One of the area’s few remaining Revolutionary War-era structures, The Marshall House is set to open on September 16 to coincide with the Saratoga 1777 Civilian Weekend on September 15-16.
Historical reenactors will gather at the Saratoga National Historical Park to recreate the atmosphere of the army camps ahead of the pivotal battles that took place on the same ground 241 years ago. The reenactments will show many women and children in the camps, as was common during the 18th century. The some of these women were paid to perform tasks such as caring for the wounded and foraging for food; others accompanied their husbands and hosted fine meals for officers.
The Marshall House will open its doors to tell the story of the Baroness von Riedesel, the wife of a German general fighting on the British side whose chronicles of what she saw at the Battles of Saratoga have fascinated historians for generations. As the British-led forces attempted to flee the area following their defeat in the battles, the baroness and her children were forced to take refuge in The Marshall House. Together with other women, children, and wounded soldiers, they were pinned down by enemy fire for days. At the September 16 open house, Debbie Bailey will give her acclaimed performance of the baroness as she tries to protect her family and others around her.
Scheduled events include:
September 15-16 — Saratoga 1777 Civilian Weekend, Saratoga National Historical Park. Over 100 living historians from across the county and Canada will portray American Royalist refugees who fled local rebel authorities, as well as British forces and Continental Army women, children, and sutlers.
The event will center on noncombatants doing living history demonstrations on the battlefield. There will be a grand sutlery, a petty sutler plying her trade, laundresses, male refugees, camp cooks, and all manner of activities that would have been found in an army camp of the period. Two regiments will also be on hand: Colonel Marshall’s 10th Massachusetts Regiment and the British 62nd Regiment of Foot.
September 16, 4 pm — Open house at The Marshall House. Visitors will walk on the original floors of the 18th century home and experience the cellar that sheltered the group of women, children, and wounded soldiers from the fierce fighting all around them. Debbie Bailey will recreate the experiences of Baroness von Riedesel, showing the terror of a European aristocrat trapped in some of the worst battles of history, but also the bravery of a woman making life-and-death decisions under extreme conditions. Performances at 4 pm, 4:45 pm, 5:30 pm, and 6:15 pm.
Artifacts from the battles and the British retreat found on the property will be on display, alongside 19th century books with engravings and descriptions of The Marshall House as a Revolutionary War landmark.
The Marshall House, Inc., is located at 136 Route 4 North, in Schuylerville. For more information, visit their website.
Photo of Marshall House provided.