Every year for the last 10 or so, we (Betsy and Tom) head for a weekend at the Forest City Stockade. This is a recreation of the 1860’s Stockade built near Forest City, MN, during the Sioux uprising of 1862. The Stockade was rebuilt in 1976 and has been added to over the years until now it contains a main cabin and trading post inside the fort, and nearly a whole town outside.
Above is the front door of the main cabin during this years’ stockade on August 16 & 17. Each year we make a commemorative piece of pottery for collectors and supporters. Below is the side porch with Tom’s favorite thing…homemade ice cream in the largest hand-cranked freezer you’ll ever see.
The Stockade is staffed for the two day summer and one day winter events by many volunteers serving food, giving demonstrations of 1860’s crafts and skills. The key people are Bob and Betty Hermann (immediately below), Chuck and Ann Fuller (further down) and Dale and Mary Root and lots of volunteers. Paul White (of Paul and Pam fame) is shown with his bees and some visitors who get to try fresh honey from the comb.
Chuck and Dale direct and do most of the building at the stockade and, to me, one of the most amazing pieces is a handbuilt watertower and windmill that Chuck built. Clik on this one to take a closer look.
A few scenes around the stockade outside in the village show wagons, a new chapel where Greg Matthews gives a talk on the history that led to the stockade. Chuck and Dale add a building or two (or 3) each year, many of the rebuilt from log cabins that area folks donate (the unfinished one below will be the largest operating newspaper print shop in Minnesota.)
Tom does his little pottery thing on a foot powered Leach Treadle wheel throwing bowls, plates, pitchers, whickey jugs, mugs and other items that might have been used on the frontier. While this wheel itself is only about 50 years old, the treadle wheel concept goes back into the 1800’s in Germany. They were brought into the US in production potteries in North Carolina.
Outside the stockade to the east is a full-blown rendezvous gathering you can also wander.