We've often thought of
adding a "The Reader Speaks" type of column to our Web
Site. Just never got around to doing it, for one reason or another. Now,
the time seems right. With the upcoming release of our great American
saga ... The Mohicanlander's Companion Guide ... with the
approaching completion (if things like this can ever truly be completed)
of the body of this Web Site ... it just feels right. We're nearing our
goal of creating that "monument to a great piece of
Americana," and so, maybe it's time to include your opinions in
that "monument." These are culled from e-mails, posts,
documents, etc. sent our way through the years. A taste of the positive
side of building this Web Site.
'Real life' can be pretty tough at times - we all know that. We've all
experienced its bumps and knocks at some point. And sometimes we really need
a place to escape to, where 'they' can't get us! My place, I'm happy, thankful and indeed proud to say, is 'Mohicanland', a community formed round
a mutual love of the film LOTM, it's emotive characters, a most stirring and
inspiring musical score, and truly magnificent scenery.
In Mohicanland, I can find a wealth of information about people, customs,
survival, a history of nations in the 18th century. There are articles there
that will make me cry with laughter - or cry with sadness. I can 'talk' to
people having specialist knowledge and skills of which I knew little or nothing and of which I now know much more! I can indulge my passion for
'learning' or I can simply browse and skim as the spirit takes me.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of 'living' in Mohicanland has been the
communicating and interacting of like minded people - folks who have the same
inclination to share their love of the film, this era - and themselves. Each
person who enters Mohicanland is treated like a long lost friend, friendship
is assured and unconditional and no one judges. Each person has an opinion
and is allowed, indeed encouraged, to express it, though it is understood
that each opinion should not contain malice. However, like ANY family, there
are occasional 'rucks' and like most families, if one member is 'attacked',
all feel the hurt. However, 'Give and Take' usually prevails and compromises
are made. 'Mohicanland' has become SO important to each of its citizens that
real efforts are made to 'heal' the wound, not just stick a bandage on it
that will fall off ten minutes later. Each member is highly valued, therefore, Mohicanland is a great place to hone skills such as tolerance and
But, Mohicanland is also about FUN!! It is humour, a sense of irony, dry wit,
at times totally outrageous and often totally mad!! Some days you'd swear
there wasn't a sane or responsible person in the place! You could be forgiven for suspecting someone/something has been tainting the community's
And of course, each town has its 'honourable' citizens,
i.e.. mayor, provost,
call them what you will. 'Mohicanland' has Rich and Elaine Federici, web
masters, site builders, Mohicanland Town Planners extraordinaire! This truly
amazing couple will modestly tell you 'it wasn't planned to become what it
has. It has almost taken on a life of it's own!' Well, perhaps. But as my
mama always said 'you reap what you sow'! With diligence, intelligence,
patience and a lot of humour, this wonderful couple have constructed a website that is the envy of many another.
'Mohicanland' is a 'community' that opens
its doors - and its heart, to all.
My humble and very grateful thanks to all who invited me in, welcomed me so warmly and allowed me to 'build my cabin' in
Mohicanland! ... K. (aptbka Miss Katie, of Miss Kate's Quiltshoppe, Mohicanland)
Let me get this straight… you want me to explain
what this site and all the Mohicanlanders mean to me. In words. I don’t know if a relationship
like this can be explained in mere words.
I came upon this site about three years ago as a
long-time lover of the movie (all right, fanatic fan of the movie). I found all the information I
could ever want on the movie itself, the area where it was filmed, the
process of filming it, the script, the cast, the crew. I discovered the message board.
I’d never posted on one before and I lurked a long time before
posting. When I finally
showed myself, I was welcomed into a group of intelligent, interesting,
informative, imaginative, wacky, insane individuals. Without ever having met, this group could play off one
another in a most delightful and entertaining way. How could anyone explain the
insanity that broke loose in December of 1997? The posts from those few days
should definitely be included in your book with a short explanation of
GGGGs, SYMTs and what caused the war to break out. My whole family sat in front of
the computer laughing until the tears ran down our cheeks, and we had to
order in more Depends.
Then Eric Hurley suggested we get together the
following summer. Somehow
the idea snowballed, and before we knew it we had a Gathering planned. Even though I was new to the board, you planned it so I would
be able to come. Wow! I sure appreciated that! OOOOH- but a scary thought! I was actually going to travel
to North Carolina to meet, in the flesh, all these different people from
all over the world. What if
they weren’t just insane, but were really INSANE? Well, I was driving my own car. If they were too bad, I’d just
bail out and go home. One
of the ones I was most worried about meeting was you, Rich. The mental picture was a short,
stocky Italian fellow with a sharp tongue, a relatively short fuse, and
a man who absolutely could not let an argument lie still. Hmmm. Not
exactly the kind of fellow I thought I would pick for a friend.
After driving seven hours or so down from Can-tuck-ee,
I was so glad to see Eric Hurley in his red uniform standing at the
entrance to Chimney Rock Park, I could have kissed him. However, Sharon was with him, so
I simply got directions to the bunkhouse.
Several others had arrived before me, and we tentatively
introduced ourselves. Hey,
these were pretty cool people, and with a common love of LOTM, we were
soon chatting away like old friends.
Putting faces with the names that we knew so well from the board
was great entertainment. We
got some big laughs out of that.
