War of Independence rages on in Kittery
Encampment continues at Fort McClary today
KITTERY POINT, Maine — Linda Stout of Winslow said she and her boys, Liam, 10, and Cullen, 14, wouldn’t miss the Friends of Fort McClary’s annual Revolutionary War encampment “for the world.”
“Cullen is a real history buff,” Stout said during their visit to the weekend-long event on Saturday afternoon. “This all brings it to life for him.”
Stout and her sons were captivated by the three-way battle between the British, French and Americans that took place on the fort’s grounds with cannons blasting and powder-loaded guns shooting for about 20 minutes.
Joining the encampment this year were the Royal Irish Artillery, the King’s Own Fourth Regiment and the 85th Regiment de Saintonge.
Linda White of Merrimack, N.H., has been taking part in the re-enactments since she was 7, some 40-plus years ago.
Her parents June and Carroll White, also of Merrimack, brought her and her three brothers to the encampments with the Royal Irish Artillery, but she was the only one who stuck with it.
“Today, I was running the cannon during the battle,” she said.
White and her mother made Revolutionary War knot dolls before the event to be sold over the weekend.
“The money we raise will go to the restoration of the Rifleman’s House (at the fort),” she said.
Glenn “Doc” Dochtermann, state park manager for the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands said, since 2003, the Friends of Fort McClary have done a “wonderful job” raising money to restore the fort.
“We received a federal grant of $25,000, and they are holding events like this to match it,” Dochtermann said. “We’ve been able to get a new cannon and next we’ll be working on the Rifleman’s House.”
It is the only known remaining one in the United States
The encampment had a great turnout of re-enactors this year, with many pitching their tents to spend the night along Pepperrell Cove.
Jennifer Roy of Epping, N.H., was busy cooking beef stew and blueberry cobbler in cast iron pots over an open fire. Roy was with the Dearborn Company based in Newmarket, N.H.
Another woman who was with the 85th Regiment de Saintonge, Jessica Reardon of Boxborough, Mass., said she was invited to her first re-enactment years ago when she moved from Troy, N.Y., do an internship at Cisco Systems.
“My boss at Cisco, Dana Rock, was kind of like the ‘top frog’ of the unit,” she said. Reardon said she and other members of her unit give commands in 18th century French.
Dane Parker, president of the Friends of Fort McClary, said the turnout was great Saturday and he was expecting Sunday to be the same. His granddaughter, Alyssa Costain, 11, of Burlington, N.J., joined in again this year for the event, helping with games for the children and telling them about how school life in the Revolutionary War period.
“For the first year, I’ve had two people tell me they found out they were related to the McClary family,” Parker said.
Dochtermann added that he is planning to have a one-day event in September at the fort around the War of 1812.
“There will be a Native American woman doing some storytelling and we hope to highlight who Andrew McClary was,” he said.
The re-enactment continues Sunday, Aug. 10, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a battle taking place at 2 p.m.
It is free to attend, but there is a state park fee of $3 for adults (Maine residents, $2); over 65, $1 (Maine residents 65 and older, free); children 5 to 11 years old, $1; children under 5, free.
For more information, visit www.fortmcclary.org.