Headline from The Red River Sun 26 March 2021 eEdition. Photograph by TTL Sports Media, April 2019.
"Witness history come alive" as Collingsworth County hosts its first living history weekend on October 8 and 9, 2021, at Powell Park in Wellington, Texas. The event is being organized by members of Sons of Confederate Veterans Charles Goodnight, Frontier Regiment Camp 2280. Former resident Lonnie Colson will demonstrate what life was like for a 15th-century English knight on campaign. U.S. Army Indian War impersonators will appear along with the Dancing Eagles of Sapulpa, Oklahoma. There will be a chili cookoff and history symposium on Saturday. The following event details were provided by the 26 March edition of The Red River Sun:
“A flag-raising each morning at 8 a.m. will open the day with a ‘morning gun’ cannon shot,” said organizer Jody Coleman.“School day will take place Friday as students within a 75-mile radius are invited to visit the life-like displays from the past.” Stations will be set up for spectators to rotate for presentations. The Order of Confederate Rose, the ladies auxiliary, will have a presence in the living history exhibit as well.
Former resident Lonnie Colson will demonstrate what life was like for an English knight on campaign during the 15th century. He will have a camp site centered around a 15-foot pavilion tent and will show visitors how to don and fight in a suit of Milanese export armor circa 1450. Activities include dueling with the longsword and pollaxe as well as how to make maille (chainmail) garments.
Native American History
U.S. Army Indian war impersonators will appear along with a performance by the Dancing Eagles of Sapulpa, Oklahoma, who perform Native American dances and traditional storytelling structured to entertain and educate all types of audiences. Performances include specialty, traditional and social dances. Audience participation is incorporated for individual experience.
A chili cookoff with an entry fee of $20 per team will kick off Saturday events. “The public will pay $5 to taste chili and vote,” Coleman said. “We will give away two $500 prizes, one for best chili sponsored by Weatherly Roofing, LLC and one for best presentation. The tasting will begin at 11 a.m. with judging at 1 p.m.”
At 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, doors of the historic Wellington Ritz Theatre will open for a History Symposium sponsored by West Texas Steel of San Angelo. Admission will be $10 for adults, $5 for students and free for veterans. Marty Kuhlman, PhD, will open the program. A professor of history at West Texas A&M University, he will describe the Amarillo Bowery from the 1900 - 1911 period with a power-point presentation. The early history of the High Plains will be explained by historian Paul Matney, PhD. Retired professor William C. “Bill” Taylor will expound on Jefferson Davis and Battle of Buena Vista (la Batalla de la Angostura), a battle of the Mexican American War.
“Sponsored by West Texas Steel, each history symposium speaker will talk for about 30 minutes, with refreshments served in the lobby between each one,” Coleman said. “To add some additional interest, a Bonnie and Clyde look-alike contest sponsored by Collingsworth Chamber of Commerce will take place.”
The host organization invites vendors and sutlers to come and set up at the park to become part of the living history weekend.
“We have several great sponsors but will continue to do some fundraising,” Coleman said. “Hopefully, we can provide the living history exhibit every year.”