Saturday morning we met at the
pavilion. Rich, I must say I was totally
unprepared for the way-cool pony-tailed dude. Meeting and getting to know you
and Elaine was one of the highlights of my weekend. You are great people. The glue that holds us all
together. The surrogate
parents of the site. What
can I say? The weekend was a huge success, way beyond my wildest dreams. We could act like silly
teenagers, climb all over Chimney Rock Park and Table Rock, drive who
knows how far on those little windy NC roads to a theater where we saw
the film backwards, ate great meals, and talked and talked and talked… A little more sleep would have
been helpful. I don’t
think I’ve functioned on so little sleep since I was a teenager, but no one
wanted to waste a minute of the time we had together. Carol and Ilse. Roz. Eric and
Sharon. Susan Houck. Jo and her Sisters, Marcia.
What great memories!
I just went back and looked at what I posted after
I got home:
... What a treat to be
able to put faces with the posts now. Rich, I can't believe you told
Elaine she had to behave herself at the gathering ... especially when it
became obvious none of the rest of us were! Shame on you!! Isn't it
amazing to think that 38 (or thereabouts) of us could get together and
get along so well, even though none of us had ever met before (excluding
Jo and her sisters). Not a nut case in the bunch (at least not out of
the norm for the group). Rich, Elaine, Marcia, Myrrh, Eric, Susan all
did a wonderful job in putting the weekend together for us. Thank you so
much. It was one of the coolest experiences I've ever had. For those of
you who missed this year's celebration, start saving money and making
your plans now. It was well worth any trouble any of us took to make it
there ... Chris
So, now I’m back on the board. I missed the Gathering last year and I’ll miss it again
this year. Maybe next year. We are like family. We get along with some better
than others. Sometimes
fights break out. We get
mad at each other. But
someone from the outside comes in and attacks, and we jump together to
defend the one attacked.
Rich and Elaine, you are amazing people. Parenting, whether it be a
family or an internet community, isn’t easy. In both cases, you have done an
exemplary job. Without you,
none of us would be here, and we’d all be the poorer for missing it.
Love to you both,
Where do I start on my involvement with Mohicanpress, Rich and Elaine,
Last of the Mohicans and the WWW Board? Most would say "start at the beginning fool" but unlike most, I did not see the movie until perhaps 1997 when I finally rented it on video. I had
planned on going to see it in the theatre when it first came out, but the woman I was dating
didn't think she would like that movie and chose "Dr Giggles" for us to see. Big mistake. Huge. We don't see each other anymore. The thing is, I never went back and corrected the mistake while the film was still in the theatre.
However, I have always had an interest in the Colonial period, and in period movies. My earlier favorites had been such movies as the original
Last of the Mohicans, Northwest Passage, The Unconquered (Gary Cooper as the hero, and Boris Karlof as an Indian Chief Guyasuta - now THERE was an improbable casting!
I kept seeing Boris wrapped in linen instead of a loincloth!). I had first gone to Colonial Williamsburg when I was 12 years old and have visited many times since then. In fact, I had my honeymoon there.
So, to make a long beginning shorter, finally I rented Michael Mann's version of
Last of the Mohicans, watched it, and loved it. Being computer literate, I was browsing the internet and came across Rich and Elaine's web pages. These pages had only gone up that year, but already they were taking on a life of their own. Interesting book he had compiled, interesting people posting thoughts on the movie, and the clincher - what sucked me in for good - the Board. Ah, the Board! So many diverse people posting about the movie, relevant history, poking fun at each other, swooning over one actor or another.....I quickly became almost a daily poster myself. One of the biggest attractions were Rich and Elaine themselves. You could see their intellect and their personalities shining through their website, and I enjoyed their posts, thoughts, comments and good natured ribbing. Both struck me as very intelligent folks, deeply immersed in the movie and the history of the period, and very well rounded. How they ever found the time to do all they did and still manage a large family is still beyond me.
Their site became a favorite place for me, I was welcomed as if one of the family - as is everyone who encounters the site even today - and it was a constant source of new information and contacts concerning a period of history I had always been interested in.
What has it done for my life, you ask? For me, it's done more than just broaden my interests. It's done more than just give me entertainment and great
knowledge on a variety of subjects. It has even done more in my life than result in new, lifelong friendships.
It has become, for me, a new path in my life. It was with Rich that I first entertained the idea of going into the making of period rifles as a vocation. I had been making rifles off and on for some time, and had toyed with the idea of doing it part time, but I have to credit (or blame!) Rich in large part for making this vocation a reality. It was Rich and Elaine who had the contacts which led me to Wayne Watson - the maker of Killdeer - and resulted in my obtaining the patterns and sketches necessary to make a copy of the movie rifle. We talked about my doing this rifle for his website. That conversation grew into my desire to make rifles for a living. And that is what I do today. I make more than just Killdeer of course, and have a website of my own advertising my craft. But, what I do today - what I earn my living at - grew out of my accidental discovery of Rich and Elaine's website.
I must also give major credit to my life-mate Betty for tolerating and encouraging my ambition to become a longrifle craftsman. She is an angel and very supportive of my ambitions and happiness. With another woman I may not have been able to follow through on an ambition I had secretly held in my heart since the early 1970's. So there you have it. Rich and Elaine are a major factor in giving me the idea to become what I am. Betty is the main factor in encouraging me to carry through with that idea.
Without the three of them - there likely would not be Pennsylvania Longrifles Inc., Gnome Dome and BillyGnome would not exist,
I would not have made friends with folks I expect to have as friends for however much time remains in my earthly existence, and I would not be doing what I am happily doing with my life.
Put simply, Rich and Elaine and their website have enriched my life and helped turn it to a new and happy direction.
Pennsylvania Longrifles Inc.
