Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Features

September 6, 2013

Early American muzzleloading puts Friendship on the map

The National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association Fall National Championship Shoot, Friendship, celebrating the muzzleloading sports and its early American heritage, takes place Sept. 14-21.

Attendees can watch black powder shooting competitions and take in the “living arts” historical crafts demonstrations featured in the Living History Center while strolling among the beautiful autumn colors of the rural Indiana countryside.

The Living History Center serves as a reminder of the importance of the historical heritage behind the sport of muzzleloading. Traditional craft demonstrations include woodworking, leatherworking, weaving and soapmaking. Youth activities include butter churning, bead stringing, an archaeology class and candle dipping.

The Living Arts program will be sponsoring many traditional craft classes and activities. Interested persons can learn how to tan a deerskin, discover the delicate art of scrimshaw or hear the history of the American “Cow Boy Girl!” Special activities are planned for children, including a class where they can play with Lincoln log-style kits and get to make and take home their very own forts. Children also can have fun hearing about the 18th century fur trade while they trade for trinkets, and learn some French words and American Indian sign language! A schedule can be found at http://nmlra.org, click on Education, then NMLRA educational classes.

At the museum, which is open 11 a.m.-2 p.m., NMLRA is partnering with Tom and Carol Schiffer of the Annie Oakley Foundation to host an exhibit on the sharpshooter. The display will include many different guns of the era and type that Oakley was known to have used in her Wild West show days and as an outstanding competitor. Complementing the exhibit will be a display of period sidesaddles on loan from the Tippecanoe County Historical Association, Lafayette; a case of prize-winning model horses; and even a stick pony race for children.

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