Graphic Enterprises - Home of the Pioneer Times - A Web Site for Living History

Pioneer Times


Pirates of Paynetown
August 11 -12, 2007

Photos by Jim & Kathy Cummings

Pirates and Ladies,
Rogues and Scoundrels,
Soldiers and Heroes

See a Slideshow of the Participants

The Hanging
Presented by the Crewe of
The Archangel

Battling by
Land and Sea

See a Slideshow of the Event

Order A Pirate T-Shirt
New Item!

Additional Photos submitted by Nathan Logsdon on
The Pioneer Times Guest Gallery

Pirates of Paynetown

By Jim Cummings

I will be the first to admit that I was very wrong in my conception of “Pirates of Paynetown” a re-enactment held at Lake Monroe in Bloomington, Indiana.

What I thought was going to be a “Pirates of the Caribbean Spoof” with a bunch of Johnny Depp look-alikes was not. I was dead wrong.

The Pirates of Paynetown was put on by and held at Lake Monroe State Park. It was the second year for the event and our first time there. But it won’t be the last. This Stae Park is one of Indiana’s crown jewels.

It has 14,000 acres and most of it is covered in water. If you haven’t been there it is worth putting on your “things to do list”. 

Pirates of Paynetown was a serious re-eanctment of the days when Pirates roamed the Atlantic Coast and the Carribean and even ventured into some inland water ways through the great lakes.

Now I’m not saying there wasn’t a lot of fun going on - there was. Any time you get a bunch of re-enactors together there will be fun. But add in the relaxed atmosphere of this event, with sword fights and pirates skirmishes, lots of cannon fire and boats on the water and you have a crowd pleaser. And to my amazement I knew almost 95% of the re-enactors there or had read about or seen the other 5%. There was a mix of Revolutionary War, French and Indian War, and even a few Civil War crossovers who had all modified their look and became “pirates for a weekend.”

Pirates were a real fact of liffe in this hemisphere and in the continuing quest to bring history alive this is a very viable event - one that I hope the DNR of Indiana will continue.

About the only Johnny Depp look alikes were visitors of the 5 year old variety.

One of the groups that came to Paynetown was The Crewe of the Archangel. This diverse group of re-enactors comes together from various locations in the US and does other time periods as well as pirates.

Every one had a great time as the photos can attest. Spectators in pleasure craft on the water as well as swimmers in the nearby swimming area stopped what they were doing as the battle began.

There was even a hanging - something I’ve not seen before at an event. (DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!) Put on by The Archangel Crewe, it was done with a body harness and a bit of theatrical know how. While every safety precaution was taken - it was a very realistic look at the punishment for crimes in the 17th and 18th centuries in this country. It was a great addition to the weekend and brought gasps from the crowd. Afterwards everyone was invited for a closer look (children especially) to see the body harness and hook that made it look so real.

The Pirates of Paynetown was a great event and will no doubt grow each year. The program was well thought out and the setting was a beautiful backdrop to the event. It was attended by some of the area’s best known re-enactors and even had 5 former Pioneer Times Re-Enactors of the Month. In attendance were Kyle and Laura Willyard, Allen Marsee, Nathan Logsdon and the lastest - Gavin Kelly.

The event organizer was Jennifer Aynes with additional help in recruiting re-enactors from Nathan and Andrea Logsdon.Said Aynes, “We want to maintain a true living history event, as realistic as possible in dress and activities. We want everyone to have fun, but not be taken over by a “carnival atmosphere” so that we can still educate the public. 

As events come and go by the wayside Pirates of Paynetown fills a different niche. For a mid summer event the beautiful Monroe Lake offeres a cool and shady spot for everyone to get out and participate. There were games for the children and plenty to see for everyone. And if it gets too hot - there’s always the boats and the lake for relief. So put “The Pirates of Paynetown” on your schedule for next year. This one can only get bigger and better each year. The park is easily accesible, clean and the atmosphere is one guaranteed to draw the public.

Aynes and Logsdon

The Photo Gallery of Events

18th Century Living History Events

Fort Boonesborough Events

19th Century Living History Events

Civil War Living History Events

Timeline Events

Indoor Trade Events

Museums, Workshops, Schools and Other Events