Information for Event Coordinators
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We're not just a Merchant
Period Game Demonstrations
In addition to our unique line of historic games we provide a great deal of
free entertainment to your visitors.
We use a large marquee tent as "portable gaming hall" where we set up several tables and benches and invite the public and participants to sit down to learn a period game for free in a coffeehouse-like atmosphere.
(Some of the exclusive social/gambling clubs of 18th an 19th century London actually have origins as coffee houses. Also, we have found references to gambling tents as part of the common sideline entertainments at English horse races.)
As we play, we try to teach our visitors a little about of the history of games. For those who are too timid to play, or hesitant to ask questions, our tent includes signage which provides additional historical information about our wares, and the overall history of games and gambling in Europe and early America.
Above: our staff playing games with the public at the Feast of the Hunter's Moon, Lafayette Indiana.
Wood Turning Demo
We can also present a demonstration of period wood-turning, fashioning simple wooden toys, game pieces, lace-making bobbins, and other small items. Rather than using a spring-pole lathe as can be seen used by other demonstrators of man-powered turning, I use a small hand-pumped bow lathe inspired by illustrations dating to the 17th century. I have assembled some of the documentation for my turning demonstration along with pictures of my own lathe on a website on the history of woodturning
Right: Wood turning at the Upper Great Lakes Renaissance Festival, Ironwood MI, 2002.
Since 1995 we have appeared at historic-themed events portraying a range of eras. As result we have historic attire suitable for event from the Renaissance to the Fur Trade Era.
A "resume" of some of the events we have attended include:
The Minnesota Renaissance Festival (Master Artisans' Award holder).
The Feast of the Hunter's Moon, Lafayette, IN.
Trail of History, IL.
Mississinewa 1812, Mississinewa, IL
Echoes of the Past Living History Trade Fair, Oshkosh, WI.
Kalamazoo Living History Show, Kalamazoo, MI.
American Heritage Living History Show, St. Charles, IL.
Siouxland Renaissance Festival, Sioux Falls, SD.
We research, produce and sell our own line of historic board, dice and card games. We have been studying games of the past for over fifteen years, and have written a column, "The Compleat Gamester" for Renaissance Magazine, as well as articles on the history of games for Smoke & Fire News.
Before going into business, we were members of a Scottish living history group with a strong educational focus, and spent several years teaching the public about the history of games as our niche within that group. Our wares are purchased by historical reenactors around the world; used in school classrooms as teaching aids; and have been sold in the museum stores of respected living-history sites such as Plimoth Plantation, The Jamestown Settlement, and St. Maries City. Included with the each game is a brief history, as well as a bibliography documenting our sources.
Views of our encampment
At outdoor events, we have two different sized marquee tents that we use as our "portable gaming hall" where we demonstrate and sell our games. Depending on the space we have available we can set up our preferred 18' x 24' marquee tent, or a smaller 12' x 18' marquee.
In addition, we use two 10' x 13' sleeping tents to shelter ourselves, and our sales help. Therefore, at events where we can camp behind our sales tent, our preference is for a 30' x 30' space.
Photos courtesy of http://www.atthefaire.com