Fort Armstrong Gazette

March 2007


President’s Message
In January, the Dade Battlefield Society Board took a much needed break to unwind from the 2006 reenactment.  As you know, if you attended this past year, the weather forecasters predicted that we would have rain that weekend.  Less than a week before the event, the approaching front stalled and we were very fortunate as we had good crowds and great weather.  The paid attendance on Saturday was just under 2000 people and Sunday was close to 1000, about 400 more attendees than last year.  The board would like to thank the park personnel Manager Tracey Standridge and Rangers George Webb and Chuck Wicks for their dedication and hard work.  I don’t believe many society members or the public realize how hard they work behind the scenes to make this event come together.  Their work begins for the next reenactment right after the ongoing one is finished.

As always, Kent Lowe and Frank Laumer did outstanding jobs narrating the battle and we appreciate their hard work and the participation of all our dedicated reenactors.  We especially appreciate the efforts of our battle coordinators, Dr. Ray Giron, Steve Abolt, Jimmy Sawgrass and Swamp Owl.

We added a historical talk at the breastwork this year.  Saturday, Henry Sheldon of Gainesville spoke about Dade Battlefield, the Rest of the Story.  For example, many people don’t know that the park was used by troops during WWII.  John Missal met and talked with visitors on Sunday and answered questions about the battle.

Those of you who attended on Saturday know that the Seminole Tribe of Florida hired a professional film crew to record the reenactment as part of a documentary about the Seminoles.  We will certainly share the information with our members when the video is finished.

I would like to close by saying thank you to the board for their dedication and hard work.  We work the entire year preceding and during the reenactment, on things like publicizing the event, rolling cartridges, issuing uniforms, collecting money, setting up, and on and on.  Thank you all so much.  Please, put next year’s reenactment on your calendar now.  We’ll see you December 29th and 30th, 2007.

Jean McNary

Park Manager’s Message
On behalf of the staff here at Dade Battlefield, thanks to all of those who helped make this year’s reenactment a success.  This wonderful educational program would not be possible if not for the many dedicated folks who have put their hard work into making the reenactment happen.  To those of you on the Society Board, much gratitude is owed to each of you for all of the years that many of you have invested in the organization.  Thanks to Mr. Laumer for his years of dedication. Without it, this portion of American History would have remained a mystery.

In the coming months, the staff at Dade Battlefield will be branching into providing more interpretation to our visitors.  We are starting small with 5th Saturday programs and developing a
ranger guided tour of the battlefield.  Park rangers will be attending various trainings to develop skills and work with many resources as we pursue interpretive programming for our visitors.  Anyone interested in helping out with this venture please call the park office at 352-793-4781.

Starting in March, we will be holding quarterly volunteer workdays the 2nd Saturday of the month.  With the limited staff and resources we have, we are looking to develop partnerships with our volunteers and the surrounding community to help us with resource management and maintenance.  In September and December, our focus will be more on preparations for the reenactment.

On June 12th, the Dade Battlefield Society Annual Membership meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the park.  Please mark this important date on your calendar and bring a friend when you come.  I encourage all members to be actively involved with the Society throughout the year.  I look forward to working with each of you during 2007.

Tracey Standridge

Contest Winners 2006
We had another tough year deciding winners for the best dressed and the camps, but here are the judges’ choices:

Best Seminole Camp, Earl DeBary
Best Seminole Dress, Bob Staniski

Best Soldier Camp, Matt Milnes
Best Soldier Dress, Gary Graffweg

The winner of the Tomahawk throw was Little Big Mountain.

The winner of the Musket competition was Gordon Mood.

Ed Miller was the lucky winner of the drawing for the beautiful Long Shirt handmade by Ross Lameroux.

Thank you for all who participated in the contests.

Farewell to
J.T. Wolding
James Velten

Board members J.T. Wolding and Jim Velten have resigned from the Board.  J.T. is very busy with his film business in Tampa.  It requires that he go all over the state working long hours.  Than you J.T. for the year you served as secretary for the Society and your support over the past few years.

Jim has resigned to take a job with the park.  He has served on the board since 2001 and has been our treasurer since 2002.  Jim has supplied us with detailed professional treasurer’s reports and updated the computer format that we used.  He and his daughter have also worked to get forms and pictures on our website and kept it current.  Thank you Jim for all your hard work the past six years.

Board Openings
Currently the Dade Battlefield Society, Inc., Board has two openings.  J.T. Wolding has resigned and our treasurer, Jim Velten, has resigned.  If you are interested in serving on the board or want to talk about the responsibilities, please contact me by phone at 352-567-2596 or email:
mcnary 1213 @earthlink.net.

Second Annual Swap Meet
Last year’s Swap Meet was so successful and fun that we decided to do it again.  It is our hope that this will evolve into an annual event.  The Second Annual Swap Meet is scheduled for June 16, 2007.  The format is virtually identical to last year.  There will be 20 tables available for rental.  The charge to rent a table is a very low $10. There is no charge for admission by the public.  This is an excellent opportunity to upgrade your outfit for any period prior to 1880 and to swap out those portions of your outfits that for some reason seem to have shrunk in the last couple of years.  The period is broad enough to cover the traditional buck skinning periods and other reenactments including, but not limited to, Civil War and Indian War.  The specific rules and requirements applying to the event are located on the Dade Battlefield website which is http://www.dadebattlefield.com/index.html.  For further information concerning the event, or to obtain documents for registration and to reserve your table (reservations must be received no later than Monday, June 11, 2007) please see the website.  Reserve yours now so that you don’t get left out.  We look forward to seeing you at the event whether you choose to rent a table or come to see what is available and make your swaps.  For further information call John DeLancett at (407) 644-8253 or email him at frentrapper@earthlink.net

Event Coordinator, John DeLancett

2007 Scheduled Board Meetings
The monthly board meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at the Dade Lodge at the Dade Battlefield.  Meetings are open to all members.

March 13         Dade Lodge
April 10          
May 8
June 12           6:30 pm                      Dade Lodge
                                                Important Annual Membership Meeting
                                                Election of Board and Officers

July 10
August 14
September 11
October 9
November 13
December 11


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