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Battle of Fort Hand 235th anniversary to open window into frontier life

| Sunday, April 20, 2014, 10:17 a.m.
Valley News Dispatch
The First Pennsylvania Regiment, based in Reading, marches past the historical marker for Ft. Hand during the Fort Hand Festival near Kunkle Park in Washington Township on Saturday, April 18, 2009.

The Revolutionary War Era will come alive in Washington Township next weekend — right down to a frontier Sunday morning church service.

The 235th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Hand will be commemorated with a series of events from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Kunkle Park.

The Northwest Department of the Brigade of the American Revolution encampment activities include battle tactics and weapons usage, music and food preparation, period clothing and educational topics.

On Sunday morning, a late-18th-century military church service will be re-created on the park grounds.

“With the threat of attacks at the time, you'd have a church service and didn't know if you'd make it to see the afternoon,” said Rob Mallie, a Washington Township recreation committee member and avid historian who is coordinating the event.

Spectators will be treated to a demonstration of how meals — or victuals, as they were known — were prepared.

“We thank Naser's Foods for stepping up to provide the foodstuffs for the re-enactors,” Mallie said. “I think people will be surprised at the variety of ways meals could be assembled with similar ingredients.”

This will not be an actual battle re-enactment because there is no fort and no Iroquois re-enactors, but a demonstration of frontier life during the time period.

George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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