In a word:
friends! First and foremost, there's my wonderful MentorMan, Rich
Federici, the first person I met in cyberspace who shared a love of
1992's The Last of the Mohicans. I'll never forget our early
correspondence about the movie, the film sites, and the possibility of
publishing On The Trail of the Last of the Mohicans. I remember how
excited I felt to know that a booklet was coming out that would guide me
to each and every film location from this lovely movie. Once the website
was up, and the bulletin board established, it only got better. Every
day there was someone new and interesting posting comments and questions
on the Board. Slowly, but very surely, a family of friends from around
the world became a reality, and checking the board became the first
thing I do every morning.
I can't begin
to express how much my daily chats with these people mean to me. And
once the idea of actually getting together in North Carolina and MEETING
each other in person was implemented, it all meant even more. I feel I
have a bond with friends in places I may never even visit in this lifetime...an
international family, indeed! Many of these friends not only interact
with me on the bulletin board in our imaginary Mohicanland, but write me
daily or weekly on a personal level. I have never felt more
"connected" to the Family of Man!
There are so
many other wonderful things on the MohicanPress website that it would be
impossible to list them all here, including, but not limited to, a
wealth of historical information, interesting and informative cast
interviews, and storefronts for purchasing all manner of goodies. It's
possible to spend hours there, looking around and reading and learning.
And all of this is thanks to a website that evolved from a booklet that
evolved from one man's love of a movie! Incredible! But for me, the
biggest draw will always be friends, and for that, I say thank-you,
MohicanPress, from the bottom of my heart!
Love to you
alias MMMM, alias Miss Marcia, alias Sassy Soothsayer, alias Miss
Paddletale, alias G2K Bug, alias Birdie T. Bird, alias WhoKnowsWHATNext!
When Forward Pass Productions started clearing land for the huge set
"Fort William Henry" in April 1991, I felt more anxiety than
excitement. I love the natural
look of Lake James in Burke County, N.C., and even a temporary movie set made
us locals uneasy. Little did I
know that the huge log fort erected on the scar of red clay would bring me
many adventures off screen as well as on.
Thinking back to the summer of ‘91 is like playing a slide show in my
head with the predominate colors of pine, rock, and tanned leather. I remember the delight of coming
across Native American extras tramping through the fields adjoining my
family’s lakeside RV. I
remember the smell of oil and burning pine that stayed in the air long after
the film crew had left. I
remember the sight of a hundred soldiers marching and the tall thin man with
tangled black hair leaning on a long rifle waiting for a ride up the hill to
the fort. Then there’s the
mental snapshot of a lean young Uncas jogging along the highway. There were woods filled with plastic
tape and little plastic flags and “Keep Out” signs. Traffic on Highway 126 changed from
boat trailers to ox carts.
After the film crew left and the fort was burned and bulldozed into a gully
in the woods, there were still reminders of the great battle at Fort William
Henry. I would meet curious folk
staring at the battlefield road. Sometimes I would find a pewter button on my walks along the
edge of the battlefield. I began
to meet more people who were involved as extras or crew during the filming; at
least five people at my place of work had left their mark on LOTM.
When the movie came out, seeing the scenes of my summers “on the big
screen” sent chills down my spine. The
glorious views of Hickory Nut Falls, Shortoff Mountain at Lake James, Linville
Falls and other places that have been part of my life since I arrived on this
Earth was an emotional experience beyond the impact of the movie itself. Some of my friends have always teased
me that my favorite character in the movie was the scenery!
It was not until I hooked up my little laptop to the Internet some time
after the film was released that LOTM really began to have an impact on my
life. There was at that time a
group on the old Prodigy service who called themselves “Moheckies”. There were daily messages and even
chat times set up on another service. The
group was predominantly female, and although Daniel Day-Lewis was their main
focus, they were organized to the degree that several had traveled to North
Carolina to see what they could of the film sites.
In the summer of 1994, I met my first Moheckie face-to-face. Her screen name was SoCal Sue and we
had corresponded for about two years and agreed to meet with other Moheckies
in Gettysburg, PA. She then drove
down to NC with me and we toured the sites. Thus began several summers of what I refer to as Susan’s
Moheckie B & B, as many of my acquaintances came to this fair state to
“see the sites”. A couple of
years later, RichFed and I made contact, and he told me about the book he was
working on. [RichFed Note: Actually,
this WAS in 1994!] I was so impressed
that he had tracked down all those sites and gotten access to them! I am a wimp about such things, and though I knew
approximately where most of the sites were, there were many I had never tried
to visit. There were only a few
scenes that Rich had not pinned down precisely, and I was able to fill in the
blanks on a couple of the Lake James ones.
I got to see the rough draft of the book, and it seemed to me that there
was certainly an audience for it.
What fun my Mohican friendships were!
I even had the privilege of a pontoon ride with a real major, and
having the opportunity to utter those unforgettable words: “Got nothing better to do on the
lake today, Major?” I
gathered nails, wood, and half-disintegrated cannon balls as mementos for my
friends. I even filmed an LOTM
parody starring my dog Agnes. I
met other teachers, nurses, Irish DDL fans, re-enactors, artists, and even
dancers. Liz Langrall, a
co-worker at that time, was one of the dancing laundresses in the famous fort
scene. She and her husband were
contra dancers, and that is how they learned of the need for extras. I met yet another dancer, Emily McGowan, who also stopped by
on a summer trip for the pontoon ride and Mohican fun tour. Emily does Scottish Country dancing,
and yes, she encouraged me to try it.
I’ll admit I was pretty much a spectator to Scottish and Irish culture
until LOTM and the Moheckies came along.
