Fort Armstrong Gazette

March 2010


President’s Message – Steve Rinck

Unlike most previous year’s events, the 2010 reenactment of Dade’s Battle was one during which the soldiers found their woolen uniforms to actually be comfortable!  The beginning of what would continue being an unusually cold central Florida winter, imparted a lively step to over 150 participants and raised alertness among the more than 2,100 guests on January 2nd and 3rd.

Once again, the dedication and hard work of Park personnel, Society members, and many wonderful volunteers provided quality experiences for all, whether viewing the battle, exploring the museum, or interacting with participants in the Seminole camp, military bivouac, and sutler village.  Their behind-the-scenes work, implementing needed change in such areas as safety protocols, inventory control, and audio improvement, served to enhance our representations of what it was like to be present in 1835 at the start of The Second Seminole War.  All those involved in our reenactment’s success are looking forward to January 1st and 2nd of 2011 and the milestone 175th anniversary of Dade’s Battle.  New and exciting additions are being planned to that event’s programs, and you will be learning more about them by reading future editions of The Fort Armstrong Gazette.


2010 Board Meetings     6:30 p.m., Dade’s Lodge


March 9            April 13               May 11           June 8   

July 13              August 10            September 14 October12     November 9   December 14




Society Goals

Each year, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection requires all Citizen Support Organizations (of which Dade Battlefield Society is one) to declare their goals for the future.  It is helpful for our readers to understand the importance of these goals in order to determine how to personally assist in the efforts to achieve them.  Each issue of The Fort Armstrong Gazette in 2010 will describe some of the 14 goals that were submitted.

Goal 1: Maintain at least $10,000 in financial reserves to guarantee the production of the    next reenactment.

            Goal 2: Locate and secure permanent parking for the annual reenactment.

            Goal 3: Pursue grant funding and corporate sponsorship of Society activities.

            Goal 4: Expand advertising into larger market areas in order to attract more tourists.

The annual reenactment costs in excess of $30,000 to produce.  As is the case today with many individuals, families, and businesses, your Society’s financial reserves have been significantly depleted.  Our non-profit group has been burdened with decreases in both resource sponsorship and State support while trying to cope with increases in the costs of supplies and services. 

A more organized and convenient way to collect annual membership dues is coming, but dues represent a small fraction of our needs.  Grants have been helpful in the past, but new issues have made them more difficult to acquire.  The bottom line is that the Dade Battlefield Society needs your advice, contacts, and suggestions to ensure that the commemoration of the 175th anniversary of Dade’s Battle will be just as, if not more, successful than those that came before.  Please contact us via website or mail with your ideas on parking, sponsorships, advertising, and overall funding and help continue educating the public in the importance of the time in history that we portray.


Park Work Weekends – Steve Rinck

The third weekend of every month has been designated as “Park Work Days” by your Society.  On those Saturdays and Sundays, the Historic Dade Battlefield State Park is welcoming our members and their families to stop by to dedicate one or more hours to helping our host facility look its best and to maintain the efficiency of its operation.  Trail maintenance, wood gathering and processing, exotic plant control, shop organization, lodge beautification, and various small maintenance projects are but a few of the opportunities available to help improve the site of Dade’s Battle.

The spirit of volunteerism has recently enjoyed a resurgence, and Society members either are or can easily become approved state volunteers.  Come for as little or as much time as you like, bring a picnic lunch and enjoy wonderful serenity in a natural setting - all while providing some gratifying service!


Contest Winners – John DeLancett

As many of you know, several years back it was decided to implement various awards in an effort to add additional interest to the event and encourage reenactors to improve their portrayals of Seminoles and soldiers as well as their camps. This year’s winners are as follows:

Best Soldier Uniform                -           Bill Greenwood

Best Soldier Camp                   -           Matt Milnes

Best Seminole Costume            -           Matt Griffin

Best Seminole Camp                -           Josh Barberi, who wishes to share

this award with his entire camp, Cody Boettner, Eddie Maliszwski, Brent Meister

First Place Tomahawk Throw   -          Jim Rhyme “Feather”

First Place Muzzle Loading       -          Gary Graffweg


Fifth Dade Swap Meet - John DeLancett

Mark your calendars for the upcoming Fifth Annual Dade Swap Meet to be held on November 13th. In an ongoing search for a way to attract more dealers and participants, the Society has appointed a committee to review the current guidelines and regulations for the event. Please watch future newsletters and check the Dade Battlefield website for any updates as to changes in rules and regulations that may broaden who may participate and the items that can be sold or traded at the event. Anyone interested in participating in the event should contact John DeLancett at frentrapr@embarqmail.com.  We hope to see you there.


Dade Battlefield Society is on Facebook – Jessica Hoag

The Dade Battlefield Society is happy to announce that we are now on Facebook! This will be an exceptional way to get information about the park and events out to the public at no cost!  Please visit our page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dade-Battlefield-Society/202446680154?ref=nf and become a fan. We are really excited about this new form of communication, so become a fan and give us your feedback!






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