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 The Pioneer Times   April-June 2004

Spring 2004

The Frazier Historical
Arms Museum Opens in Louisville

by Jim Cummings

Dreams do come true.

Owsley Brown Frazier’s dream of opening a first class arms museum did come true this weekend in Louisville, KY with the opening of The Frazier Historical Arms Museum.

Frazier’s love of guns started when he was a young boy when his grandfather gave him his first Kentucky long rifle. His interest in guns grew from there. What he and his staff have accomplished is amazing and breathtaking.

From the moment you walk into the museum, you can feel the electricity in the air. At that point you know you are in for a treat. After you have gotten your ticket ($9.00 for adults) you walk about 30 ft and turn left. You can’t believe your eyes. Instantly you see two mounted men - one in military uniform and the other a medieval knight in armor on two life like full size horses. This alone got my attention.

Next to the life like mounted statues was a Gatling gun. I spent the first 30 minutes in this section called “The Great Hall’. Straight back from there is the arms of distinction gallery. If you are a gun enthusiast, an artist or craftsman - this is the room for you.

Then I suggest you go to the third floor to start your tour and work your way down. The third floor is the British Armouries Collection which all students and lovers of history will find interesting. The second floor is just as exciting as the others.

The Frazier Historical Arms Museum is not just about guns. They display some of the finest armor that was worn in medieval times - hundreds of years of history.

They have swords, knives, armor and more. George Armstrong Custer’s ivory handled colt pistols, The bow of Geronimo, the great Apache leader. President “Teddy” Roosevelt’s double barrel rifle known as “the big stick” and Daniel Boone’s family bible.

The museum also has interpreters and volunteers to answer your questions and guide you to various sections of the museum. There are movie theatres, and interactive displays throughout the museum. You could spend hours in the museum and still go back later to experience it again.

I went Saturday and back again on Sunday. The part I liked the best are the three dimensional life size art pieces. The museum has about six or seven of them scattered about and you can view them from all sides. It puts you right in the action.

Owsley Brown Frazier

Living history re-enactors, historians, gun collectors, and lovers of the Renaissance will have to go see this museum master piece. The Frazier Historical Arms Museum is located at 829 West Main St. in Louisville, KY

For more info about the Frazier go to or see a feature from Sunday’s Louisville Courier Journal at

See photo page on The Frazier Arms Museum

See Photo Page of the Opening Day Parade

Frazier Arms Museum Opening Day Parade


by Jim Cummings

On Saturday morning at 8:30 AM about 120 Re-enactors merged on downtown Louisville to take part in the parade and grand opening festivities at The Frazier Historical Arms Museum.

Some of the participants were the 71st Regiment, The Painted Stone Settlers, The Illinois Regiment and Logan’s Company, The United States Colored Heavy Artillery, Louisville Fire and Rescue Pipes & Drums, The Scottish Society of Louisville and The Irish Society of Kentuckiana.

The Gearys

Tina and Nathan Phillips

There were also various knights in armor, medevial lords and ladies, a sorcerer and some present day military band units. The parade was a little rocky getting started with some miscues but all’s well that ends well. It was a chance to meet re-enactor friends and make a few new ones. The day was hot and muggy but all survived.

One of the highlights of the day were the children re-enactors that accompanied their families. The Painted Stone Settlers young crew consisted of Eva Geary (5 months) daughter of Rick and Laura Geary, Nathan Phillips, (10 months) son of Tina and Dean Phillips and Ben and John McKinney, twin sons of Helen and Kent McKinney. There were also two young ladies accompanying the 71st Regiment.

The Winning of The West
Theodore Roosevelt

by Jim Cummings

Link to Book Review Page

Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt was not only a great president but a and remarkable man too. He once said,” the words, - I can't, you can’t do that, and I quit - are not in my vocabulary.”

The 26th president was a rough and ready man. Roosevelt was up to any kind of challenge and he always played the game - his way.

Roosevelt with all his accomplishments had a great love for the outdoors and history. But in addition he was an accomplished author. He wrote a wonderful six volume set of books entitled    “The Winning of The West.” This title is a bit deceiving today for he did not mean west of the Mississippi as we do today but the west of an earlier era - West of the Appalachian mountains.

Theodore Roosevelt
President 1901 - 1909

He writes of the Eastern Woodland Indians, the pioneers of Kentucky, Boone and the Longhunters, George Rogers Clark and more. If you love history and historical facts and information this is for you.

Theodore Roosevelt was privy to a lot of information in his time and all of his information is well documented. You can get this information too from his sources - The American Archives, The American State Papers, Haldimand Papers and Canada’s Ottawa Archives. He also used sources from the Kentucky and Tennessee state archives and many private libraries including the William Blount Papers and many government sources from the early 1800’s.