There must have been something in “The Gael” that was stirring to
my blood, though. Finally I
decided I had to tap this part of my own heritage and try it. I signed up for Irish dancing just
about the time the whole world became aware of it via Riverdance and Lord of the Dance. It has become my passion, and is the
only exercise I have “stuck with”.
LOTM expanded my cultural awareness in many ways. I met many of Native American
heritage, attended a pow wow and
was inspired to learn more about colonial history than I ever knew even as a
social studies teacher.
Meanwhile, Rich’s book had been published and had its own website, and
from that point on, a whole new doorway opened not only into the lore of the
movie Mohicans, but into related
subjects as well. I finally got
to meet Soldier #2, who really lived just a holler down the road from me all
along. Over the past few years
the Mohican memories have grown: A snowy trek up Table Rock; a climb in
costume up Cliff Trail; the MMM in repose where DDL once lay; an up close and
personal evening with Eric Schweig.
In the last century, our lives began to be shaped more by the media than by
tradition. I am just thankful
that in such creations as The Last of
the Mohicans, a product of modern technological society can spark an
interest in things past. For me,
it has been a means of getting in touch with who my ancestors were, and how I
might apply some of their culture and tradition to enrich my own life.
-Susan V. Houck-
HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION
Well, Mom and Dad and me and our dog Mr. Whiffles got in the
car to go to Disneyland, and on the way Dad got reeeeally mad and tried to throw Mr. Whiffles out the window because
he got carsick ALL OVER, and Mom said... Oops! Wrong essay! My apologies. *hem! hem!*
WHAT MOHICANLAND MEANS TO ME
Now as I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself,
long long ago when the world was new and dinosaurs ruled the earth, there was a comely maiden who didn't know
what she wanted. She sat day after day in a lonely tower of her own making, until one day she happened
to whang a video in her VCR and beheld a ripply-muscled, bare-chested primo specimen running hell-for-leather
through an untrammeled wilderness, long black hair flying out behind him.
Hour after hour she watched and
rewound, watched and rewound, a tiny thread of drool falling unheeded out of her open mouth. The only words
anyone could get out of her for the next three days were, "Mommy, buy me dat!" At last, the maiden knew
what she wanted. Later, as the fair maiden was being shamefully berated by her then-husband for leaving kissy lip prints and
claw marks all over the television screen, the Master of Life took pity on her plight, and sent her two messages.
1) Thou shalt get rid of that clunkhead thee art married to, and
2) Seek others as wacko as thyself. Climb down from thy
tower and findest them, and live in peace among the
others of your kind.
So I (the maiden) accomplished the first task, and thanks to a hint from a friend I came upon the Land of the Famiglia
Federici, where was being peddled a location guide to LOTM. Now I could walk in the very footsteps of my beloved
Hawkie-poo, and I could roll to my heart's content in any of his leftover DNA molecules on rocks and tree trunks and
so forth. And then to stumble upon the LOTM website where there were photos that made my little heart go pitty pat!
And a bulletin board, where questions of vital import were grappled with ... such as, did Hawkeye's bikini line
seem to need a waxing when he fell down and went whoopsie in the Huron Camp??
Yes, I had found the elusive "others" of my kind. The Master of Life was good, indeed. As I have often told the Fabulous
Federicis, if I hadn't found this outlet I would now be chained to the walls somewhere, being fed with a forked
stick. Where else could you find a group of historians, expert reenactors, gunsmiths, woodsmen, movie buffs,
craftspeople, artists, authors, and those who might be kindly termed wingnuts (myself among them!) all gathered
in one place, exchanging information, good will, and flights of good-humored lunacy? We've seen those "not of the body"
come and go. We've been merciless with troublemakers, and we've all had our snitfits when we've gone stomping off
and then sheepishly returned, to be enveloped in Mohican Madness once more. We've all supported each other in
times of real pain and need. *sniff! sniff!* Awww, hell! GROUP HUG!! GROUP HUG!!
So for all of us who've been told time and time again, "Geez, get a life, weirdo!" I like to say, "We have.
Oh yes...we have."
The first time that I saw the movie "The Last of the Mohicans" was in
the Summer of 1997. It blew me away. Immediately I started searching the
net for more information and quickly landed at a site called "On the
Trail of the Last of the Mohicans". The site blew me away too. I
couldn't believe the wealth I found and spent hours and hours exploring it. The Musings, the
Script and everything else.... Finally I got to the message board and spent some more hours there to check out every thread
that was posted. I loved the discussions, the exchanges, the joking, and
the wit of those participating. From then on, I became a daily visitor, always enjoying Mohicanland, but still lurking until at last I worked up
the nerve to get involved early '98. Since then my life has changed. I made many friends in faraway places. However, those places don't feel
that faraway anymore because I made friends there. I've already crossed the ocean twice to meet them, and will do so again. Mohicanland has
greatly enriched and expanded my world. I have met interesting people with interesting thoughts and a great sense of humour, people I would
have never met without this site. Coming to the board and reading the
threads, chatting with the Mohicanlanders, feels much the same as going to my favorite hangout over here to meet with my Dutch friends.
Mohicanland is, in this way, a real place to me; and a special place.
Thank you, Elaine and Rich, for building it.
June 4, Rotterdam, The Netherlands ... Ilse
Journey to MohicanLand
“And what he greatly thought, he nobly dared.”
[Homer: The Odyssey II. (trans. Alexander
I would NEVER, in a million
years, have dared to write a book about location sites, for crying out
loud, of a movie. Where does an idea like that come from? I don’t know. I don’t care.
