After founding a city like Louisville, where might one retire? On the wild frontier of the eighteenth-century Ohio River Valley, it's difficult to imagine an easy retirement for anyone, but George Rogers Clark, father of River City, was one of the lucky ones. The historic home of Locust Grove, a beautiful 55-acre homestead just east of modern downtown Louisville, is where Clark spent his final years in peace, and its grandeur can still be experienced today. One of the best opportunities to explore these celebrated grounds is during the third annual Eighteenth Century Market Fair, held October 29 and 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in association with the Illinois Regiment of Virginia.
Market-goers will be able to experience period entertainment in the tavern, provided by Italian equilibrists and street jugglers, and feast on the finest food of the settlement age, including ginger beer, apple cider, and delicious meats. Pre-juried craftsmen will be on site, selling their handmade wares, and the Colonial kitchen and surgeon's quarters will be featuring demonstrations for curious history buffs.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the fair is the mock Revolutionary War battle, involving both British Dragoons and Marines and the American troops of George Rogers Clark's militia and the Illinois regiment. The battlefield itself features a natural amphitheater, enhancing the sights and sounds of the action provided by legions of skilled professional reenactors. Make sure to keep a look-out for the Native Americans, whose loyalties are always a mystery right up to the dawn of battle!
Admission for this popular event is $6 for adults and $3 for children ages six to twelve; children aged five years and younger are admitted free. Your ticket includes a tour of the Locust Grove estate, so don't leave without taking a tour through one of the most magnificent homes of the age.
Images courtesy of Historic Locust Grove, Inc.