Our colleagues at the Friends of Wilderness Battlefield sent along this great Weekender opportunity for the end of the month. Not only is it an opportunity to visit Ellwood on the Chancellorsville and Wilderness battlefields, but a way to look into the eighteenth-century history of the people and the area. Keep reading on for more information.
Taming the Wilderness: An 18th Century Living History Event at Ellwood Manor
Taming the Wilderness, an 18th Century living history event in its 12th year, is sponsored by Friends of Wilderness Battlefield.
The event will be held rain or shine on Sunday, September 30th, 11:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., at Ellwood Manor.
Enjoy a full day as craftsmen, artisans and living historians demonstrate many aspects of life in the late 1700’s through the early 1800’s. Demonstrations will highlight the building trades, homemaking skills and general everyday expertise needed to settle and survive in the Wilderness.
Artisans will be present throughout the day, demonstrating skills of the time such as stone masonry, wood working and the hewing and shaping of logs for cabin construction. Domestic activities to be shown include spinning and weaving, the tanning of deer hides, open hearth cooking and long rifle hunting skills. The Germanna Foundation will have a display of their archaeological activities. Other living history re-enactors will depict inn and tavern life, portrayals of a period musician, an18th century surgeon and an itinerant sketch artist. Also, our wonderful blacksmith will be returning this year, and you won’t want to miss him!
In addition to the ongoing living history activities, several presentations and tours will be offered throughout the day. Long time FoWB member and amateur archaeologist Dale Brown will give a presentation at 12:30 P.M.
about the origins and construction of Ellwood Manor. His talk will include information concerning the locations of
several of the outbuildings such as the kitchen, diary, smokehouse and oven.
In addition to Mr. Brown’s talk, a special presentation regarding colonial era Tavern Life will be presented at 2:00 P.M. by FoWB Volunteers Milbrey Bartholow, Ruth Pavlik, and Kim Harmon. Come and relax while our “Tavern Wenches” explain how things in the more rural taverns were run!
For our walking enthusiasts, Friends of Wilderness Battlefield volunteers will conduct guided walking tours of the
Wilderness Crossing Trail
12:00 P.M. and 3:00 P.M. Sturdy shoes and bug spray are recommended for this 75 – minute program, and don’t forget to bring along a bottle of water.
A shorter 30 – minute walking tour of the grounds will also be offered at 11:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M.
Ellwood Manor will be open during the day from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. and FoWB volunteers will be glad to visit with guests and answer any questions.
In addition to the Living History activities and walking tours, FoWB volunteers will be on hand to assist visitors with possible ancestral connections with the Battle of the Wilderness or Ellwood, in the Heritage Program tent on the grounds.
All programs are free and open to the public. Donations are always welcome and appreciated.
For more information, please visit us at
Ellwood Manor is a circa 1790 house within Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. The cemetery contains the grave of Confederate General “Stonewall” Jackson’s amputated arm from the Battle of Chancellorsville, and the house was a Federal headquarters during the Battle of the Wilderness.Ellwood Manor is owned by the National Park Service.Friends of Wilderness Battlefield is pleased to steward the property in partnership with the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.