Mark your calendar for Battle of Beckhamville

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By The Staff

GREAT FALLS – Have you ever seen a salt maker? Or watch someone make a broom? Or see how tombstones were made from slate?

How about an 18th century lace maker or a refugee from France?

All of this can be experienced at the seventh annual Battle of Beckhamville re-enactment, set for June 6, 7 and 8 in Great Falls on the original battlefield.

Alexander's Old Field was the site of the first Patriot victory after the fall of Charleston. On June 6, 1780, ardent Patriots gathered at the home of Justice John Gaston to protest the brutality of the British. That group of men moved down an old Indian path and came to the old field at Beckhamville, where they engaged more than 200 British and Loyalists in what is now Great Falls.

That battle came to be known as the Battle of Beckhamville. It helped spur fierce resistance toward the British, which eventually led to the victory of the Americans.

Sponsored by the Great Falls Home Town Association, the event will give those who attend a taste of the 18th century and a view of the struggle of the people in the region to resist British tyranny.

Visitors will see woodworkers, blacksmiths, people portraying soldiers, militia, musicians, artisans and more during the event.

Special events will include a historically accurate duel between two Colonial men, as well as the historic portrayal of the hanging of William Stroud, a historical figure from the area.

There will be battle re-enactments on both days, on June 6, the Battle of Beckhamville, also known as the Battle of Alexander's Old Field will, and on June 8, there will be a tactical of a battle. It will feature the many different uniforms and units that participated in the Revolution.

There will be a period-style tavern with types of things you might encounter in one of these establishments that were stopping places for weary travelers. Visitors will be able to go shopping – 18th century style – and try their hand at quill writing and marble making.

There'll also be games for children.

The weekend begins with the third annual Scots-Irish Heritage Dinner, set for 7 p.m. June 6 at the Great Falls War Memorial Building. Bert Dunkersly, author of books on the American Revolution, is scheduled to speak. Tickets are $25 per person.

Proceeds will go to the Great Falls Home Town Association.

The re-enactor camps open to the public at 9 a.m. June 7. Throughout the day, there will be living historians demonstrating various tasks and activities from the Colonial period.

A stage, set up under pecan trees, will be the site of vignettes detailing life between Fishing and Rocky Creeks prior to, during and after the Revolutionary War.

Presentations will include Colonial School Days, Oath of Allegiance to King George III and stories from the period. Musicians playing period music will be on hand both days.

The camps will open once again at 9 a.m. June 8. A period church service will be held at 9:15 a.m. based on a Covenanter service. Demonstrations and vignettes will once again take place throughout the day. The event will end at 3 p.m.

Tickets for the event are $5 for adults, $3 for ages 6 to 12 and under 6 will get in free. Tickets are good both days.

The battlefield is at S.C. 97 and S.C. 99, just outside the town limits of Great Falls.

For details

For details or to make reservations to the Scots-Irish Heritage Dinner, call (803) 482-2370 or e-mail gassociation@truvista.net.