I’m just glad that the idea did come, and that it came to a person who
has persevered in carrying the magic torch that continues, eight years
now since the release of the movie, to touch so many folks around the
blind-sided by the movie The
Last of the Mohicans
about six months after it had appeared in theaters. I say blind-sided,
because one weekend my then husband had picked up a few movies at the
local video rental store, and past experience catapulted my anticipation
of the evening’s fare back into the realm of last week’s
“Terrrrrr-ific Movie” Eraserhead.
Needless to say, my husband’s tastes in movies NEVER paralleled mine.
I remember saying, “A cowboy and Indian movie? What, no WWII airplanes
or subs, no social deviants made out to be heroes?” so I dove into a
book as the movie started. But shortly after the PLAY
button had been selected, some
captivating music yanked my head up from my book, my eyes fixed on two
gorgeous men running through the woods, and I don’t think my mouth
closed for the next, what, 114 minutes. WOW, who was that Daniel Day-Lewis guy? Never heard of him. Where on earth was this Shangri-La that
this movie was filmed in? Why hadn’t I heard about this movie from my
friends? Surely everyone else was as blown away with it as I was. Oh, I
almost forgot... my husband hated it, so I divorced him. Okay, there
were a few other little reasons too, but THAT was the main one.
Over the course
of that same weekend, I watched the movie several more times and even
invited a few of my friends, with the same impeccable taste as my own,
to join me. My friend Cecelia, who always likes what I tell her to like
(just kidding), was aptly impressed and we talked about it for days.
Then the conversations moved on to other things and LOTM was a
memory...UNTIL ...one day while visiting my brother in Newland, NC, the
family decided to pop over to Linville Falls for a hike. My brother
said, “You know, part of that Last of the
Mohicans movie was filmed on
this trail,” and I turned around to see the leaning tree over the
trail out to the falls and my eyes about bugged outta my head! “Oh my
God”, I turned and tackled my brother and beckoned “What else do you
know, tell me everything or I’ll...I’ll...”. Naw, I didn’t
really do that (yeah, right). So he proceeded to tell me “Oh yeah, and
that island in the lake near the fort scenes, that was filmed at Lake
James. It’s the same island as seen in the closing scene from the Hunt
for Red October, too. And the cliff scenes were filmed at Chimney Rock
Park and so were the Indian village scenes.” Well, I couldn’t get
home fast enough to call Cecelia and make plans to go on our own search
and discover mission of the movie location sites. I told her, “Hey,
just tell people we’re going camping, ‘cause they’d think we’d
lost our ever-lovin’ minds if they knew what our real intentions
That was in 1993, and Cecelia and I had one of the most fun
weekends of our lives. We got out the map, and circled all the places in
the movie that we had been told about. We spent the first afternoon in
Chimney Rock Park and then later that evening we kidnapped Bubba’s Dad
(of Bubba’s General Store fame), the then current Chairman of the
Chimney Rock Chamber of Commerce, and demanded directions to the Indian
Village in exchange for his release. Actually, we just asked him
politely, and he told us “ Just follow the road behind the store up
the mountain...Oh heck, it’s almost closing time. If you can wait a
minute or two, I’ll get you started, ‘cause it’s a little tricky
at first. The land belongs to the Park, but folks go up there all the
time.” We waited outside for, uh, Bubba’s Dad (Bubba is a dog by the
way), and then headed up the hill. After a few turns, Bubba’s Dad bid
us farewell, and we continued up the hill, STRAIGHT up the hill. My God,
what a climb! AT LEAST a sixty-degree grade. Did I mention I fish also?
Anyway, we’d stop about every fifty feet to catch our breath (and have
a cigarette) until finally Cecelia (not having been bitten “quite”
so hard as I by the Mohican bug) said, “Okay, that’s it for me,”
and plopped down on a rock (and lit another cigarette). The steep
incline would not deter me however, so I continued on and agreed to
signal if I found anything. I wouldn’t have to wait long. Around the
next bend in the road, I stepped into another world it seemed. There I
was at precisely the point where Hawkeye and Cora turn to look back as
they exit the Huron village. I just stood there for a long time as my
eyes danced over the longhouses. I broke the sweet silence of that
moment and whistled to my friend. We walked through the village,
straight past the fire pit of Duncan’s demise, and took a slight left
turn to see Hickory Nut Falls across the gorge as it appeared over the
Sachem’s shoulder. We didn’t talk for a long time. The feeling of
that village is something I’ll never forget.
We each took turns doing the obligatory “Duncan, being burned
at the stake” pose for a picture. He had seemed so high up in the
movie, yet the fire pit stakes seemed so short. We were able to enter
the longhouses, only to be brought back to reality by the blue Lowe’s
stamp on the modern two-by-fours inside. We gathered some of the burnt
wood from the stakes and each took a pole that leaned against the
longhouses (I know, we were bad, bad, girls for doing that). We used
what little bit of light was left and took a few more pictures and
headed back down the mountain...in the dark. Coming off that mountain at
night was a bit scary, but the hum in our heads from the day’s adven-cha
was well worth it.
Day two found us back at Linville Falls, where we took lots of
pictures, and then on to Lake James, where we took lots and lots of
pictures, and laughed when we realized the sequence and directions of
the shots on the river (ahem...lake). They head toward the cove and then
are paddling for their lives out on the lake, and then from the other
side of the island, head for the same cove again, “Head for the
river” Hawkeye cries. Oh well, works for me. Yep, we took some more
That was a great weekend and I tried to think of ways to find out
about other locations in the movie (i.e., Cameron’s cabin, Massacre
valley) but had no idea how to go about that, so I filed those thoughts
away for another time.
