WILMORE — To find parking for the Kentucky historic re-enactment on Saturday, you turned where "Rebecca Boone" was tooling around in a golf cart.
Then you could find the pioneer — and in some cases anti-pioneer — re-enactors from around the time of the Revolutionary War.
Joe and Cheryl Lycan of Servant Heart Farm on Harrodsburg Road portrayed Daniel and Rebecca Boone. Other re-enactors included clergyman Francis Asbury, the Cherokee warrior Ostenaco and Shawnee leader Chief Cornstalk.
The one-day event at the farm was free, although donations were accepted to offset the expense of the re-enactors who were donating their time. The event was sponsored by the Servant Heart Farm and the Wilmore Community Development Board.
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Through a copse of trees were Indians and a "redcoat" re-enactor who lived among them, also known as Will Vockell, who said that he'll participate in about 20 re-enactments this year. He's very convincing in stating the British case to visitors, primarily families with young children: Vockell has to be, because most of his spectators have never paused to consider that the American rebels were anything but heroes.
"There were atrocities on both sides," Vockell said. "Everybody did what they had to do or what they thought was right."
He said that historical re-enactment is not a hobby that is taken up to make money, but to spread knowledge.
"Kentucky is so rich in this history it's unbelievable, and people don't know it," he said.
He turns to an approaching family: "I'm here representing my sovereign King George," Vockell begins, and suddenly it's the 1770s.
You could also see more animal skins in the various tents, trading posts, weaving stations, clergymen's seats and gaps in the glen housing the re-enactors than anywhere else short of a taxidermist shop.
Joe "Daniel Boone" Lycan was dressed in "fustian," a period fabric woven of cotton and flax that looks like sturdy linen. Pair that with his rifle, a bearskin and a separate bear skull with jaws that snap, and you've got some fancy props with which to deliver Boone's Kentucky history lesson. Lycan's take on the Boone experience, delivered in about six minutes, fairly sizzles: Kentucky's founding father makes a daring escape, endures battles and earns the respect of Indians.
"Anything I do I use it as a platform for Christ," Joe Lycan said. "It's such a blessing to light these kids up and let them know about their colonial heritage."
Sharon Sikorski of Woodford County and her 8-year-old son James took in the British-Indian row.
"At each place you get interesting little facts you didn't know," Sharon Sikorski said. "The man portraying it makes you feel more connected to the part."
Women also participate in the re-enactments, including the aforementioned Rebecca Boone.
James Sikorski was less impressed with the older era.
"I like a world where you can read a book in the car while your dad's driving," he said.
Nearby, Dianne Anestis, an expert in medical and edible native plants, was scoring a gourd that will be used for storing corn, beans and squash. Nearby she rigged three chickens on a barbecue spit with willow bark. The chickens were tiny by modern standards. A more authentic bird for the period would be grouse, she said.
Women of the Revolutionary period, particularly Indian women, had enhanced status as advisors to the men of their tribe, but as time advanced, the more progressive stance weakened, she said.
"There's a lot of cultural outcomes you don't see when you just read a paragraph in a history book," Anestis said.