View Full Version : Texas Immersion event

02-18-2007, 12:44 PM
Henkel Square
Round Top, Texas
September 22-23, 2007

Presented by the Texas Rifles Civil War Reenacting and
Living History Group (www.texasrifles.org)

We all hear about the first person events in other states where participants get to live in authentic structures and immerse themselves in the material culture and society of the 1860s. Many of us wish there was an event like that in Texas. Well, the members of the Texas Rifles Civil War Reenacting and Living History Group wish to invite you to participate in just such an event in Texas.

During the weekend of September 22-23, 2007 you will have the opportunity to participate in a semi-immersion, civilian-centered event at Henkel Square in Round Top, Texas. Henkel Square is a nationally recognized authentic restoration of Anglo-American and German-American 19th Century culture and was created to preserve and perpetuate an authentic representation of local Texas life as it was in the 19th Century. The participants of the Henkel Square event will have full access to and be able to live in the original, furnished structures located on the site and experience life in 1862 Texas.

The following is the basic information about the event. Detailed information regarding the location and guidelines is available on the Henkel Square Yahoo! group.

Event information
The aim of this event is to enable military and civilian participants to experience a semi-immersion Civil War event in Texas. The nature of the event means that military-military and military-civilian interaction will be largely unscripted and unpredictable, allowing all participants to react in character as events naturally unfold. The public may be in attendance, which will also give us an opportunity to interact with them as a person from 1862.

Participants will portray citizens of Fayette County, Texas in September 1862 and Henkel Square will become a generic Fayette County community. Participants will develop impressions such as the town doctor, an itinerant worker, an outsider here to enlist, a wealthy widow or a family down on their luck, and develop detailed backgrounds for these impressions. Civilian participants who wish to stay on site will be assigned to structures based on their impressions. Civilians who do not wish to stay in the site structures will not be assigned to a structure and may portray visitors to the area, itinerant tradesmen or workers, or in the case of male participants, arriving to enlist in the military or other appropriate impressions.

Military participants will portray Confederates and will camp within the site grounds with the opportunity to recruit non-committed men.

There may be some scripted activities during the day; those that would naturally have been known to the participants, such as a town meeting, church service, or military drill, will be made known to all participants. However, some activities may only be known by the organizers and primary participants in order to maintain a spontaneous natural flow to the event.

A Yahoo! group has been established for participants to discuss the event and share information: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HSTexas/. In addition, files will be placed on the Yahoo! group site, which will provide information regarding the event, the site, Round Top, Fayette County, pre-war Texas, first person development and other background information.

The event will officially begin at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday September 22nd and end at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday September 23rd.

Site information
Three of Henkel Square’s structures stand where the owners built them originally. Most of the other buildings that were moved to Henkel Square, as well as the textiles, pottery, tools and furniture exhibited in them, came from no further than 15 miles away. Henkel Square’s web site is http://www.texaspioneerarts.org/henkel_square.html; the site includes some photos of the structures as well as a bit of history on each building.

As much as we would like this event to be full immersion, there will be some modern intrusions that cannot be hidden. The site is in the middle of Round Top with full view of the highway through town, cars and modern houses. There will be some modern noises present such as the sound of cars and Round Top’s noon whistle from the fire station. There is also a historical marker in front of one of the structures. Henkel Square staff and visitors will not be in period clothes. However, once the event is in full swing these modern intrusions should melt into the background and not detract from your enjoyment of the event.

The houses are furnished including tables, chairs, some service settings, beds and bedding. Some of the chairs and beds are rickety and the bedding is dusty so you may wish to bring your own period chairs and/or bedding. We ask that if you choose to bring your own furniture and/or bedding that they be period correct. Please be sure any personal items are identified as your own so as not to mistake them for the site’s collection and visa versa. All individuals living in the structures will be responsible for returning the structure to the condition it was found including returning any of the collection if removed and cleaning out the fireplaces or stoves. Please be respectful of any site property you may use and of the historic nature of the structures.

There is plenty of space within the site and outside the walls of the “town site” for military camping as required. Some soldiers such as relatives and friends of the civilians, and officers, may find shelter with some households.

Parking will be provided outside the site boundaries.

