Vendors at the Recreation Park booths during the Battle of Sunset Lake will be unfamiliar to people who attend local craft shows, according to Stefan Sekula, the NWTA organizing guru. The vendors’ products are aimed at re-enactors who need additions to their costumes or fabrications to make them seem original. But those not participating in the re-enactments will find items of interest.
One vendor, Darryl Sheldon, owner of Sheldon Pewter, creates hand-cast artisan buttons, jewelry, souvenirs and custom awards and medallions. He has the enviable task of being the largest vendor of pewter products. “Pewter is a versatile medium; it can be polished to an elegant shine or left to develop the beautiful patina that is natural for this quality lead-free metal. Our mission is to provide the highest level of customer service; combining old fashioned values with today’s leading technology – resulting in unprecedented consumer satisfaction,” Sheldon said. His company was born over 40 years ago from his desire to honor early American traditions with historically accurate replicas of military buttons.
He is combining with 12 other vendors well known to re-enactors. They include Samson Leather, a family firm which has been producing quality leather drinking vessels and various leather items for over 30 years. Originally doing business as “The Gentle Craftsman”, in 2011 it changed the name to “Samson Family Cordwaining”. The Gentle Craftsman was established by Jack Samson, of Indianapolis, Ind. in 1982. Sometime in the mid to late 90s, Bob Samson, son of Jack, took over the family business just as traditional cordwainers would have done. Following that tradition, Bob handed over the business to his oldest son, Casey, in 2010.
MT Forge, headed by Mark Thomas, has been blacksmithing since 1997. Thomas tinkered around with it for several years before that and dreamed of it as a youngster. When he moved to his present home in 1992, he made the dream into a reality by building the main body of the shop in Uniondale, Ind., which he uses today. He began blacksmithing in earnest and started attending a few local rendezvous as a demonstrator who also sold the items he made.
William Booth, draper, sells a large assortment of textile products, many with names unfamiliar to most folks: linen checks and stripes, linen Hollands, cords, diaper, and jeans, Scotch, Irish and flaxen ozenbrigs; Russia sheetings, Hessen, Russia and ravens duck, canvas; plains, serge, broadcloths, woolens, worsteds, white flannels, scarlet, drab, light and dark blue, brown, claret, garnet, sage, purple and pea green, coarse cloths; coloured threads, Scotch threads; wool doubled, and ready for knitting; mould, thread and wire shirt buttons; fashionable plated and brass buttons; Indian binding, white, and red, white twist, white tapes, colored silk ribbon, worsted braid, gold lace; scissors, bodkins, stilleto; brass, Pinchbeck, shoe and knee buckles and plain sleeve links.
There will be custom tent makers, heavy metal traders, cosmetics and beauty supply products made from historical recipes, and Larry’s Emporium which sells a little bit of everything. Guests at the re-enactment are invited to browse the vendor booths which will be situated on the south side of the camp site at Recreation Park. The DAR will also have a booth.