Adamstown marks 250 Revolutionary style

By on August 24, 2011

By: MICHELLE REIFF Review Staff mreiff.eph@lnpnews.com, Staff Writer



Robert Cerwin (right), commander of the First Pennsylvania Regiment of the Continental Line, and his wife, Patricia, are two of about a dozen participants who will re-enact life as soldiers during the Revolutionary War during at an encampment at Adamstown Grove on Labor Day weekend as part of the year-long 250th anniversary celebration of the founding of Adamstown.Robert Cerwin (right), commander of the First Pennsylvania Regiment of the Continental Line, and his wife, Patricia, are two of about a dozen participants who will re-enact life as soldiers during the Revolutionary War during at an encampment at Adamstown Grove on Labor Day weekend as part of the year-long 250th anniversary celebration of the founding of Adamstown.

Not too long after Adamstown was founded, another historical event was taking place… soldiers were fighting the Revolutionary War.

Members of the Adamstown 250th Anniversary Committee have decided that what better way to help commemorate the town’s anniversary than to take area residents back to that time period and learn about what life was like as a Revolutionary soldier.

The committee has recruited The First Pennsylvania Regiment of the Continental Line, under the direction of Commander Robert Cerwin, who will be camping out in the Adamstown Grove over Labor Day weekend. They will set up five to seven tents and will be living and sleeping life as Revolutionary War soldiers. The public is invited to come out anytime from dawn to dusk on Sept. 3 and 4 to observe the daily activities and interact with the group.

Virginia McGrath, co-chair of the anniversary committee, feels it’s important to give the community the opportunity to learn a little bit about history in an interesting way, with hands-on experience, rather than textbook style.

"It kind of folds together really," said McGrath. "There are a lot of historic books about people in Adamstown — the butchers and the candlestick makers — Adamstown was pretty active at that time."

The re-enactors will not only be men; women and children will also be participating. Their days will be the same as though they were living in the 1700s. Children will demonstrate games "of the day." Both the men and women will be cooking their meals over the campfire, and women will be eager to discuss cooking techniques.

The activities will be geared toward answering questions from the public. The group will have a display of handmade rifles and demonstrations of shooting techniques but will use powder only. A display of handmade tools of the era will also be on display, and discussions will be provided on how they were made.

The regiment has borrowed one of Charlie Smithgall’s (former Lancaster mayor) cannons, which will also be fired periodically, with powder only.

The group was formed in 1963 to recreate the First Pennsylvania Regiment and participates in re-enactments across the state. They are supporters of the Daniel Boone Homestead in Birdsboro and meet there on the second Wednesday of the month.

McGrath, who is co-chairing the committee along with Rebecca McCafferty, decided at a meeting to contact the regiment after visiting the Daniel Boone Homestead back in April when the group was there. What impressed her the most was their extemporaneous acting.

"When they get into character sometimes they stay in it," said McGrath, adding that they do often come out of character when talking with young children.

The Adamstown Grove is located off Route 272, adjacent to the Adamstown Pool.

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