Fort Boonesborough
Kentucky History Award

Winner of 2 History Awards From the Kentucky Historical Society

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WOMEN ON THE FRONTIER
 April 26-27, 2014
Boone’s Fort, Fincastle Co., Virginia

Photos by Jim & Kathy Cummings
Elizabeth Chalfant

Most of the documentation on Frontier life is written by men and about men. Women were secondary to their male counterparts. They learned to read and write far less than their brothers. They spent more time raising a family, and feeding and clothing that family.

The weekend event Women on the Frontier was started at Fort Boonesborough in 2004 as a means to examine a woman’s life and to acquaint women reenactors with the skills and life chores of a female in the 18th century.

This year concentrated on clothing a family - preparing the flax, spinning, weaving and dying the fabric. Also on hand was a demonstration on salt making - the premier way to store meat on the frontier.

Women and visitors to the fort were treated to these events of a women’s llife. In the evening a first person presentation of the story of Eva Lail a frontier survivor of Ruddles Station was performed by living historian Bonnie Strassel. The performance came after a dinner of frontier fare - Kentucky Burgoo.

From Ruddles Station To The War of 1812: The Eva Lail Story

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Bonnie Strassell as Eva Lail

In 1780 Ruddles Station in Kentucky was captured by the British and Indians. Fourteen year old Eva Lail was among the captives and, along with her two young brothers, was taken to the Shawnee village at the mouth of the Mad River in the Ohio country.

Eva ran the gauntlet and remained with the Shawnee until the end of the Revolutionary War. She returned to Kentucky, rebuilt her life and struggled with her fears as another war threatened to tear her world asunder.

Listen as Eva Lail describes the turbulent years of early America. Share her sorrows over her losses and her joy on finding new love; and in the end, discover a strong determined woman, who like hundreds of thousands of others, crossed the mountains into the wilderness of Kentucky and helped open the door to freedom.

To see a video clip of the evening performance of  The Life of Eva Lail - click here.

Past Year’s Photos from Women on the Frontier

Also See Photos at Graphic Enterprises/Pioneer Times

The original Fort Boonesborough was built by Daniel Boone and his men in 1775

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