LCC Hosting 5th Frontier History Encampment


2011  Re-Enactor at LCC

2011 Re-Enactor at LCC

Every two years since 2005, a time machine at Lamar Community College drops back over 200 years revealing almost a century of Western Americana between 1800 and 1890, brought to life. 

The Gambling Crowd

The Gambling Crowd

Visitors can enrich their understanding of how the way things were, October 4 and 5 at LCC during the bi-annual Frontier History Encampment.  Dozens of re-enactors from around the region set up their particular site on the LCC campus and display a segment of life on the plains.  A comprehensive portrayal of the timeline is showcased through displays of native Americans of early and late 1800’s; early fur trappers and traders, blacksmiths, buffalo hunters and frontiersmen, homesteaders, cavalry, artillery and infantry from the Civil War era, gunfighters and gamblers and ranch life of the late 1800’s is depicted.  Visitors can watch a blacksmith make a nail, see homestead wives dye clothing using roots and vegetables, watch a cannon crew fire off live rounds, learn how settlers lived in sod houses or the manner in which gamblers plied their trade. 

Kelly Emick, history professor at LCC and Butch Kelly, have been staging the encampment every two years and watching the crowds continue to grow.  Emick recently spoke with the Prowers County Commissioners about how the attendance has been growing.  “This time, we’re hosting members of the state Board of Community Colleges,” she explained.  She said an event of this scope is not common for a smaller community college such as LCC.  But last year, there were 1,000 visitors for the two day event and the Encampment is now hosting scheduled field trips.  She said, “In 2011 we had 300 students come visit and this year, we’re making arrangements with home schooled students to come view us.  We have Burlington school students who are making the trip this year.” 

The Encampment is free of charge, but it still takes money to put on.  “We pay out about $12,500 for the two day event and that covers the costs of the re-enactors who put this on,” she explained, adding, “Butch Kelly organizes the interpreters and this year we’re seeing those numbers grow to include an entry from New Mexico who will represent the, ‘Army of the West’.  This is a Mexican/American fighting unit that existed between 1846 to 1848.”  The college helps fund half the expenses and Emick said there are private contributors, but with a couple of weeks to go, the funding is about $2,000 short of their goal.  The one thing they won’t do is charge for admission, not even a donation jar.  “We want to make this a community event and we’ll work to make sure we meet all our bills, but we don’t want the public to feel a financial obligation when they come out to see the event,” she said. 

Hours on Friday, October 4 will be from noon to 5pm and Saturday will be all day, from 9am to 5pm.  Contact Emick at 719-336-1532 for additional information.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: CollegeCommissionerscommunityCountyEducationEntertainmentEventsFeaturedHistoryLamarProwers CountyRecreationSchoolTourismYouth


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