The recent Civil War era event at the Orange Empire Railway Museum was a lovely return to a cozy location. The Museum (started by 13 teenagers who wanted to save a streetcar) includes rail cars, engines, locomotives and streetcars from all over California, as well as one of the last remaining train depot stations from the early California railway (circa 1880s). The grassy location with paved pathways and mature trees was welcoming and quaint, while the sound of the trains running throughout the weekend gave us a sample of what it might have been like in a small town during the 1860s.
For the three days prior to our event, we had terrible rain storms with much needed rain falling in heavy downpours. While the military could set up and thrive in such a situation, small civilian camps and suttlers were not amused. Our set up in particular features paper goods. Uh oh. But! the storms cleared out by Friday midday and we were able to set up a modified camp on a nice corner of the park. The weekend dawned with sunshine, scattered clouds and a very short sprinkle on Saturday. It might have impacted attendance a little bit, but the spectators who did attend seemed to be fascinated by us as much as by the trains. We look forward to returning to the Museum in 2016!
Our friends Renee & Don D set up the DD Tavern and spent the weekend educating folks on the Victorian palate. Meals were cooked differently, served differently and eaten differently, and Renee and Don spend hours of their time and many dollars of their own money to bring this to light. Renee was gracious enough to host Melody through nearly the entire weekend, teaching her about cooking over a fire, the smokehouse they use, spices that were popular and common during the era, and general kitchen knowledge. While I always include Melody at home, this was a wonderful opportunity for her to learn from someone else and I am so grateful. Don also gave Melody the task of making popcorn over the fire, which she loved doing!
Thank you, Renee & Don for all that you teach and for your kind adoption of Melody! She was talking about it all week long. :-)