On Saturday, July 3, 2010, a year-long exhibit, "Zhimaagnishak Miikaanhs: The Odawa Warriors' Journey to Fort Necessity," will open at Fort Necessity National Battlefield in Farmington, PA. The event is open to the public. Fort Necessity National Battlefield is the site of the opening battle of the French and Indian War, which was fought on July 3, 1754. The battle also marked the beginning of George Washington's military career. Battle participants included Odawa warriors, who were allied with the French.
The Little Traverse Bay Bands (LTBB) of the Odawa is returning to the site of Fort Necessity on July 3. This time, they are making the journey to open a new exhibit about their culture.
"Zhimaagnishak Miikaanhs: the Odawa Warriors’ Journey to Fort Necessity" will feature artifacts and artwork on loan from the LTTB Odawa and Fort Michilimackinac as well as pieces from Fort Necessity’s collection. These items will chronicle how a young Odawa man journeying to Fort Necessity became a warrior through the lessons taught in his village. Artifacts on display will include an original French musket, trade gun parts, village items, and Odawa artwork such as quill boxes, ash baskets and pottery.
The exhibit will open with a special program at 11:00 a.m. At 12:00 p.m., Eric Hemenway, Cultural Preservation Assistant of LTBB, will present a talk on the Odawa warriors’ motivation and participation in the battle. Zhimaagnishak Miikaanhs will reveal the Native American involvement in the battle of Fort Necessity; it will also focus on the continuation of Odawa culture in the present day. At 11:30 a.m., a traditional feast will allow visitors to taste the food still prepared by the Odawa. From noon to 4:00 p.m., Odawa artisans will demonstrate traditional skills such as quillwork, pottery, and black ash basket making.
Original artwork of preeminent French and Indian War painter Robert Griffing will also be exhibited. Two new paintings – "Through the Straits of Mackinac" and "Odawa Flotilla" – will be displayed along with a series of prints depicting the Braddock Campaign and other works. Griffing and Fred Threlfall, an area French and Indian War artist and illustrator whose work is integrated into the exhibit, will sign books and prints from noon to 4:00 p.m.
At 1:30 p.m., a memorial ceremony, including the reading of the honor roll of those killed in the battle, will be conducted on the battlefield in remembrance of their sacrifice. Park staff dressed as soldiers of the period will present the program in the Great Meadows near Fort Necessity. The ceremony will conclude with a historic weapons demonstration. The soldier program will also be offered at 3:30 p.m.
There will be open house for visitors at the Mount Washington Tavern, a historic museum in the park that commemorates travel and life along the historic National Road, from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. and from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. Volunteers from the Fort Necessity Friends group will staff the Tavern.
Fort Necessity National Battlefield is located 11 miles east of Uniontown, Pennsylvania on US 40 – The Historic National Road. Admission to the park is $5.00 per adult. Children 15 and under are free of charge. The fee is collected at the Interpretive and Education Center and is valid for seven days. For more information on park programs, call 724-329-5512 or visit the park web site at www.nps.gov/fone.
Fort Necessity National Battlefield
1 Washington Parkway
Farmington, PA 15437
Phone: (724)329-5811 Visit the website at http://www.nps.gov/fone
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