Here’s your chance to throw a tomahawk

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(Posted Sept. 26, 2021)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

The Madison County Historical Society stepped back in time Sept. 25-26 with their annual Pioneer Days. Held on the museum grounds in London, the event features a wide array of activities and learning opportunities, including blacksmithing demonstrations, tomahawk throwing, antique displays, and reenactors providing a taste of what it was like to live on the frontier, learn in a one-room school house, and live like a settler.

Darren Colburn of Madison Lake lets loose a tomahawk, sending it toward a tree stump target. Looking on are representatives of Flintlocks & Tomahawks, an outfit out of Columbus that specializes in old-time shooting demonstrations and tomahawk throwing opportunities. According to Tom Crawford, a member of the outfit, the keys to a good tomahawk throw are: “Hold it with a thumbs-up grip, step forward when you throw, and listen to every word we say.”
Harlan Clark, 8, of London gives the cup-and-ball game a try as pioneer reenactors (from left) Freya Byrd, 13, Nikki Byrd, and Milly Byrd, 9, cheer him on and give him pointers. The Byrds’ manned a tent in one corner of the museum grounds as a representation of family living on the frontier during the late 18th century and early 19th century. The tent was outfitted with everything from children’s games to a spinning wheel.
Charles Post, a London resident, tool and die maker, and gunsmith, stands ready to share information about pieces from his antique gun collection. Post’s display at Pioneer Days contains a mix of original, conversion and reproduction pieces. Among them is a rigging musket used by French marines during the Revolutionary War era to rig their ships to fight enemies on other ships. Post purchased the weapon for $100 at an antique mall then spent three months researching it and cleaning it up. Everything on it is original accept the ramrod which is a reproduction.
In the blacksmith shop on the museum grounds, Spencer Smith (left) heats up the end of what will become a tent ridge pole while his niece, Arcie Barnhill, cranks the forge’s blower to give air to the fire. The heat softened the metal, which Spencer then drew out on an anvil to later roll into a scroll detail. J.T. Byrd, president of the Madison County Historical Society board of trustees, will hang muzzleloaders from the tent pole during historical reenactments.
Marvin Fullen, a Grove City resident and member of the London Visual Arts Guild, plays a beautiful rendition of “Sentimental Journey” which wafts over the Madison County Historical Society grounds during Pioneer Days.

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