National Historical Park Encampment
100 years of the National Park Service & 50 years of San Juan Island National Historical Park
Re-enactors from throughout the Pacific Northwest and Canada will once again celebrate peace as they gather for the 17th Annual Encampment. The weekend includes recreations of mid-19th century Royal Marine Light Infantry and U.S. Army camp life, demonstrations of music, blacksmithing, spinning and weaving, sewing, cooperage and carpentry, along with the pageantry of period uniforms in scarlet and blue. Black powder rifled musket demonstrations and the firing of howitzer also are planned both days.
Saturday activities will include a ceremony honoring longtime park volunteer Jim Meredith, who passed away last December. Meredith could be found most summer weekends at English Camp, proudly wearing his red-and-blue woolen British uniform and explaining what it would have been like to be a Royal Marine on San Juan Island during the joint military occupation, 1860--1872. He was honored in 2013 as "Volunteer of the Century" by the park, and in 1998 was made an honorary Royal Marine by Royal Marine headquarters in England.
As always Saturday will conclude with the Candlelight Ball, scheduled at 8:00 p.m., in the English Camp barracks. The public is invited to join in the dancing and refreshments that will include the traditional cake and punch. Music for contra dancing will be provided by the Pig War Band. As it has since its inception in 1998, Encampment commemorates the peaceful joint occupation of San Juan Island by British and American forces from 1859 to 1872, and final settlement of the Northwest Boundary dispute.
For more information about or participating in Encampment call Doug Halsey at (360) 378-2240, extension 2228 or e-mail him at [email protected]. All black powder demonstrations are done with blank cartridges on a controlled range under strict NPS safety standards.