In 1995, I purchased my first computer (I was a MAJOR newbie),
got online via AOL and s-l-o-w-l-y taught myself the ins and outs of the
Internet. Sometime later, while doing a search looking for more
information on DDL, I came across the On the Trail of the Last of the
Mohicans site. WOW, it was a Close Encounters of the Third Kind moment
“We are not alone!” I
enjoyed the site every chance I got, but was never brave enough to even visit
the message board until much later. In the fall of 1997, I moved to
Greenville, North Carolina to join the faculty of East Carolina
University and had internet access at my desk, not to mention a much
faster machine and connection. I quickly added the site to my bookmarks,
purchased the guidebook, and perused the multitude of offerings on the
site whenever time permitted. In the summer of 1998, I timidly popped
over to the message board. I was so totally depressed to find a
“Gathering” of folks, just like me, taking place at that very
moment. Talk about feeling like you’d missed the boat! Well, I
couldn’t wait for everyone to get back to the board to hear how things
went. I was even more depressed to hear what a wonderful time all had
had. When mention of a second Gathering came to light, well...wild
horses couldn’t keep me away.
“A principle fruit of friendship is the ease
and discharge of
the fullness and swellings of the heart which passions of
all kinds do cause and induce.”
Francis Bacon: Of Friendship
I visited the board almost
everyday (usually just lurking), as I still do, and Cecelia and I made
plans to attend the Second Annual Great Mohican Gathering. The
anticipation was almost too much to bear. We were finally going to meet
all the neat folks on the board. There was not one ounce of hesitation
about meeting “strangers from the internet”, because things had gone so well the
previous year and you just knew from “meeting” these folks on the
board that it would be a memorable time. We had one of the best weekends
of our lives. We concluded a chapter in 1999, which saw the addition of
many very special new friends that continue to enrich our lives daily.
personalities and characters that inhabit MohicanLand are such a diverse
group of individuals who each bring their own important interests (for
some passions), talents, and much loved qualities to what I think is the
most congenial and unique cyber-community in the world. This is a place
where you never have to worry about being scammed or “spammed” or
“flamed” for having visited here. All visitors are treated with the
utmost respect and dignity not only by the proprietors of the site, but
by each other as well. The worst one can expect to encounter is a
difference of opinion, which intelligent, mature people should welcome
in broadening our understanding of the world’s history and thus
ourselves and our future.
Some of the folks in MohicanLand are some of the
funniest, sweetest, caring, giving, kindest, big-hearted folks I have
had the privilege of knowing! Doctor Mary never fails to provide a
chuckle, if not sidesplitting laughter, during times of intense
discussion or times of merriment. Marcia Meara (MMMMarcia) and Eric
Hurley (Soldier #2) are two of the sweetest, most giving individuals on
this planet for their contributions to the annual assemblage of this
international group of movie fans. Throughout the year, a lot of folks
try to get together also for short visits, when geography permits, for
strong lasting friendships are cultivated in this MohicanLand.
In the fall of 1999, the area where I live encountered the worst
natural disaster in North Carolina history with the flooding from
hurricanes Dennis and Floyd. I didn’t suffer any personal lasting
damage, but many of my friends, family and co-workers did. It was a very
sad time for us, but the outpouring of concern and well wishes from my
MohicanLand friends was so uplifting and something I will never forget
and I could never express how thankful I am for them. I received a call
from Canada from Bea and Michael, on a particularly rough day during the
flooding, and was so touched to think people from that far away, whom
I’d never met in person, would care enough to just say “How’s it
going?” It made the rest of that day much brighter.
Center of the MohicanLand Universe
“The price of
greatness is responsibility”
At the center of the MohicanLand universe I have found two of the
most occultly intelligent, talented, and generous people I’ve ever
met. Rich and Elaine Federici have regular busy lives, just like the
rest of us, but never wane in their care and attentiveness of their
website and thus the MohicanLand citizenry. I am constantly in awe of
their tenacity and unflinching dedication to an endeavor that at times
has been a source of heartache, a source of disappointment, and has led
them to question whether or not the trials incurred in sustaining the
site were worth moving forward. Thank God, for one reason or another,
they have spurned on. All of us who frequent this site receive so much
more than we are able to give back. Rich & Elaine have created an
extensive masterpiece of a website which has grown from an homage to a
great film into an honorarium to the time period surrounding the French
and Indian War and Early America. So, in answering Churchill’s charge,
I am thankful to the Federicis for their great accomplishment and for
accepting the responsibility of nurturing, entertaining, teaching,
leading, and loving all of us Mohican Maniacs. We love you right back!
SEE THE VOLLEY FIRE
The Mohican Press Opinion Page!
BITS & PIECES
just visited your site for the first time, and simply wanted to thank you for
a job well done. even though i understand it when webmasters don't update
websites for movies/books that have been out for a half dozen years, i really
hate it. Your website was updated very recently, and just wanted to let you
know that your hard work isn't going unnoticed. thanks again.
This web site is
the best...it's awesome! I thought I was the only one who was this
fanatical about this movie. I am a reenactor with the Donegal Township
Riflemen...a historical militia group in Pennsylvania. We reenact the
French and Indian War and the Rev. War. A few weeks ago I was having
coffee with some of the reenactors after a day at an event at Fort
Hunter, in Harrisburg, PA. Something in our conversation caused all of
us to recite Gen. Webb's comments about the French and Gen. Montcalm
(their Latinate voluptuousness) and Magua. At that moment I knew I was
not alone in my fascination with LOTM. (The reenactors were Lenapi and I
am a Colonial Teacher/Preacher). This union made me think that maybe
there are people out there who are as into this movie as us. So, I did
the web search on Yahoo and here I am. I've been checking out the site
off and on all day. I can't believe what I am seeing. The interviews,
the pictures, the comments, the back ground data...it's all fantastic.
