A history-defining clash of cultures began in the 18th
century in the Trans-Allegheny region of the nation that now includes West Virginia when American Indian and European cultures fought six wars westward of the Allegheny Mountains. The men and women involved in this cycle of war and peace shaped the future of Trans-Allegheny culture.
On July 18, Hawks Nest State Park in Fayette County will be the setting for the next in a series summer interpretative programs titled “Trans-Allegheny Clash of Cultures,” sponsored by West Virginia State Parks. The first was held at Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park July 4, and following the Hawks Nest presentation on July 18, the final event will be held at Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park on Aug. 29.
“The event at Hawks Nest will focus on the French and Indian War, particularly the Mary Ingles Story,” according to Willa Grafton, Hawks Nest Parks naturalist. “Seven living history presenters and two boys will portray the Ingles captivity march from the Old ‘Dutch’ Woman's perspective of the arduous return journey through the gorge below the park.”
Cherokee warrior “Man Killer” Ostenaco, as portrayed by Doug Wood, lead interpreter from Trails, Inc., will make an appearance to help attendees understand the very significant impact the Cherokee-Virginia alliance had on western Virginia (now West Virginia) during the war. A special presentation on Mary Ingles’ captivity and escape will be held inside the lodge.
“Weather permitting, an interactive prisoner camp will be set up at the Hawks Nest setting to help visitors better understand the ordeals that hundreds of Virginians suffered as they passed alongside New River gorge,” according to Wood. The Hawks Nest format begins at 10 a.m. and concludes following a presentation at 3:30 p.m. The war camp is open to the public at no charge.
For more information, visit www.hawksnestsp.com or call 304-658-5212, and ask for Willa Grafton, naturalist. For more information about the State Parks Calendar of Events and Activities, go online to www.wvstateparks.com or phone 800 CALL WVA and ask for the specific park or forest.
About each “Trans-Allegheny Clash of Cultures” presentation
· Hawks Nest Schedule: July 18, 2009
10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. – War camp open to the public
Visit with historical characters who traveled the New River war paths.
Put yourself in a prisoner’s place at the war camp.
1 p.m. – Warrior Walk
Put yourself in a warrior’s moccasins on this short interpretive hike.
2 p.m. – “Mary Ingles: Caught in the Vortex of the French & Indian War”
An audio-visual exploration into the history behind the legend.
3:30 p.m. – “I Have Now Made a Path to Virginia: Man Killer Ostenaco and the Cherokee-Virginia Alliance during the French & Indian War”
A History Alive! Presentation of the WV Humanities Council
Doug Wood portrays the Cherokee war leader whose three military campaigns in western Virginia helps stop the French & Indian raids along the New River.
· Droop Mountain Schedule: August 29, 2009
10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. – War camp open to the public.
Visit with historical characters who traveled the Seneca Trail. Characters will include a prisoner in a war camp, an Indian warrior, Cherokee war leader Man Killer Ostenaco (portrayed by Doug Wood) and Koleshqua, the Cornstalk Warrior (a History Alive! Presentation of the West Virginia Humanities Council, portrayed by Dan Cutler).