Originally created 10/12/03

Modern residents view life in old South Carolina



NORTH AUGUSTA - On an otherwise quiet 21st-century Saturday afternoon, the loud booms of 18th-century musket fire rattled windows and set off car alarms.

A Day to Remember, held by the Olde Towne Preservation Association, re-creates the sights, smells and sounds of backcountry South Carolina from 1735 to 1785.

"Even with the weather today, we've had a great turnout," said Lynn Thompson, of the preservation group.

The event is about re-creating the life of the period, rather than a particular local settlement, Ms. Thompson said. Modern North Augusta wasn't incorporated in 1906, although other settlements have existed on the Carolina side of the Savannah River at various times for hundreds of years.

Besides artisans' demonstrations, which included candle making, jewelry, toy making and other crafts and handiwork, there were re-enac-tors portraying various social groups and military units - from pioneers and Indians to British soldiers and Hessians.

"I represent the rude, crude and socially unacceptable part of it," said Bob Perry, who re-enacted a typical backcountry resident during the 1700s.

"They were sort of looked down on by society," Mr. Perry said. "Some were here to escape debts, others to escape the magistrate."

But they kept the American patriots going during the Revolution, he said, after other cities and towns were taken by British forces.

Among the Hessian re-enac-tors, there was at least one modern Hessian - 14-year-old Christine Moses, originally from Hesse, Germany, but now living in Brunswick, Ga.

Her father, Jeffrey, is a member of the Hesse Kassel Jaeger Korps, a group that re-enacts the German soldiers who fought on the side of the British during the Revolutionary War.

"We just moved back from Germany, and then we found that there was a German unit here," Mr. Moses said.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: A re-enactment of life during the 18th century in backcountry South Carolina, including arts, crafts and other handiwork, along with re-enactors in period dress.

WHERE: Living History Park off Spring Grove Avenue, North Augusta

WHEN 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. today

COST: Free, donations accepted

CONTACT: (803) 279-7560

Reach Jeremy Craig at (706) 823-3409 or jeremy.craig@augustachronicle.com.