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DISPATCHES FROM AROUND THE FRONTIER: NEWS & NOTES
WE WILL NEVER FORGET!
Any & all The Last of the Mohicans related bits of news will be listed here as we come across them. If you hear of something, in your neck of the woods, please let us know! These informational items can be related to the history, the film,
the novel, the landscape ...
MOST RECENT [UP-TO-THE-MINUTE] POSTS ON
OUR MOHICAN BOARD! JOIN THE DISCUSSIONS!
Last night we finished cutting the feature
documentary, George Washington's First War, which as you know
premieres at Soldiers & Sailors on May 21. This film is the
sequel to 2001's When the Forest Ran Red, covering the
opening of the French and Indian War and culminating in Braddock's
Defeat. Forest earned five national awards and was seen on PBS
affiliates all over the country.
The new documentary picks up with the dead
on Braddock's Field, chronicles George Washington's adventures as the
defender of the Virginia frontier, and then brings viewers up close
with the campaign of Gen. John Forbes to capture Fort Duquesne.
It's vital that we get the word out about
the premiere. It will be a big evening--Hollywood coming to
Pittsburgh, with proceeds benefiting Soldiers & Sailors
Memorial Hall. The evening will feature:
Scores of French & Indian War
reenactors representing the British, French, and Native American
Historical fiddler Chuck
Krepley (musical director of the film)
Bagpiper Jon Love (who helped score
�Artists row� featuring Robert
Griffing, John Buxton, Andrew Knez, Jr., Robert Adamovich, Fred
Threlfall, and hopefully Nat Youngblood all in person
Three art dealers representing the
A celebrity emcee and many VIPs,
including Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy, Pittsburgh Filmmakers
Executive Director Charlie Humphrey, and State Rep. John A. Maher
Displays by historical organizations
National Park Service bookstore
The 12-minute featurette Making
'George Washington's First War'
A rare Pittsburgh history film
The 85-minute epic feature documentary George
Washington's First War, filmed in 5 states over 10 months and
featuring some of the world's leading Colonial-era scholars as well
as more than 600 reenactors
Access to the entire Soldiers &
Sailors National Military Museum & Memorial
We encourage everyone to come
celebrate our region's incredible heritage on Wednesday, May 21.
Doors open at 5:30; the program begins at 7:00. Tickets are $5
in advance and $7 at the door. You can find more information at www.paladincom.com, or call us
toll-free at 1-866-831-4840 (although we may need to return
your call due to short-staffing and running around getting ready for
the premiere). There are about 1,500 good seats in the
auditorium--let's fill the place up! We are determined to have
the first, biggest, and best Colonial party ever in Pittsburgh.
Please, anyone who receives this notice--pass it on.
This is our labor of love and an evening and film that will serve not
only Southwestern Pennsylvania but the entire Nation, given that we
have also produced an educational kit to accompany the film that meets
state and national secondary school standards for social studies.
We hope to see you there!
Thanks very much,
Robert & Mary Matzen
When the Forest Ran Red and George
Washington's First War
Rumor has it! A
full-scale epic - Hollywood-style - is reportedly in the works. Details as we
hear of them, but it appears that at least Braddock's Defeat & the Fall of
Quebec will be documented in this film. STAY TUNED! FOLLOW ITS PROGRESS AT: SAYLES'
F&I WAR FLICK
Latest Dupont Forest "Crisis"
Agfa Corporation, which borders on the
Dupont State Forest, and, as the Dupont Corporation, used to own much of the
land, has closed a short portion of Conservation Road to the general public.
This action has the effect of dividing the Forest in two, and denying access to
the bank of the Little River used as film location for a portion of The Last
of the Mohicans at Bridel Veil Falls. For more information on this,
and on what you can do to help, please see: Dupont State Forest Unofficial Home Site
It Ain't Over Till It's Over ... But,
It's Over Now!