The Winning of the West was first published in 1894 and the second edition in 1906. There are some full sets available from online sources of bookstores and collectors. There is also a condensed version available from local book stores. ISBN -0-8446-2827-1

The Spirit of Vincennes Rendezvous
and Grand Encampment

by Jim Cummings

The Spirit of Vincennes and the NWTA Grand Encampment took place this weekend in Vincennes, Indiana. It was a very impressive event. The Spirit of Vincennes, Inc. is an non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and presenting the history of the Vincennes, Indiana area.

Thousands filled the stands around the battlefield.

President Frank Doughman and his committee members should be recognized for a job well done. Vincennes does have history and a lot of it. This is the site of Fort Sackville, where George Rogers Clark forced the surrender of Lt. Governor Henry (The Hairbuyer) Hamilton on February 25, 1779.

To all that participated in commemorating these early American events - a big Huzzah!

Although we have been to Vincennes before, this year was one of the best we’ve ever seen. There was of course a period trade fair with sutlers and food vendors. There were battlefield demonstrations of artillery and battle re-enactments on the main battlefield both days. The sheer size and number of camps stretching from the fair area all the way back to the monument was amazing.

By my estimation there were about 8000 people in attendence. And although a large crowd, the local sheriff’s department did a great job of parking and directing people.

But the close of the day will stay in my mind for a long time to come. It put a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat. At 5:00 PM all of the military units paraded with colors on the Clark Memorial Plaza. There must have been about 600-800 well dressed military re-enactors joined by Indian Scouts, families and camp followers.

Military bands and drummers set the tone to a great tribute to our past. Hats off to the NWTA and their organizers.

About the Trade Fair
The 18th /19th Century Trade Fair was a combination of crafts people and sutlers. There were beggars and singers, musicians and a town crier all dressed in period garb. And there was food - plenty of food. This is one of the few events were the food vendors are from the community of Vincennes and are not re-enactors or period tradesmen.

George Rogers Clark and his Illinois Regiment of 175 men had marched into the western territory in 1778 under secret orders from Governor Patrick Henry of Virginia in order to stop the advancement of the British in the west. Under Clark they captured, Kaskaskia, Cahokia and Vincennes.

An impressive national monument and national park has been erected here in honor of Clark and his “Few good men, well conducted.”

For more info about George Rogers Clark click here.

About the National Park

While in Vincennes be sure to stop by the National Monumment to George Rogers Clark and also the exhibits and bookstore in the park facility.

Figures of the main players at Vincennes in the exhibit area.

A model of Ft. Sackville

Click here to see the photo page on
The Spirit of Vincennes

2nd Annual Pigeon Roost
Massacre Re-Enactment


June19th found re-enactors gathering at Lexington, Indiana for the second annual re-enactment of The Pigeon Roost Massacre. Put on by The Painted Stone Settlers, this event is sponsored by the Scott County Historical Society and The Lexington Old Settlers Committee.

The idea for connecting the re-enactment with Old Settlers Day was originated by Joe Gibson of Lexington. Together with

Almost an hour before the 2:00 start crowds were already bringing lawn chairs and blankets to the park at Lexington.

Rick Geary a Painted Stone member, formerly of Scott County Indiana, the idea took hold.

Previously re-enactors had held a re-enactment at the site of the historic monument several miles away but the area had proved too difficult with little parking. Although many of the re-enactors are at first leery of a site with a county fair atmosphere it was soon forgotten as the story of the settlers of Pigeon Roost unfolds before a crowd that consists of many descendants of Pigeon Roost.

Safety Co-Ordinator Gordon Garrett discusses plans with re-enactors before the battle.

The re-enactors gathered from Southern Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio many arriving on Friday to set up camp. Several others made a day trip of it on Saturday.

The Lexington Old Settlers Committee showed their appreciation to the re-enactors by providing free dinner on Saturday night.

The performance was narrated by Gloria Wetzel of The Painted Stone Settlers. After the re-enactment The Painted Stone militia put on a cannon demonstration for the spectators.

Re-Enactors meet before the performance to block out the staging of the outdoor drama.

Pioneer Times Photographer Jim Cummings invited all of the re-enactors to his “open air studio” for portraits after the event. To see more photos from the re-enactment and the portraits of the re-enactors - Click Here.

Scott County is an area of Southern Indiana where families have lived for generations. Most moved there from Kentucky in the early 1800’s and the re-enactors were well familiar with their stories. But unlike other places, here, descendents make up a good portion of the crowd and several re-enactors themselves were descendants of Jeremiah Payne one of the early settlers in the area.

The story of the Pigeon Roost Massacre can be found through a link on the Pigeon Roost Photo Page. For the script used at this year’s Re-enactment - click here. Thanks again to both the re-enactors and the folks in Lexington for a great day.

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