History lovers can see two different performances at Gelston Castle Estates this weekend that will bring the community back to the era of the Revolutionary War.
An outdoor historical drama of Walter D. Edmonds’ “Drums Along the Mohawk” will be performed, rain or shine, on Saturday, Aug. 4, at 5 p.m. Kyle Jenks, of Albany, is the writer, director and producer of the historical drama, which was made into a movie in 1939.
According to its website, www.datmod.com, the outdoor drama “focuses on the pivotal year: 1777. It tells through vivid characterizations the reasons behind the famous Battle of Oriskany, commonly known as the bloodiest battle of the American Revolution. Who were these people that clashed in this ‘ravine of death’ that fateful morning of Aug. 6, 1777.”
The debut of the outdoor historical drama will coincide with an international Revolutionary War encampment on the grounds of Gelston Castle. The theme of this year’s re-enactment is the 235th anniversary commemoration of the Battle of Oriskany, which will take place at 1 p.m. on Aug. 4.
This is the fourth historical re-enactment Gelston Castle has hosted on its grounds.
“This is the big one,” said Jeff Tew, property manager at Gelston Castle. “There will be 1,500 re-enactors participating,” from across the United States and Canada.
Tew will be among the re-enactors who will participate in the weekend, specifically in the role of local war hero Gen. Nicholas Herkimer, who was fatally wounded during the battle, but continued to lead his troops. Tew said people should come “because it’s the history of the Mohawk Valley.”
Besides the performances, the re-enactors will camp on the grounds throughout the weekend. The groups will be split into American camps, British camps and Native American camps.
The camps will open to the public at 10 a.m. on Aug. 4. Visitors to the estate can also attend a lecture on the Battle of Oriskany, given by Joe Robertaccio, scheduled for 11 a.m. on Aug. 4 and Sunday, Aug. 4. Also, at 3 p.m. on Aug. 4, there will be a public battle of Freeman’s Farm on the lower field. Other battles are scheduled throughout the weekend.
Food, period sutlers (merchants), vendors and entertainers will also be present during the weekend.
Seating is lawn seating for the outdoor drama. Special seating can be arranged by calling 216-509-7502. Tickets can be purchased online at http://gelstondrums.eventbrite.com or purchased with cash at the gate. Adult tickets are $10. Tickets for children, seniors, students with ID and active military will be $8.
For more information, the tentative schedule is posted at www.oriskany235th.org.
For more information about the drama, go to www.datmod.com.
For more information on the performance venue, visit www.GelstonCastleEstate.com.