Former DuPont property owner, Jim
Anthony, has filed a legal suit disputing the State's takeover of the River
Walk property. Stay tuned, and look for opportunities to be heard!
From Friends of the Falls:
Superior Court Judge Carl Tilghman of Carteret County signed an order August
16 that says North Carolina acted properly when it used $12.5 million from a
state trust fund to force a developer to sell the waterfall tract inside the
DuPont State Forest.
"The court finds that there is proper statutory authority for the
condemnation, that the proper statutory condemnation procedures were followed
and that the funds used for the condemnation action were properly authorized
by the (N.C.) Clean Water Management Trust Fund Trustees in the lawful
exercise of their duties," the judge wrote.
Periodic reports from the Fort itself ...
at the center of the story of The Last of the Mohicans!
A plan endorsed by the State Office of Historic Preservation would
reopen Cooper's Cave.
Historic preservation office backs Cooper's Cave plan
Pedestrian bridge concept gets approval
GLENS FALLS -- Plans to reopen Cooper's Cave as a tourist attraction
received a major boost this week from state historic preservation
officials. The state Office of Historic Preservation has endorsed a proposal to build
a pedestrian bridge from the South Glens Falls side of the Hudson River to
the island overlooking the historic cave, Glens Falls 5th Ward Councilman
J. Scott Pauquette said Wednesday. With Gov. George Pataki's recent commitment to funding a statewide
historical Heritage Trail tourism initiative, Pauquette was beaming at the
"I'm excited and really happy it's moving forward," said Pauquette, who has
spearheaded the effort to reopen the cave that local residents and tourists
enjoyed until 1961. "Hopefully, Glens Falls and South Glens Falls can get a
little of the heritage tourism pie."
The project is expected to cost about $182,000, but the state Department of
Transportation has pledged to pay $300,000 for access to the cave as part
of a $30 million project to replace the Hudson River bridge. The
replacement project is scheduled to begin in the spring.
The next step, according to Pauquette, is to develop plans detailing every
aspect of the Cooper's Cave project, from viewing platforms to railings.
Although Pauquette is hopeful that visitors will occasionally be allowed to
venture into the cave, access will generally be limited to viewing the cave
from the island above.
Edward LaFave, a South Glens Falls trustee, said he, too, is elated at the
news. The Village Board is busy preparing to connect the site with its park
"We're already talking about upgrading that area and connecting it with the
Betar Walkway so visitors can walk to the park and have a picnic," he said.
Glens Falls Mayor Robert Regan credited Pauquette for his efforts in
getting the Cooper's Cave project approved, and he praised the Glens Falls
Industrial Development Agency for funding the $5,000 feasibility study.
"It'll be great to once again be able to access Cooper's Cave like they did
years ago," he said.
The cave gained fame as the setting of a scene in James Fenimore Cooper's
novel, "Last of the Mohicans." Until 1961, residents and tourists could walk down to the cave using a
spiral staircase from the bridge above.
Robert Joy, chairman of the Glens Falls IDA who suggested funding the
feasibility study, said the fact that the $5,000 leveraged $300,000 from
the state and will lead to a tourist attraction seems like money well
"The level of interest generated when it was first discussed demonstrated
the significance of this historic asset and its potential to be one of the
major building blocks of our tourism industry," Joy said.
Fire On The Mountain
Almost miraculously, a fire that burned
for a week, over an expanse of 10,000 plus acres, left the Linville Gorge
Wilderness Area in remarkably good condition, largely burning off brush &
dead trees. Click on photo, below, for photos & description ... 11/12/00
Fires, believed to have been caused by
careless campers the weekend of October 28, are raging in Linville Gorge, home
of several endangered species, and scene of much of the action in The Last of
the Mohicans. One of the fires is burning very close to The Chimneys, where
the final scene was shot. A total of 25% of the Wilderness Area has thus far
burned ... 11/4/00
STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
INVOKES EMINENT DOMAIN! RIVER WALK PROPERTY NOW PUBLIC LAND! 10/24/00
Use This Link To Contact Friends Of The Falls ... Guardians of The River
Decision On The River Walk Expected
The State of North Carolina is expected to
exercise their power of Eminent Domain in acquiring the large tract of forest,
including three waterfalls, that were used as film locations in The Last of
the Mohicans. It would appear that talks have broken down between the State
and owner/developer Jim Anthony after Anthony declined renewal of the building
moratorium on the property. Action could come as early as Tuesday, October 24.
