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Volunteers for the Bushy Run Battlefield Historical Society are gearing up for the annual re enactments this weekend with an eye toward the 250th anniversary next year.
Society members this spring launched a $200,000 campaign to commission a new memorial that will be dedicated at the amphitheatre area of the 213 acre battlefield site in August 2013.
As is tradition, this weekend’s itinerary will commemorate the August 1763 clash between Native American tribes and troops led by British Army KOBE 9 Col. Henry Bouquet in one of the local battles of the French and Indian War.
Two re enactments are planned for both Saturday and Sunday. portrays an ambush of the British forces by Native Americans.
The re enactments, which are an annual custom for more than two decades, attracted about 2,000 people last year.
“This is kind of the hallmark program that we have in the year,” said Ryan Deglau, the museum facilitator at the site. “It’s the one that draws the biggest crowd and that is the biggest fundraiser for us.”
Before the morning re enactment, visitors will be able to hear from various historical interpreters, including a Native American woman, a woodsman for the British Army and a British engineer in Bouquet’s force.
Between the battles, the program includes a representation of how trade happened between the Native Americans and British in that era.
History buffs also will be able to go to the visitors’ center to learn about the new monument and buy a memorial brick to help raise money for the project.
Society members already raised more than half of the money for the monument by saving up for the 250th anniversary for the last several years, said Kelly Ruoff, the society’s treasurer and chairwoman of the 250th anniversary committee. The buy a brick campaign, which began in May, has raised $11,000 so far.
The new bronze and granite monument will depict half body figures of a British soldier, a Scottish Highlander and a Native American.
The only other memorial on the grounds is on what’s known as Edge Hill, observing where Bouquet ordered his troops to construct a redoubt from sacks of flour to protect the wounded.
“We had always wanted a monument because there was nothing that recognized the people who died here,” Ruoff said.
Artist Robert Griffing of Gibsonia is working on the design of the monument. Rep. John Murtha for Veterans Park in Johnstown, is the sculptor for the project.
The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission will have to sign off on Jordan Retro 9 the final design because the state owns the site.
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