I have been "lurking" at your amazing web site for about five months
now, and I have finally gathered the courage to write and tell you how much I
have enjoyed spending time there. I just finished reading Rich's account of
how he came to fall in love with the film---and, consequently, everything
associated with the film---and it so closely approximates my own experience,
that I finally felt prompted to write.
I have been a "closet" LOTM addict ever since I first saw the film on
video, shortly after it had been released (and cursing myself for not having
seen it at the theatre!) I just wasn't prepared for the effect it would have
on me. I still am not sure why that is, but to have discovered that I am not
alone has been so encouraging---and has even led me to freely confess that I
do love the movie! Last night, I finally took the plunge and bought the
video, something I have longed for but somehow felt silly doing. (I wonder
why that was?) I have always been in love with the beautiful mountain region of North
Carolina, so I wasn't surprised to learn, while reading the credits the first
time I watched the film, that the movie was filmed there. My family are
planning a return trip there later in the summer, and since my children have
never been, I am most anxious to share the experience with them. I am going
to send for your book as soon as I can. Thanks for your time, and, again, for the devotion you have put
into, this site so that others like me can continue to "relive" the unique experience that is
"The Last of the Mohicans."
Thank you. I am enjoying your Mohican pages tremendously. The report of the
Daniel Day-Lewis safari was delightful. More importantly, the area you have
photographed is where I have wanted to visit for some time. Here is surely the
impetus. What a delightful evening I have spent with your web page. Never
would have dreamed of such a thing when I first read Fenimore Cooper's novel
in childhood. And such a beautiful film, wasn't it?
I just finished the LOTM video (I saw the
original theatrical release)
and am looking forward to a June visit to NC. Your fabulous site will be a tremendous resource as we plan our visit.
I shall look forward to "exploring" it in the coming weeks.
Thanks a million for your enthusiasm and help.
I love your web site!!! it's great...i can't get
the smile off my face since entering this page to the music of the last of the
mohicans...it's awesome!!! i love it!!!
Thank you so very much for this site. I love
Last Of The Mohicans and Eric Schweig has been one for my favorite actors for years. He was
wonderful in The Broken Chain and I was amazed at his acting ability in
Tom and Huck. Eric has one of the most beautiful speaking voices but
was able to mask it and become Indian Joe! Again I than you for this wonderful site. I will be back because there is so much to see, I can
not possibly see it all tonight! A very impressive site!!!!!
I have just discovered your site and have
spent the better part of an hour cruising through the maze of wonderfully tantalizing pages. You are correct in your supposition, for
the movie and all its varied parts and facets continue to captivate many
people's imaginations. Including mine. I have gotten the biggest kick out of visiting your pages.
I will return to this spot (I have book marked it) very soon and order your book. I have many friends in North Carolina and it would be fun to
visit the sites together (although I was there on the movie set for seven weeks, I did not see all of the places used in the filming).
I am greatly enjoying your web site!!! I can't believe you have the entire
script, wonder how on earth you ever got it. The whole thing is wonderful
(great to see these rehearsal photos), love the bits about the bloopers
(I'll have to go home and watch it again to try to catch them!) and the personal recollections of cast and crew.
Thanks again for all the work you must have put into these pages. Great to
see that you sent a copy to Daniel Day-Lewis and that he wrote you back,
how nice of you to share that with us!
I am a high school American Lit. teacher and I use the
film LOTM every year to begin the course. Your site is great! I have
not gotten everywhere on it, but I would like to be able to send my
students here if there is no objectionable material. It doesn't look good when a teacher sends her students to sites that contain less than
enriching material. I am personally a big fan of the film but have noticed over and over the lapses. Thanks for filling me in on what the
uncut version would have looked like. Again, thanks for the site, and the script. Students when they write about the film, can access the
script to use direct quotes for their work.
I was looking for the JFC Society's address when I ran across your
exceptionally beautiful LOTM home page. Having read some Cooper, I was more than pleased with the way Michael Mann captured the essence of the
Leatherstocking saga even where departures from Cooper's plots and
characterizations needed to be made. I thank you for your web effort
and sharing your enthusiasm for the movie.
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy the board. I know that things
were getting a little touchy there for a moment, but it is so great to see
everyone's input. We all are drawn here for different reasons, and that's what
makes Mohicanland such an informing and entertaining place. Where else can one
learn about Inuit spirituality AND discuss the finer points of Col. Munro
shaving his legs!!!!!! Out of all the boards I have ever visited, this is by
far and away the best around. The intelligence level of the posters here never
ceases to amaze and amuse me. I can have a truly crappy day, but find myself
laughing and forgetting all my problems after checking out the daily Mohicanland happenings. You both have put so much love and work and hours into
this site--and it shows in the loyalty of your posters. We appreciate all that
you two have done to make being a LOTM/Cooper fan such a special thing!
What does The Last of the Mohicans
mean to me????
Well, a good stop at a site where I have met a wealth of friends that have
the same interest as me. It is a pleasure to talk to them; as well as the web
site owners.... The movie?? Well, after my hubby rented it 5 years ago; the household will
never be the same. We have studied more history, our sons have gotten more
interested in what actually happened at the time; and a good lesson for "MOM"
to teach; as the schools have so much to cover.....
online for about four hours now, and I can't believe what you have created.
