Saving the History of the Loxahatchee Battlefield
Wow - what a great Fall Muster we had last Friday and Saturday in Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park!
With beautiful weather in abundance the battlefield never looked more historic with a record number of re-enactors attending with soldier tents made by the county for a backdrop. Living historian and author, Jerry Morris and wife were located in the middle of the battlefield with an authentic tent and artifacts from the era. A Seminole camp was in the woods and a soldier's camp was located on the north side. Many of the LBP were dressed in period attire including Richard Procyk as General Jesup and myself as Andrew Jackson. Many of the women looked lovely and charming in their outfits of the era. Friday was an educational day and according to PBC it was a huge success. Some schools have already renewed for next year. The LBP was stationed in four areas and spoke to many classes accompanied by teachers and parents, who were constantly in motion. Richard was at the soldier's camp and Dick Kazner wearing a great looking Osceola outfit, spoke, of course, at the Indian camp. Laurie Corry was situated at the river on the way to Indian Crossing. She spoke on the importance of the river 175 years ago. She was brilliant. I manned the Tree of Tears and tried to connect with the kids on the spirituality of this site and the importance of preservation. The County tells us that the total attendance for the two day event was 850 people. Considering the lack of bathrooms, this would be about all they could handle.
This special event was a warm up for next year's huge extravaganza when more facilities should be available.This was a time for making new friends and renewing old friendships. Several historians and re-enactors that we met in St. Augustine last summer attended including, of course, Mr. Morris and his wife. Pedro Zapata, the famous Seminole storyteller and re-enactor spoke and was warmly received. Famous authors, John and Mary Lou Missall actually sold out all of their books. Incidentally, the LBP made $ 700.00 at this event, an all time record. I want to thank the following members for helping to make this event a success: Donna and Leland Smith, Laurie and Mark Corry along with blossoming beauties, daughter Ashlyn and her friend, Alison. Also, thanks to Mary Grimm, Andy Foster with daughters, Amanda and Brittany, Reeves King, Jack Bonnell, Dick Kazner, Scott Bayer, Jim O'dell and the boys, Margo Youngman, Betty Turso and Bill, Wallis and Gene Tinnie, Lorenzo Hamn, Will & Charlotte Ghioto, Billy Hicks, Inger Hansen, Steve Horan, Ruby Holden, Marty Rothman and of course our mentor, Mr. Richard. Tom Odom and Natalie Hinebaugh had family emergencies and were unable to attend as was Doug Higgins who is recovering from an operation. Long time members, Stan and Dottie Beckstrom were indisposed.
The talent that we have in the LBP is quite impressive. We have five authors; Richard, Rosa Godshall-Holden whose fourth book was just published, Betty Turso (John Horse), WWII hero John Katsaros, and Doug Higgins. Also, we have five artists, Mary Grimm, Inger Hansen who will be the artist for James Snyder's new book on the Calusa, Steve Horan, Hegina Rodrigues and our Richard. We have four doctors, the Tinnies, Mark Corry and Scott McOwen. We have three Engineers, Jack Bonnell, Dick Kazner and Reeves King, Will Ghioto, President of Southeast Florida Archaeological Society, and lawyer Tom Odom. It is pretty easy being the president of an organization with all of this brain power.Good times keep coming to the LRBP. This Saturday, November 22nd at 10:00 a.m. Will Ghioto will be pinch hitting for Tom Odom at "History in the Park". He will be speaking on the indigenous Indians from Spanish contact in 1513 until their unfortunate termination in 1763. Will also will be showing many prehistoric Indian artifacts. Will did a great job on this subject on last year and nobody knows these long forgotten people as well as Mr. Ghioto does,Look forward to seeing you there.
Reflecting upon the pastLiving in the presentIlluminating the future
President of the LBP
[Loxahatchee Battlefield Preservationists]