Song for the Living History of Skippack
The Continental Army under General George Washington’s encamped in Skippack Township during the Revolutionary War. Each year in the autumn a living history event commemorating this military encampment takes place at IndenHofen Farmstead in Skippack. Check back for the dates for 2013. The IndenHofen Farmstead is located at Route 73 & Evansburg Road.
The Skippack Blogger and The Tune Dude at IndenHofen Farmstead
Before I moved to Skippack, I did not fully understand the blessing of being a citizen of the United States of America. A blessing given at birth is a blessing taken for granted. But living in a historic town changes one’s perspective.
Upon moving here, I became interested in the history of the area and joined the Skippack Historical Society. I learned that 230-odd years before I arrived, soldiers of the Continental Army slept, woke up, ate, and awaited battle in Skippack Township. Undoubtedly, these soldiers passed by and noted the stone house of the IndenHofen farmstead built in the early 1700s, located across the street from my housing development; the same clump of earth, the only real distance created by time.
I began to think about how so much of what is meaningful in my life is a gift handed to me by men and women from America’s War for Independence. Each time I write a blog post, I am taking a bite into a low-hanging fruit of freedom; freedom of speech. Each prayer is a nibble of another sweet but hard-won freedom; freedom of worship.
But these men and women who lived long ago, their lives seem so intertwined with abstract concepts like freedom, democracy, sacrifice, and patriotism, that it is hard to think of them as flesh and blood human beings. I try to picture in my mind the wary eyes and unshaven faces of men who prepared to fight at Germantown and Valley Forge. Or I think about their wives and daughters back home, who had to beg for bread when their husbands and fathers up and joined the army, leaving them with no means of support. It was real men who camped here, not abstract ideas and concepts that inhabited the neighborhood like high-minded ghosts from a history textbook.
Keeping History Fresh and Alive
I am grateful, therefore, that each year the Skippack Historical Society brings the Revolutionary War era to vivid life in its yearly living history event commemorating General Washington’s Military Encampment at IndenHofen Farmstead. It is an opportunity to honor our first soldiers and their families, not through grim and solemn ceremony, but through costumes, acting, drills, demonstrations of colonial-era trades, exhibits, reenactments, presentations, entertainment, human interaction, fun, and learning.
This year, to honor the event, I asked my friend Gabe Schick AKA The Tune Dude to meet me at the site of the event, IndenHofen Farmstead, and perform a ballad that dates back to the Revolutionary War called Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier. Like a historic reenactment, singing a traditional ballad is a way of keeping history fresh and alive. Watching Gabe perform this song has special meaning; Gabe served his country as a Marine and now serves Skippack as a musician; helping to keep our music scene and village culture alive by performing at local hangouts like the Basta Pasta and Justin’s Carriage House.
Gabe, thank you for your service and your song. Dear Reader, please do us the honor of watching our video.
Music unites people
Lovers of Skippack, lovers of freedom, lovers of song
May what unites us always be stronger than what divides us
Gab Schick AKA The Tune Dude will be performing Friday, October 19 at the Basta Pasta; Friday, November 23 at Justin’s Carriage House (the same night as the Christmas tree lighting in Skippack); Thursday, November 29 and Thursday, December 27 at Basta Pasta. More about The Tune Dude.
More information about a great organization, the Skippack Historical Society: Wonderful people, great opportunities to learn.