History comes alive at Colonial Times in S.C.
Aiken Standard, S.C.
AIKEN, S.C. — George Washington, as portrayed by Bill Elder, wanted to bust some myths during Colonial Times: A Day to Remember, which was held over the weekend at the Living History Park in North Augusta, S.C.
“I didn't have wooden teeth,” said the tall man who was dressed in a military uniform. “I didn't wear a white wig. I didn't chop down a cherry tree. I didn't throw a silver dollar across the Potomac River, and I didn't sign the Declaration of Independence.”
Elder, who lives in DeLand, Fla., has been a re-enactor for about 20 years, and he has been performing the role of George Washington since 2008. His wife, Cara, plays the part of Martha Washington.
George and Martha Washington “were very much in love,” Cara said.
She added that Martha, when she met George, was a wealthy widow. She was impressed by what a good listener the future Father of Our Country was.
JoAn Smith of Belvedere brought two friends, Betty Burdett of Piedmont and Eva Ann Via of Belmont, N.C., to Colonial Times on Sunday afternoon. All three are members of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and Smith said they enjoyed their visit with the Elders. She described the Sunshine State couple as “very entertaining and very informative.”
Ruth Wilkinson of Ninety Six offered the children who attended Colonial Times the opportunity to help her churn butter. Graham Hoover and his sister, Marit, who live in Augusta, both gave it a try at the urging of their father, Adam.
“I want them to learn how life used to be before the iPhone,” Adam said.
Mike Rohaus of Walterboro was in charge of a pillory, a device that was used long ago to punish and publicly humiliate criminals.
“I've only had one adult try it out so far today and that was this morning,” Rohaus said. “It's usually very popular, especially with the kids.”
However, Rohaus didn't remain idle for long after uttering those words, because the pillory caught the eye of Lindsey Yaun of Graniteville, and she wanted to stick her hands and head in the device's holes.
“It tickled a little bit,” she told her father, Lloyd Yaun, after Rohaus showed her how the pillory worked.
David Ray said he and his family were in the area when they saw a lot of cars and decided to check out what was going on at the Living History Park.
“That's how we ended up here last year (for Colonial Times); it was by luck,” Ray said.
Ray's son, Thomas, learned about the Colonial era militia from Reid Burton of Trenton. Burton showed Thomas how to aim a wooden gun and pretend to shoot it. Burton also taught Thomas how to march.
“You had to be at least 12 years old to join the militia,” Burton said.
Following the short class, Burton told Thomas Ray, “Thank you for your service,” and gave him a certificate. Then the boys shook hands.