Use the Friends of the Falls link below for more information.
LOTM To Be Re-Released On
DVD! RELEASE DATE: JANUARY 23, 2001
According to DigitalBits, on September 28,
2000 ... "Now then... how about some Fox news that IS true? We've confirmed the 6 DTS DVD titles that the studio has on the way for December and January respectively (three each month).
Look for Predator, The Siege, Courage Under Fire, The Thin Red
Line, The X-Files: Fight the Future and The Last of the Mohicans, all in anamorphic widescreen and all with dual Dolby Digital and DTS sound. Cool no?"
...features a new anamorphic widescreen transfer
...will contain both DD5.1 and DTS soundtracks
...contains the same extended cut that was previously released on DVD
Funding Granted For NY's
The May 4, 2000 Glens Falls newspaper has published a notice from the New York State Legislature
stating that it has budgeted $300,000 for restoration and access to Cooper's Cave in conjunction with the multi- million dollar rehabilitation of the
Fenimore (Glens Falls-South Glens Falls) bridge.
This project is scheduled to begin in 2001
URGENT! The River
Walk CAN Be Saved!
Featured prominently in The Last of the Mohicans are
waterfalls. Three of them, Bridal Veil, Triple, & Hooker, are
along the path of the Little River, straddling the border of Transylvania &
Henderson Counties. All three, plus a fourth, High Falls (not actually
seen in the film, though filming was done immediately adjacent to it), were once
the property of the DuPont Corporation, who thankfully realized their scenic
importance and maintained them with integrity.
Eventually, the State of North Carolina bought one of the falls,
Hooker [Mills] Falls. As DuPont changed hands, the other three were sold
to a private developer. Though the State attempted a purchase, they could not
match the price, and now this scenic stretch of river is in serious danger of
being lined with expensive homes ... gone forever as a natural, and open,
We were fortunate to be able to arrange trips to this area (see:
WALKING THE (RIVER) WALK), including a special treat
at the 1999 Great Mohican Gathering. Now, the State of North Carolina is once
again making a serious attempt at ownership, and thus preservation, of this
tract of gorgeous river land ... adjacent to the DuPont State Forest.
Cooper's Cave Revisited
Because of the danger involved in cave access, planners are now thinking about a special bridge to get people down to the cave site. In addition, a visitors' center is planned on the top level which will have
The Last of the Mohicans, as well as other, historic information.
The proposal is within the N.Y. State funding pledge.
More On Cooper's Cave!
According to Glens Falls' The Post Star, Cooper's Cave WILL reopen once again! Funding has been approved by the City Industrial Development Agency and plans are currently being drawn up for design and logistics. Access, likely by a walkway
and elevator, should be achieved sometime during the year 2001, scheduled to coincide with the completed construction of a new bridge. Plans will need to be approved by several agencies, including New York's Office of Parks & Historic
Preservation. The cave, immortalized by James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of The Mohicans, the story of which was actually inspired by Cooper's visit to this cave, has been closed to the public since 1961!
The Passing On Of A Mohicans Friend
Mike Phillips, the Huron Sachem in The Last of the Mohicans, died on September 15, 1999 at the age of 69. He left four children, seven grandchildren, and many friends. See: MIKE PHILLIPS: THE SACHEM SPEAKS
Cooper's Cave to Reopen?
