ELKTON — Historical reenactments, live music and craft booths filled the Elkton Community Education Center (ECEC)on Saturday afternoon for the annual Fort Umpqua Days celebration.
This year, the event also honored the 20th anniversary of the ECEC, with dinner and a concert Saturday evening.
Down at the fort, historical reenactors were set up at various stations, teaching kids about what life was like for the early settlers of the area.
“There are some folks that set up as Hudson Bay Company trappers, they’ve got their encampment there so you can see how they would have lived and slept at night and cooked and that sort of thing,” said Marjory Hamann, executive director of ECEC.
Ashlee Moehring, of Tigard, said she and her family of four grew up in Bandon and come down for Fort Umpqua Days every year.
Baylor Moehring, 9, said he and his sister, London Moehring, participated in historical activities at various stations at the fort.
“So first, we got to pump and carry water to the garden, so we just got a bunch of buckets of water and we had to pump them,” Baylor said.
London said they both learned how to say “we speak Indian sign language,” and “we trade knife for beaver,” in Native American sign language.
“Once you complete all the stuff, then you get to go up to the store and you get to get a prize. You can either get these really round rocks that were painted and they were like marbles from back in the old days, or you can get these arrowheads that are made here,” London said.
Grace Whitley of Elkton coordinated the Fort Umpqua celebration this year.
“It’s really nice to see it come together in the end, for me I was just glad the band showed up. It was nice and very fun,” Whitley said.
Whitley will attend Oregon State University this fall to pursue a degree in history and religious studies.
She said she wants to become a museum archivist or curator.
She participated in ECEC’s youth employment program throughout high school and said her experience there helped her prepare for college.
“It’s been awesome to have a place to go. In Elkton, very small limited options, so it’s nice to have a place that’s willing to hire students, especially at age 14,” Whitley said.