Since 2018, la Compagnie des Beaux Eaux has sponsored 18th-century French re-enactor events at the Ft. Ouiatenon Blockhouse, a property near West Lafayette, Indiana, owned by the Tippecanoe County Historical Association.
On March 7, re-enactors from several states gathered at the “Sucre d’Erable a Ouiatenon” to reduce maple syrup into maple sugar, a practice common in this area during the mid-18th century when French habitants frequented the original Ft. Ouiatenon. The French learned this skill from regional Native Americans.
Heating the maple syrup in copper kettles for several hours and then placing the resulting sugar in period-appropriate molds occupied the day.
About 100 local people came to observe and learn more about this historical time period.
We plan to sponsor additional events at the blockhouse throughout the coming year.
Two French re-enactors use David’s chocolate pot and mug to enjoy period-style chocolat chaud, sweetened with maple syrup.
David and Marj recently expanded their knowledge of regional French colonial history by participating in the annual Nouvelle Annee gathering in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
On one of the coldest weekends of the year (January 25), we joined French Marine re-enactors portraying life on the frontier in 1759 at the Miami garrison. Our pottery and textiles were much appreciated by the participants.
David marked the occasion by shaving his beard of 7 years because the French of 1759 would have been clean shaven, according to the event commandant. The doubled wool voyageur toque that Marj knitted him kept away most of the cold.
In support of living history, la Compagnie des Beaux Eaux will again co-sponsor the Tippecanoe County Historical Society’s French Colonial Living History Weekend Campout on March 23, 2019, which demonstrates how mid-18th-century French habitants lived on the banks of the Wabash River.
Additionally, three more events are planned for 2019. For details, visit the Tippecanoe County Historical Association website at https://www.tippecanoehistory.org/
David and Marj were accepted again by the magazine Early American Life to be included in their Directory of Traditional American Crafts, which will appear in the August issue of the magazine. David is listed for in the Pottery section, and Marj is listed in the Clothing section.
For more information about the magazine and directory, see http://www.EarlyAmericanLife.com
la Compagnie des Beaux Eaux at the Kalamazoo Living History Show 2018
We participated in the Kalamazoo Living History Show for the first time in March. We enjoyed ourselves greatly and are looking forward to future shows.
As a recognition of the authenticity and quality of David’s pottery, the Baldwin’s Regiment of Quartermaster Artificers has recently accepted us into their organization. Now when you see us at an event, we will proudly display this sign.
The Feast of the Hunters’ Moon is 50 years old this year. We hope some of you took part in the monthly programs leading up to this wonderful event. We invite everyone to come to the Feast this year! This event supports 50 local non-profits. The Feast will take place Saturday, September 30th and Sunday, October 1st, 2017. We’d love to see you there! Here’s a taste of the authentic reproduction French colonial pottery you will be able to buy at our booth this year!
Saintonge utilitarian pottery
Beginning in 2017, we are also expanding our business to include both shows and reenactments. We had a wonderful time at the Spirit of Vincennes Rendezvous in May and we are looking forward to next year. Look for La Compagnie des Beaux Eaux and come say hi!
Click here to see more authentic reproduction French colonial pottery by David
Click here to see authentic reproduction textiles by Marj
Click here to see authentic reproduction glass beads by Richard
On September 30, 2016 the local fourth grade class field trip groups came out to see the Feast as it was being set up. Then Oct 1 and 2 was the big event! We sold a record amount of merchandise, celebrated David’s birthday, and generally had a fantastic time dressing up in funny clothes.
Photos © Karla Hovde 2016. Contact her for permission to re-use photos.
We are gearing up for our favorite time of the year, The Feast of the Hunters’ Moon. It is October 1st and 2nd in 2016, at Fort Ouiatenon, Indiana. (Get directions)
La Compagnie des Beaux Eaux will be in the same place as always on the grounds, although we have a new booth number – #210. Here is a map of the grounds and the schedule of events. We’d love for you to stop by and say “Hello!” The weather looks as if it is going to be pretty good.
We are in the process of updating our pottery and textiles sections of the website with our 2016 merchandise, but meanwhile below are some photos of David’s period-appropriate pottery as a taste of what you can buy at the Feast this year! He has a lot of exciting new types of pottery we’ve never sold before. (Candlestick for size reference)
If you have questions or comments, leave us a comment below or send us a note on our contact page. David will be happy to tell you more about the history of each type of pottery or set aside certain pots if you know you will buy them.
So will we see you at the Feast this weekend?
We enjoyed our 20th year of offering our wares from our booth at the 2015 Feast of the Hunter’s Moon near Lafayette, Indiana on October 3 and 4. David is holding a costrel, a vessel for storing and serving liquids. This year was the first time he attempted to create one.
A small sample of David’s pottery.
Marj made banyans with matching caps for sale for the first time.
Marj pieced this Tree of Life quilt top. She hopes to finish it next year.