Participants will be setting up historical campsites and tents and will be dressed as native Americans, fur trappers, frontiersmen, long hunters, buck skinners and others who were part of the way of life in that era. Submitted photo
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Experience history in action at Eastern Ozark Rendezvous

by Elane Moonier ~ Features Editor

The Eastern Ozark Rendezvous will take visitors  back in time to the late 1700s and 1800s and allow them to experience history in action. The weekend event is coming up March 16-17, at Barks Plantation near Glenallen, and it is free to the public.

Participants will be setting up historical campsites and tents and will be dressed as native Americans, fur trappers, frontiersmen, long hunters, buck skinners and others who were part of the way of life in that era.

There will also be reenactors depicting military men from the French and Spanish Regiments at the time of the French and Indian War. This is the third year for the rendezvous, and organizer Tommy Smith said it has grown tremendously in the last two years.

In addition to more campers and campsites, more traders will be joining in this year. Smith said that approximately a dozen vendors will be set up in Traders Row to offer an interesting variety of supplies and wares for the public to purchase.

Among the items will be handcrafted pieces relative to the era, leather goods, furniture, metal work, natural teas and much more. There will be a working blacksmith, leather shop and other craftsmen demonstrating their skills at making homemade goods. In addition, visitors can make purchases from individual campsites wherever a trading blanket is displayed.

Every campsite will have some interesting history to share with visitors, Smith pointed out, as the reenactors very much enjoy talking about their history. “We like to educate people about our history and talk about the struggles and ingenuity of the people of those times,” Smith said.

Cooking over a open campfire will be the order of the day during the rendezvous and visitors will get a look at experiencing life without all the modern day conveniences. Music of the period may be heard at various campsites as well.

During the day on Saturday, there will be shooting competitions, which will include black powder, flintlocks, cap and ball and archery. Guests can learn how to make fire with a flint and other pioneer skills.

There will be competitions with tomahawk throwing and knife throwing, and adults will give instructions on how to throw a tomahawk. There will be an old time post shoot at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

This competition is for two teams of three men, with each firing muzzle loaders at a 4 x 4 post to determine who can shoot the post in half first. Smith said this will be especially fun for the public to watch this event.

A special attraction for the youngsters will be a candy cannon which will shoot candy into the air several times during the day. Special food for the event will be available from Carlos Hinkebein with Hinkebein Hills Barbecue. Kettle Chef will be preparing kettle cooked corn and fresh pork rinds outdoors in a big iron kettle.

Barks Plantation, the location of the rendezvous, is a place of historical significance itself. It was part of the original Spanish land grant and has an historic house on the grounds which was given to the military for fighting with the Spanish. The house will be available for tours.

Barks Plantation is a complete campground with modern camping facilities, full hookups and shower house. Owners of the campground are Donna and Jim Barks.

To get to Barks Plantation, take Highway 72 West to Highway 34, then follow 34 through Marble Hill. At Glenallen, turn right on Highway ZZ and follow two miles to the campground.

Smith said that participants will start coming in on Wednesday for an early set up because of the large number of campsites this year. The camps will be open to the public on Saturday, March 16, at 9 a.m. and remain open until 5 p.m. On Sunday, March 17,  hours will be 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information about the Eastern Ozark Rendezvous, contact Tommy Smith at 573-225-4424, or email at smittytsmith@gmail.com.
 
 

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