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Westmoore Pottery Hosts a Seventeenth Century Reenactment

Posted on 03/27/12

Seagrove, NC - On Saturday March 31, 2012, history will come alive at Westmoore Pottery as they host the New Amstel Militia reenactment group.

Members of the group portray individuals from the Dutch colonies at New Netherlands and New Amstel circa 1640-1664, and will be encamped at Westmoore Pottery in full period garb. Reenactors will be engaged in living history demonstrations at Westmoore Pottery which reflect the life-ways and material cultural usages of 17th century America. Cooking and weapons demonstrations will be given, along with historical discussions on the Dutch presence in North America, trade and interaction with English colonies, and interactions with Native Americans.

The New Amstel Militia draws membership from a broad geographic area, extending from Florida to Virginia. Despite this wide range of backgrounds, David Boonie of the New Amstell Militia states that members are united by "a common historical interest and an appreciation for colonial culture, military tactics, weapons, and equipment of the 17th Century." This group is additionally united by their own history; the unit has previous experience in interpretive history, with selected members possessing over 15 years of living history experience.

Potters David and Mary Farrell of Westmoore Pottery are well known for their making of historical pottery. Many of the reenactors of the New Amstel Militia will be using historically accurate replicas of 17th century pottery and pottery in the 17th century style made by the Farrells as a part of their kit. Pots in use will include a range of shapes accurate to the period on display. As a part of this event, Westmoore Pottery has increased their production of 17th century wares, including several new shapes which will be available. In addition to the living history demonstration by New Amstel Militia, the potters will be answering questions on the historical uses of the available wares, methods of production, and other topics of interest to the viewing public. All pottery will be available to the public for purchase.

"We are looking forward to having them here," says potter Mary Farrell, "Revolutionary and Civil War encampments are fairly common in this part of the country, but a 17th century group like New Amstel Militia is a rare opportunity for us."

Living history demonstrations are not new to Westmoore Pottery, and are among the pottery's most popular special events. They hosted an encampment by an 18th century group, the 6th North Carolina Regiment, in 2010, and regularly host historic hearthside cooking demonstrations. Programs like the New Amstel Militia encampment interest a wide variety of individuals - history buffs, pottery and military enthusiasts, teachers, and lifetime learners.

Westmoore Pottery will be open from 9am - 5pm on Saturday, March 31. The living history demonstrations will also run from 9am - 5pm. Visitors may come at any point during the day, and may come back as often as they like to see the demonstrations. No admission fee will be charged.

"We sometimes have people who stay the whole day to watch, ask questions, and learn," adds Mary, "though most visitors just come for a part of the day."

Westmoore Pottery is located at 4622 Busbee Road, just off Highway 705 halfway between the small towns of Seagrove and Robbins, in North Carolina.

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