EWING, Va. — The 16th annual Raid at Martin’s Station living history event has a full slate of unique programs scheduled for Friday through Sunday, with one of the highlights being the world premier of the film, Cameron, based on the novel A Demand of Blood: The Cherokee War of 1776 by author Nadia Dean. Part of the 37-minute film was shot on location at Wilderness Road State Park.
At the start of the American Revolution, a once-popular British Indian agent becomes a hunted man. The film follows that agent, Alexander Cameron, as he is on the run from militiamen determined to capture him. Rumors throughout the Carolina backcountry claim Cameron is inciting Cherokee warriors to attack frontier settlers as a way of restoring British rule. Torn between his responsibility as a father, honor to his king, loyalty to the Cherokees and duty to his conscience, Cameron sinks deeper into turmoil, as he realizes his noble attempts to save innocent women and children have become his undoing.
The film stars David Reed as Alexander Cameron and Jon Proudstar as Dragging Canoe. That last name will sound familiar to visitors to Martin’s Station as Dragging Canoe quickly became a thorn in the side of Joseph Martin and thousands of settlers traveling the Wilderness Road.
Many of the battle scenes were actually filmed during previous Raid at Martin’s Station events by Dean and her camera crew. The film is presented by Valley River Media in association with UniMedia and Moving Images Group.
The premier showing is slated for 2 p.m. on Saturday in the park’s Visitor Center Theatre. Due to limited seating, tickets are required to view the premier. The tickets are free of charge and can be claimed the day of the event from the park’s reception desk inside the Visitor Center. An encore presentation will be held at 3 p.m., with tickets again available at the reception desk.
Additional showings will be available on Sunday based on demand.
Other highlights to this year’s Raid schedule include two must see seminars by noted historians John “Bullet” Standingdeer and Paul Jones.
Standingdeer’s seminar, “Weapons of the Ani yun wi ya: Cherokee Archery and Other Instruments of War” will take place on Saturday at 11 a.m. in the Native Camp and deal with bows and arrows, blowguns, war clubs and other fighting and hunting methods used during the colonial era. Visitors will have the opportunity to view a Cherokee encampment first hand, and witness a bow and arrow shooting demonstration. This program offers guests a chance to capture a personal glimpse into 18th century Cherokee life.
Jones’ seminar will take place on Saturday at 3:15 p.m. in the picnic area located near the entrance to Martin’s Station. His seminar, “Fishing the American Frontier — From George Washington to the Backwoods Hunters” will deal with the tackle: hooks, lines, bait and fishing methods using during the colonial era. Jones will be concentrating on fishing as it was actually practiced on the frontier from the 1600s to the late 1700s. He will also demonstrate how to tie period knots and make horse hair fishing line and fish hooks.
The Raid at Martin’s Station features more than 450 reenactors, merchants, artists and artisans bringing history to life. Visitors will be able to walk through and shop at an 18th-century market fair, visit a Cherokee Indian camp, listen to colonial music and tour Historic Martins Station.
Activities are scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $10 per vehicle Friday and Saturday; and $4 per vehicle on Sunday. Friday is a special school day with students from the Tri-State area treated to more than 10 frontier demonstration stations at the fort. Admission for the Friday school day is $1 per student.
Daily activities include: Open hearth cooking, militia drill, hide tanning, spinning, weaving, artillery firing, 18th century music, candle making and more.
The highlight of the Raid event is the popular Saturday afternoon and evening frontier battles between the militia at Martin’s Station and Native American reenactors. Battles start at 1 and 8:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Other program times for Saturday of the Raid include: SAR observance at 10 a.m.; Developing your Historic Persona by Suzanne Thomson at 10:15 a.m.; Surveying Kentucky County Virginia by Ron Gholson at 11:45 a.m.; Rifles, Guns of the 18th century Valley of Virginia by Walalce Gusler and Eve Otmar at 4 p.m.; British Isles to American Frontier – Our Musical Roots by Jon Hagee at 5 p.m.; and Paying the Price for Being First to Venture West by Mark Baker at 6 p.m.
Sunday’s event schedule lists: Rifles, Guns of the 18th century Valley of Virginia by Walalce Gusler and Eve Otmar at 11 a.m.; The European Scythe in Colonial Virginia by Bill Maddox at 1 p.m. and the lowering of colors to end the event at 2:30 p.m.
For more information, contact the park office at 276-445-3065 or visit the park’s official website at www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/wilderness-road.shtml. You can also visit the Friends of Wilderness Road State Park official website, www.friendsofwildernessroad.org or Martins Station’s website at www.historicmartinsstation.com.