Over the years, history buffs here in the Cumberland Gap region have watched Wilderness Road State Park near Ewing, VA become a first-rate center of historical interpretation. In addition to a beautiful visitor center and a gorgeous setting, the park features a reconstruction of Martin’s Station, which was once the last outpost settlers reached before heading through the mountains into Kentucky. Today it’s the most accurately rebuilt frontier fort anywhere in America.
For ten years now, WRSP has hosted an annual reenactment which has become one of the most exciting living history events in the South. It’s happening again this weekend, and I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in the eighteenth-century frontier, the American Revolution, or Native American history.
In addition to the usual reenactment goings-on—demonstrations, a mock battle, sutlers, music—one especially nifty feature of this event is a staged nighttime raid, in which visitors get locked inside the fort with the militia while Indians attack in the dark. This is one of those rare experiences that does what good living history is supposed to do, which is give you a sense of a long-past event that’s difficult to convey through any other medium. It’s one of the most exciting experiences I’ve ever had at any historic site.
Here’s some additional information. Check it out.