Cooper's Cave used to be accessible by a spiral staircase that was attached to the bridge over the Hudson between Glens Falls and So. Glens Falls. The staircase was removed many years ago and the cave was very hard to get down to see. In fact, it
was considered sort of illegal to go down to see it.
Now the civic leaders want it opened up for the tourists. The bridge over the cave/river is due to be restored or replaced soon by New York State. Meanwhile, Glens Falls and as recently as yesterday, South Glens Falls have been wrangling with the State
for permission to have Cave access after the bridge upgrade. The State has been sort of for it but now we have the issues of safety and LIABILITY. I have been down there and it is very close to the river.
About 10 years ago I designed a special calendar scene with the cave and Hawkeye, et. al. in front of it. At that time I wanted to get a first hand look at the cave and went down there to sketch. It's interesting that I felt that I wanted an authentic
depiction of a make believe incident!
... I am involved with the local archaeology scene here in the area and especially at Ft. Wm. Henry. I also have been illustrating the F & I period for a number of years. Because of these activities, I have had to be as precise as possible in my research
for stories and illustrations. I am rattling on!! But, I wanted to tell you that last Sunday in the Post Star newspaper one of the editors took on the Last of the Mohicans novel. He was really giving it to Cooper as far as the readability on the book. I
mention this to give you an idea of how the renewed interest in the CAVE has spawned all kinds of Last of the Mohicans awareness and controversy.
Re-Release Of The Last of the Mohicans On DVD ... Scheduled for a
January 23, 2001 release!
Save The Heart Of The Forest: The River Walk! ... September 1
& 2, 2000 at Deerfield's in Mills River, North Carolina. $15 for the weekend.
$10 for a single day pass. Live music galore & special speaker, as well. A
FOR MORE INFO & UPCOMING AIRINGS, SEE: AMBERSONS ON A&EMadeleine Stowe in a remake of Orson Welles' (1942) The Magnificent Ambersons on
the A&E Channel. The Making of ... first airs at 11:30PM on January 6,
2002. The original feature debuts on Sunday, January 13, 2002 at 8PM. A
& E's promo blurb:
New adaptation of Booth Tarkington's great novel about the rise and fall of a Midwestern dynasty. The story
follows three generations of Ambersons who arrogantly believe their prominence will survive despite immense social change. Stars Madeleine Stowe
as Isabel, torn between her son and the man she's always loved, and Bruce Greenwood as the poor boy she chose not to marry. With Jonathan Rhys Meyers,
Gretchen Mol, Jennifer Tilly, Dina Merrill, and James Cromwell. Directed by Alfonso Arau. (2000) CC [TV PG]
Based on the book
of the same name, Gangs of New York is " ... an epic story of the violence, brutality and inner workings of two rival gangs in old
New York City is now set for a December 2002 release, filmed in Italy, the movie will
star Daniel Day-Lewis, Liam Neeson, Leonardo DiCaprio, & Cameron Diaz.
Daniel ends his "retirement"!
Stowe & Mel Gibson combine in a Vietnam War story ... We Were Soldiers ...
written & produced by Randall Wallace (Braveheart). NOW ON VIDEO!
Hawkeye's Muzzleloading Mentor, Mark
A. Baker, will be appearing in the History Channel's Boone and
Crockett - Hunter/Heroes special that Gary Foreman is producing. Slated for
airing in 2001. Mark plays David Crockett in the film. FIRST AIRS JULY 7, 2001 - 8PM EDT!!!
Ice Planet, starring Wes
Studi. Leaving for Germany, the week of September 11, 2000, Wes will be filming
a television pilot along with six episodes of this project to be available for
International release. BRIEF SYNOPSIS:Wes as captain of a star ship that enters a time warp, never to return. The crew engages in quite a bit of fighting with their
"enemies" but then realizes that they must adapt or
... Thanks to the StudiGroup for the info!
