The Garrison at Fort Loudoun State Historic Park will come back to life on Saturday, March 23, and Sunday, March 24. Free and open to the public, educational opportunities and family-friendly activities will be offered at 10 a.m. each day, ending at 5 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday.
A “roll call” summoning re-enactment soldiers to their posts, just as it would have been done 250 years ago, signals the beginning of the Garrison weekend. Musket and artillery firing demonstrations will take place several times throughout the two-day event.
Park visitors will get to see an 18th century infirmary, as well as soldiers’ barracks, the commander’s quarters and a Cherokee encampment. Demonstrations will include a variety of tasks and skills common to a frontier fortification, including cooking, laundering and blacksmithing. Costumed living history re-enactors will go about their garrison duties throughout the weekend, taking time to interact with visitors.
“Garrison weekend is a fun and educational opportunity for the whole family,” said Park Manager Eric Hughey. “Demonstrations and re-enactments will transport visitors back in time to life at historic Fort Loudoun. In addition, March is Women’s History Month and we will be honoring the many wives that followed their soldier husbands to the outpost, working hard at many of the day-to-day tasks and often receiving only a half ration for their efforts.”
The Visitor Center and Museum at Fort Loudoun will be open both days. Visitors can view a short film on the history of Fort Loudoun, along with some of the artifacts recovered from the historic site. The Fort’s gift shop and bookstore will also be open for visitors to find that unique souvenir.
Fort Loudoun State Historic Area is a 1,200-acre site on the location of one of the earliest British fortifications on the western frontier, built in 1756. Nearby were the principal towns of the Cherokee Nation including Tenase, namesake of our state, and Tuskegee, birthplace of Sequoyah. Today, the fort and the 1794 Tellico Blockhouse overlook TVA’s Tellico Reservoir and the Appalachian Mountains and are located one mile off Highway 411 on Highway 360 in Vonore.
For a complete schedule of Garrison Weekend events, contact the Fort Loudoun State Historic Park at 423 884-6217 or visit www.fortloudoun.com.