wouldn't hate camping so much if I could camp in tents like those. Nice beds and got to love that stove!

  2. This is another great post. My daughter's been interested in American history recently, so I'll pass this onto her. I can't wait to see what you learn about the different flags. That sounds really interesting.

    It's striking how much the building structure of this fort looks like the Roman fort we visited here in Germany. They would have been built almost 2000 years apart in time.