The Patriot, starring Mel Gibson ... filmed in South Carolina - based loosely on the story of Francis Marion, The Swamp Fox ... Scheduled for July 4, 2000
... Living History & Re-Enactments
Another year pass ... Anyone
interested in posting events for the year 2004, please E-mail us with
particulars! [see link below!]
2-3 CONNECTICUT RIVER VALLEY DAYS Everyone in the Connecticut River Valley is welcome free of charge
for our opening weekend.
10-11 DEFENDERS OF HEARTH AND HOME, The Distaff
Side of 18th Century Life NEW! The first of three learning weekends examining the lives of
families in wilderness New England. This program explores the importance
of women in the wilderness, especially at Fort No. 4.
31- June 1 NEW ENGLAND FOR INDEPENDENCE! A
Revolutionary War Garrison Weekend Hundreds of Colonial and British Regulars and their families encamp
in and surrounding the Fort while they present military drills, musket
and cannon firing demonstrations, a �sutlers� row,� and tactical
14-15 BEYOND THE ORDINARY Men in an 18th Century
Community NEW! This program examines the many facets of social and
recreational life for men on the frontier.
28-29 A FORT AT NO. 4 FABRICGANZA! �Twill be a
Great Weekend! It Madders To Us! The whir of flax wheels, clicking of knitting needles, and rhythm of
great looms will replace the din of musket firing when the Fort�s
staff and friends host its second annual festival.
4-6 SPREAD THE ALARM! Whiting�s Connecticut Men
Protect the Fort NEW! This program features provincial and militia troops preparing
the Fort for possible siege. A dramatization portraying townsfolk
petitioning the General Assembly for continued protection will be
offered. There will also be demonstrations of fortification
construction, drill, musket, and cannon firing.
8-25 JUNIOR INTERPRETERS PROGRAM An interdisciplinary program to provide 20 high school students
opportunities for advanced learning. This graduated course of study will
involve students during the school year and provide scholarships to
continue the experience as part of the Fort internship program during
its summer season.
19-20 A BOATMAN�S HOLIDAY Plus, Artisans and
Sutler Trade Fair NEW! Reconstructed bateaux, birch bark and dugout canoes, and small
sailing craft will set out on the Connecticut River for a weekend of
demonstrations focusing on the �Great River� and other inland
waterways that played important roles in the settlement of New England.
Various historical and Gaelic musical groups will provide entertainment
and a �River Dance� (contra-dance) will be held in the Great Chamber
Saturday evening. As a compliment, the Fort has invited the
participation of 18th Century artisans including coopers, blacksmiths,
harness and broom makers, basket weavers, and tinsmiths.
27 YESTERYEAR�S CAR SHOW Yesteryear�s Car Club again hosts the popular Car Show outside the
28-30 NATIVE AMERICAN APPRENTICE CAMP First of three �experience� camps titled �Junior Apprentice
Series,� each lasting four days, aimed at youngsters 8 through 12.
Architecture, subsistence economies, the roles of men, women, and
children in 18th Century Native villages are coupled with participatory
activities including the sewing of moccasins, fishing, Indian songs,
stories and dancing, building a lodge, setting traps, and cooking.
2-3 SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF THE FRENCH & INDIAN
WAR Nearly 250 reenactors including British and French troops, rangers,
militia, campfollowers, and sutlers, gather to recreate events
surrounding New England�s involvement in the War. A special feature is
the Native American encampment highlighting 18th Century Eastern
4-7 COLONIAL APPRENTICE CAMP Starting a fire with flint and steel, cooking a meal over an open
hearth, sewing Colonial clothing, militia drill, daily chores, spinning
and weaving, and participating in 18th Century games are all part of
11-15 FRENCH APPRENTICE CAMP Daily living of French in the Valley is focus for this camp. French
language, cooking, clothing, songs, and stories, and a boat trip with a
�voyageur� on the Connecticut River punctuate camp activities.
16-17 CRAFTS SHOW AND BALLOON FEST NEW! The Fort�s grounds are transformed into a giant, contemporary
crafts show featuring the works of New England artists and craftspeople.
