Chattahoochee is setting up for a major event next weekend (Dec. 1-2) at River Landing Park. Seminole/Creek War era reenactors from across the country will begin arriving in town as soon as Tuesday.
The living history event is being held to commemorate the first days of the Seminole Wars, when began 200 years ago this month. The first U.S. defeat of that war – commonly known as the as the Scott Massacre of 1817 or the Attack on Scott’s Party – took place at what is now River Landing Park in Chattahoochee. Lt. Richard W. Scott, 34 U.S. soldiers, 6 women and 4 children were killed in the action which American negotiators later used as a key factor in forcing Spain to surrender Florida to the United States.
The event is being sponsored by Chattahoochee Main Street, the City of Chattahoochee, Old Kitchen Media (parent company of Two Egg TV) and the 7th U.S. Infantry Living History Association. Additional support is being provided by Blue Heron’s Creek Hunting Camp, the West Gadsden Historical Society, the Altha FFA chapter, the Apalachicola Maritime Museum, the Chattahoochee Police Department, the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department, the City of Bainbridge, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the keelboat Aux Arc, the Apalachicola Arsenal Museum, the Decatur County Historical and Genealogical Society, Envision, Florida State Hospital and many others!
Reenactors who present living history portrayals of Muscogee (Creek) and Seminole families, frontier militia, soldiers of the 7th U.S. Infantry, civilians and 19th century boat crews will begin setting up camp at River Landing Park as early as Tuesday of this week, with the main groups arriving on Thursday and Friday.
Events begin on Friday at 9 a.m. with living history encampments and demonstrations, exhibits, vendors, food, live entertainment from Ernest Toole and much more. School groups from throughout the area will be visiting River Landing Park on Friday to learn more about the Seminole War and live on the early frontier. They will even be invited to join in Native American stick ball games! The grounds will close at 3 p.m.
The main day of the event will be Saturday (Dec. 2). Gates will open at 9 a.m. with the main body of the 7th U.S. Infantry marching onto the grounds at 10 a.m. There will be living history demonstrations throughout the day, plus exhibits, vendors, a food court, the 19th century keelboat Aux Arc, living history encampments and much more. The official memorial service and unveiling of the Scott Massacre historical marker will take place at 11 a.m., followed by the dedication of a newly restored Native American mound at 11:30 a.m. There will also be a “Walk Through History” area that features reenactors from almost every era of Florida history.
The main reenactment is set for 12 noon on Saturday and will feature a live action battle with Native American and Black Seminole warriors on one side and a variety of frontier soldiers and civilians on the other. If you have never seen a battle reenactment of the Seminole/Creek war era, it is a remarkable experience of smoke, fire, war cries and more.
The Apalachicola Arsenal Museum on the grounds of Florida State Hospital will be open for tours from 9 a.m. – 12 noon both days.
Please note that all times are Eastern. If you are coming from the Central time zone, add one hour as you cross the Apalachicola River. The main reenactment, for example, will be at 11 a.m. your time.
Activies at the landing will continue until 3 p.m.
If you are a reenactor (of any era) and would like to participate in the weekend’s activities, please see Attention Reenactors! for more information.
If you do arts and crafts, historical demonstrations or have a booth to sell merchandise at festivals and events and would like to come, please contact Chattahoochee Main Street for more information by calling (850) 663-2323 or (623) 249-0076.
Parking on Friday will be at River Landing Park which is at 269 River Landing Road, Chattahoochee, FL. Parking for Saturday will be on the main lawn of Florida State Hospital at the intersection of Washington (US 90) and Main, Chattahoochee, FL. Shuttles will be running back and forth from the landing to the FSH lawn all day on Saturday.