Registration information
Due to the limited accommodations available on site advance registration is required. Pre-registration slots will be limited to 40 civilians. As the military do not require accommodations in the structures, there is currently no limit on military numbers; however, the organizers reserve the right to limit military registration as needed. The deadline for registration is July 31, 2007.

A registration fee of $5.00 per person is requested and will go to the Texas Pioneer Arts Foundation for the support of Henkel Square. All participants must pay the fee. A registration form for each adult is required.

Participants will be juried. We are requesting:
· Photos in period clothes of each registrant
· A biography including information about your impression, the family unit, if applicable, an explanation as to why you are in Fayette County, Texas (sample biographies are included on the Yahoo! group site)
· Military registrants must include their main military unit

Over-all Event Coordinator: Annette Bethke, netnet81@yahoo.com
Military Coordinator: Frank Marek, fjmarrek@sbcglobal.net

The Texas Rifles are committed to achieving realistic and historically accurate representations of the Civil War through battle reenactments and living history impressions by our military and civilian members and participation in a wide range of other events related to Civil War history in our local communities.

04-16-2007, 10:59 AM
Just a heads up that a pre-event workshop is being planned for July 21 at the event site. The workshop will offer information about the history and the effects of the war on the area. More information will be provided as plans are firmed up.

04-23-2007, 12:50 PM
Things are moving along on the Henkel Square event in Round Top Texas. We currently have the following impressions filled:

Justice of the Peace
Tavern keeper
Military commander
post master
period photographer

However, we still have opportunities for several other impressions such
as other professionals, craftsmen, tradesmen, itinerate workers,
domestics, militia men, business owners, vagabonds, etc.

05-21-2007, 11:52 PM
My apologies, the military coordinator's email address is fjmarek@sbcglobal.net.

I apologize for any inconvenience.

06-06-2007, 08:41 PM
In preparation for the Henkel Square event, an informal workshop will be held at Round Top July 21, 2007. This workshop will provide background information to help develop impressions for the event in September. The agenda follows below.

Period clothes will not be necessary; it will be hot so come in comfortable clothes. Accommodations will be made available in the structures at Henkel Square or there are several B&Bs and camping sites in the area and hotels in La Grange.

We would like to use Sunday as a workday to take care of some things the site needs done. You are invited to join us if you would like to help.

The fee for lunch will be paid at the workshop; however, please let us know if you plan to attend and have lunch so we know how many people to plan food for. You may contact Annette Bethke at netnet81@yahoo.com with any questions and/or to state your intentions to attend. Please let us know if you plan to attend by July 7.

Location: Either the old brewery if available or the church or barn at Henkel Square. Exact location will be announced as the date gets closer.

Date: July 21, 2007, optional workday July 22, 2007

Time: Saturday: 9:00-5:00 ish, Sunday 9:00-?

Cost: $5.00 for Saturday lunch


Morning: History

9:00-9:10 Welcome

9:10-10:00 Fayette County History 1852-September 1862 including German influence and units raised from county: Kathy Carter, Chair, Fayette County Historical Commission, LaGrange

10:00-10:10 Break

10:10-11:00 Texas home front: Annette Bethke

11:00-11:10 Break

11:10-12:00 Etiquette: Robin Gilliam, Curator, National Ranching Heritage Center, Lubbock

12:00-2:00 Lunch: barbeque beef sandwiches, sides and tea

Afternoon: Impression

2:00-2:50 Attitudes/mentality of mid-19th century Texans: Phil Sozansky

2:50-3:00 Break

3:00-3:50 Leisure pursuits, food and drink: Jim Bosworth

3:50-5:00 Questions/answers, impression critiques, more touring time, etc.

06-26-2007, 09:38 PM
The registration deadline for the Henkel Square event in Texas is just over a month away. We have a good group so far, although I think it's quite interesting that we have more men than women registered considering we're interpreting 1862 :).

If anyone needs assistance with their impression or getting a civilian kit together let me know; all the members of the committee are willing to help. If you have any questions or concerns about registering, please feel free to contact me off list.


07-27-2007, 10:46 AM
Less than a week to get your registrations in the mail for the Henkel Square Event in Round Top Texas. Feel free to email me if you have any questions.