Several hot air balloons will be on hand for illuminations and
ascensions, weather permitting.
18 EDUCATORS� COLONIAL SEMINAR An all-day workshop designed to give teachers a thorough background
in New England 18th Century life from the perspectives of Colonials,
Native Americans, and French. This program is designed to meet mandatory
proficiency standards focusing on practical use of information in the
classroom. Teaching units covering traditional foodways, medicine,
speech and manners, archaeology, children�s toys and games, and
pioneer skills are all part of this popular activity.
30-31 FANFARE AT THE FORT! A Military & Musical
Salute NEW! The pomp and pageantry of a military tattoo will unfold along
the Connecticut River for two evenings with sounds of bagpipes, fife and
drum corps, military bands, and the crash of cannon and fireworks. This
stirring, two-hour, narrated production with the Fort lit as backdrop,
will feature reenactors, military vehicles, horsemen, and marching units
performing a special salute to New England veterans of all wars.
13-14 ALLI-IN-FREE Colonial Children and Their
Community NEW! Children (and adults) will discover the fun, hardships, and
language of Colonial youngsters. Sessions include exploration of chores,
education, clothing, and stories about children of the era. They will
participate in �play-party� games, and be able to �trip the
20-21 FORT AT NO. 4 MILITIA MUSTER The Fort�s own militia joins volunteers and staff to interpret a
typical militia muster with drills, speeches, games of skill, and
participating in the customary �joys� of artillery punch.
27-28 SNOWSHOES AT THE FORT Harmon�s Snowshoe Company garrisons the Fort as it prepares for a
27-28 HARVEST HOME Dinner & Lantern Tours NEW! The jubilance experienced by pioneers once they had completed
harvesting the crops and �laying them in� for the winter is focus
for this series of four special programs offered over two Fall weekends.
A traditional harvest supper will be followed by a lantern tour of the
Fort and visit to each of the families as they celebrate and prepare
their homes for the long winter ahead.
4-5 HARVEST HOME Dinner & Lantern Tours
11-12 TO ARMS, YE MEN OF NEW HAMPSHIRE! Stark�s
Muster and Garrison During the American Revolution, Charlestown was an assembly point
for 1,500 Colonial troops under General John Stark. The New Hampshire
militia left the town and marched to engage �Gentleman� John
Burgoyne in the 1777, Battle of Bennington. The New Hampshire Sons of
the American Revolution Color guard is joined by volunteers and staff
for encampments, military drills, inspections, supply, and preparations
to begin the march.
19-22 DIRECTOR�S TOUR OF QUEBEC CITY This tour will include visits to historic places in the Old City,
gourmet meals, and top-notch lodging, luxury coach transportation, a
tour guide, and �behind the visits to many of the city�s museums.
24-25 PICKPOCKETS, ROGUES & HIGHWAYMEN! NEW! Some unseemly characters will give you a scare, make you laugh
and learn each evening when the Fort and grounds will be transformed
into hideouts, jails, a seedy tavern, and cemeteries. Children and
adults can hunt for buried treasure or sing rowdy songs as they hoist a
mug of cider at the Black Skull Tavern.
25-26 ROGERS RETURN! This program recreates Robert Rogers� return and subsequent supply
of the remainder of his force following a harrowing raid on the Abenaki
Indian village of St. Francis. Various recreated �ranger� companies
assist in bringing this program alive.
War Events Calendar 2003 ... list courtesy of Lane Savage
Additions to this
list most welcomed!
-------> Fort William Henry, Lake George, New York ... Beginning in late June, and
continuing throughout the summer months, French & Indian War storytelling
each & every evening inside the Fort. Archaeological digs will be on-going
during the months of July & August and these evening chats will discuss the
current events, as well. Day time visitors to the Fort are welcomed back for
these fireside talks. READ: ON THE SCENE AT FORT WILLIAM HENRY