Wild weekend of activity for Chatham-Kent


war finds a way poster

It was one of those weekends in Chatham-Kent, with a huge variety of activities taking place, resulting in the Corcorans running hither and yon.

It was as if we came out of the huddle first thing Friday morning, jogged up to the line of scrimmage and took off at the snap.

Our daughter was one of the thousands of students who attended the education day at the Battle of the Thames site Friday. She saw so many things throughout the day that the girl seemed to be in sensory overload as she debriefed with me that night over dinner.

Between the skirmish, the blacksmith shop, a fire-eater, the period costumes and the variety of food on site, she said she wished her class had been able to spend more time at many of the areas they visited.

Meanwhile, I had the incredible opportunity that afternoon to sit and chat with John Trowbridge, command historian for the Kentucky National Guard. Trowbridge, in town for the Battle of the Thames festivities, is an amazing font of historical information, and not just about Kentucky soldiers.

He related tales of discovering historical inaccuracies that descendants just didn’t want to hear – despite being the ones who requested Trowbridge dig up information on their relatives in the first place. Kin lore exposed as false can be a hard pill to swallow, deflating family pride.

As well, Trowbridge, in his pursuit of information on where various Kentuckians fell in battle and were ultimately buried, has encountered War of 1812 re-enactments in the U.S. that were woefully historically inaccurate, but the organizers weren’t about to change.

Further, he’s discovered commemorative gravesites for men who were “mortally wounded” in combat and assumed to have perished after the battle. The problem is, Trowbridge has already tracked the men’s lives and found they had lived long and prosperous ones, finally ending their days many decades and hundreds of miles from where they supposedly died in the War of 1812.

He is a man who certainly realizes there are two or even three sides to every story and every element of history. Listening to him discuss just a snapshot of what he’s done over the past 16 years was a treat indeed.

It was also great to hear how impressed he was with the effort made earlier that day to educate our children at the battle site. He described his first view upon arriving to at the site near Thamesville as “a sea of buses.”

I had to leave my chat with Trowbridge to have dinner with my daughter and hear her side of the day.

On Saturday, I spent a chunk of the day covering a cross-country meet and posting content to our website from the one and only Sarah Schofield, who we tasked with covering the Battle of the Thames. The difficult part with Schofield’s work is choosing pictures to use. There are always too many good ones as she is an excellent photographer.

Saturday night, my wife and daughter took in “War Finds a Way,” an original play about the War of 1812 at the St. Clair College Capitol Theatre. The cast of that play included two daughters of Chatham Voice graphic artist Michelle Owchar.

My ladies had a quick turnaround, getting up at 6:30 a.m. Sunday to head to Rondeau Provincial Park to take part in the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance’s Pumpkin Run.

They staggered back through our door just before 1 p.m. kickoff, followed in short order by the football relatives, who travelled light this week, only armed with about 10 pounds of steak and a few appetizers.

Just another weekend with the Corcorans.


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