Memorial Day Weekend Begins with a Bang at the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum

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Huzzah! Memorial Day weekend begins with a bang at the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum Revolutionary War Encampment. This year the encampment offers even more British Redcoats for the “surprise” attack, the addition of several crafters, and the return of the Big Bear Trading Company - with reproduction 18 and 19th-century wares for soldiers and civilians alike. The fun begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 23, at 211 Main St., following the Wethersfield Memorial Day parade, and lasts until 4 p.m. Admission to the encampment is free; regular admission rates will be charged for optional tours of the museum.

At the WDS Revolutionary War Encampment, visitors can interact closely with the 5th Connecticut Regiment, in full colonial dress, and enjoy entertaining demonstrations of 18th-century medicine, horsemanship, open-fire cookery, marching and musket firing and music. Shortly after the regiment partakes of its midday meal, children are invited to learn to march and perform drills with wooden “muskets.” The encampment also includes members of the 54th Regiment of Foot, a dashing band of British redcoats whose safety is uncertain once they commence their attack on the Continental soldiers at 1 p.m.

At 2 p.m., 18th-century horseman David Loda demonstrates his dynamic sword-and-pistol skills on horseback. And he makes a dashing figure in Continental uniform and tri-corn hat, astride his gleaming Morgan horse, Huckleberry, as they lead the charge against the British. Visitors can easily grasp the level of discomfort their forbears may have felt when faced with a charging, sword-wielding horseman, as Loda slices through  a “soldier” portrayed by a melon perched atop a post.

The encampment is underwritten, in part, by a grant from the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Connecticut.

Crafters for 2015

  • Uniquities - Useful and whimsical household and decorative items, created by husband-and-wife team David and Sondra Blanzaco, of Wethersfield,  Artisan-made cutting boards and earring holders, one-of-a-kind vintage button bouquets, microwavable herbal pillows, jewelry travel pouches, eclectic jewelry, and more.
  • The rare and centuries-old art of elegant, handcrafted paper silhouettes by Elizabeth O’Brien, of Manchester.
  • Colorful handmade yarn, scarves, mittens, and more, created through the age-old traditions of hand spinning, felting, knitting, and dyeing of wool, by Linda Pagliuco, of Coventry.

About the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum

Located in the heart of Connecticut’s largest historic district, the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum consists of three authentically restored 18th-century homes and provides the quintessential New England experience - from the American Revolution to the early 20th century. Tours include the 1752 Joseph Webb House, where General George Washington met with French General Rochambeau and planned the military campaign leading to the end of the Revolutionary War, the 1770 Silas Deane House, built for America’s first diplomat to France, and the 1788 Isaac Stevens House - depicting life in the 18th and 19th centuries through original family objects and a fascinating children’s exhibit. For rates and hours visit  or call (860) 529-0612.