I am eighteen, and first saw The Last of the Mohicans when it originally
came out. In simplest terms, it changed my life. I read the original novel,
memorized the soundtrack and script, and even obtained a 1920 version of the
film. I myself did some light research to find out where Mann's production
was filmed, and I got as far as finding Asheville on a map. But you have
gone to incredible lengths! I haven't seen the book yet, but I am sure it
will be what I have had dreams about. (I trust you'll save me a copy, my
check's in the mail.) Again, I would simply like to congratulate you on your
efforts and wish you the best success for your book. I am astounded!!
I am just popping in to say how much I love this web site!!!!! IT IS
Please keep up the good work.
thought i'd say how you have done an excellent job on the web page.
there's some fascinating topics in there and layout is splendid! well
what a good site you have put together. history has been restored. thanks
As A HUGE fan of the movie, LOTM, I just adore your website!
Photos were great, and everyone did a fabulous job on the film. First time
I saw it in the theatre, I cried as the first shots of the mountains came
up, and the music started. As a lover of history, I felt like I'd come home!
just wanted to tell you that I thought that your page has to be the best
that I have seen to this date!!! I'm recommending it to everyone.
This is an excellent site. You are to be congratulated for your work.
I am a freelance writer for Ladies Home Journal working on a travel piece on
movie sites, and I found your page on the internet. I'm looking for sites
that offer a little "something extra," to do, and your Great Mohican Gatherings definitely seem to fit the bill. I'm hoping one of you, or else
someone involved in the organizing of this event, would please give me a
call to discuss further ...
class have recently completed a film study on Last of the Mohicans,
they found this website extremely informative and useful. Keep up the good work
great web site. as a mature student doing american studies and particularly
the native american and fenimore cooper`s leatherstocking tales your web
site is valuable. thank you.
I just wanted to drop a line to let you know how excited I was on finding your
website and being able to purchase your guidebook. I, too, fell in love with
the movie "Last of the Mohicans". I saw it on TV about a year ago and had to
go out and buy the video. I've probably watched it at least 50 times by now.
I was astounded by the scenery, the passion, the characters, the soundtrack,
etc. . Thanks again for making my day! I am looking very forward to receiving my book!
Congratulations on the completion of this project, the book and
Once again, thank you so much for all the work and love you poured into it. It's nice to know that others were deeply affected by this film: by the
story, by the performances, by the incredible cinematography of those beautiful locales, and by the wonderful music.
By the way, the music won the British version of the Academy Award for best score. It was richly deserved, I think. Also, the film got an
Academy Award for "best sound," which I think you'll also agree was well-deserved. Too bad it wasn't recognized for more. But that's
okay... there are those of us out here who found it to be "deeply stirring to our blood."
i must say ,that i enjoyed your w/page ..in fact love it
well done ... i live in northeast pennslyvania , rich in history .
i first read "last of the mohicans'' when i was 9 or 10
it still is my favorite thank you for the time this morning ...enjoying your page and links.
You Mohican Press folks should be proud of what I consider a fascinating, attention-riveting
view into real and imaginary history of critical times during the incubation of the Free and
Independent United States of America. Rascal and rouge, hero and heroic, all are touched
with the insightful brush of the author/s. Especially refreshing is a treatise on General
Webb, one of Britain's less noteworthy officers. Revealed as an unbelievably self-centered
and egotistical coward, watching the author divulge his stupidity is a delight to read!
You folks have done an outstanding job. You set a standard for the rest of us that will take
effort, research and elbow grease to equal. I'm impressed, to say the least!
are 'good' to communicate with, you are friendly in every sense of the
word, you are sensitive to native issues. i have come across so many
people/websites that mean well but they take the native 'whatever' and
make it theirs and twist it until it's not native but a bastardization
of what is native. and these people are upset when native people point
this out. but i haven't found this with mohican press. thank you very
much for that.
I have to tell the two of you, fooling around with this festival business, I've checked out a lot of web pages, and your web page is one of the best promotional pieces that I've come across yet! It's very tastefully done.
I do have an idea of how much work has gone into the website, and I must say
I'm very impressed at your dedication. I'll be stopping in regularly.
I extend my wholehearted thanks and high praise for your creativity,
management, and hospitality. Visiting the site and the board is like visiting friends.
You've established an outstanding example of the best of www possibilities
I just wanted to let you know that I think your website
I am a lurker who often reads the message boards
but I am too "cybershy" to post my own message.
Your work is very much appreciated.
This has to be the coolest, most fantastic site I've ever seen! Found it today by accident and was immediately hooked (I spent over two hours there!). I can't wait for my book to arrive and my very own Uncas earrings (can you tell who my favorite character is?). I saw the movie in the theater and was totally overwhelmed by it - the sound, the characters, the locations most of all since I've been to all of them at one time or another. My dad lives not too far from Chimney Rock and I've spent summers there off and on for over 25 years. Now, when I get the book, I'll have a really good reason to go back and haunt the hills. Thanks so much for the most interesting site I've come across yet. As Arnie said, I will be back....
The web site is an amazing resource and I
would like to thank you for all the effort you have put forth to make it an
I absolutely love your 'On the Trail of the Last of the Mohicans' web site.
Ivisit it often. That is definitely one of my favorite movies, if not my very
favorite. I was so upset to learn that there was actually an Uncas/Alice love
scene cut out of the movie. That would have enhanced the ending so much more!
Their deaths would have at least been a little more meaningful, had they left
that scene in the movie. Maybe we should all protest so that they will put
out a version with it in there----or at least put out a 'what got put on the
cutting room floor' VHS tape (I don't have laser disk player). Once again, great site---and photos and interviews and everything!