DRESDEN — Depending on which day you visited the living history encampment at the 1761 Pownalborough Court House in Dresden, it was either during the Revolutionary War or some years prior in the summer of 1755.

Two re-enacting groups, Fletcher’s Company of the St. George, Thomaston area, and the Daniel Savage’s Company of Old Fort Western in Augusta gathered for a Revolutionary War Living History Encampment that began Friday night and ended Sunday afternoon.

On Saturday, it was all about the Revolutionary period.

On Sunday, amid the odor of burning wood and within sight of the flowing Kennebec River, the re-enactors stepped further back in time to 1755, during the French and Indian War, when Fletcher’s Company mustered in that June and mustered out that November, took to the trails to visit settlers and learn what they knew about the movements and intent of Indians in the area.

“Sometimes they’re up to no good; sometimes they’re just passing through because they are hunting and gathering or they’re readying for war,” said Rebecca Manthey of Benton, one of the re-enactors.

Fletcher’s scouts are prepared to scare off the Indians if necessary to protect the settlers.

“It’s a great story and very symbolic of what’s going on in Maine at the time,” said Mark Rohman of Augusta, another re-enactor. He pulled on a green wool jacket in preparation for the patrol on a steamy morning, which would also serve as an opportunity for a training session.

The company had already lost a couple of its members during the weekend, some to other obligations, and one re-enactor to a series of hornet stings, again, something which could have afflicted Fletcher’s original company.

Rohman noted that the clothing didn’t change much and the weapons remained the same over the intervening two decades.

Some of the re-enactors planned to use bug dope or sun lotion before the hike. “We do the best we can,” Rohman said, “but we do have to go to work tomorrow.”

In the meantime, they had members of Savage’s Company joining them for the patrol. Among them was Jackie Fournier of Mount Vernon, who interprets Dr. Daniel Cony and carries a pouch packed with various instruments used by doctors around that time period.

“When you think about a scouting company, I’m not going to be carrying a box,” she said. While medicine would have been in the form of herbs, Fournier said little of that would be carried on patrol because the the doctor would have to stop and steep most of them before administering them.

A nurse-practitioner herself, Fournier held up several metal tools — a retractor, scalpel and rounded forceps — noting that while they appear crude, they were intended to do some of the same things as modern medical instruments. The forceps, for instance, were rounded to better extract musket balls.

Fournier said she based much of her interpretation on a physician, John Calef, who served at Fort Halifax, Winslow.

She said she was a neophyte in her third year with the re-enactors, but she enjoys back-packing and cooking outdoors.

While the re-enactors tidied their small canvas tents and prepare to set out, Jay Robbins led visitors on a tour of the three-story, wooden Pownalborough Court House. Robbins is a member of the stewardship committee for the courthouse, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, and a former president and executive director of the Lincoln County Historical Association.

Robbins said 150 people visited the encampment on Saturday.

The historic courthouse itself, on Courthouse Road off Route 128 in Dresden, is normally open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 on Sunday through Columbus Day weekend. During August, it is open 10-a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

It has a puppet show scheduled for Aug. 26 to accompany its current exibit of 19th century toys, which are being displayed on the third floor.

Both re-enacting groups have Facebook pages with update on where they will be camping and re-enacting. Fletcher’s Scouting Company will be at the Tate House museum in Portland on Aug. 19, and then Sept. 9-10 at Leonard’s Mills in Bradley. Next for The Reenacting Companies of Old Fort Western is the Benedict Arnold encampment in mid September at the fort itself in Augusta.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.