As promised weeks ago, for Fourth of July I took the aide-de-camp to Four Mile House for their annual celebration. I knew he'd enjoy it as there are always a lot of activities for the kids, plus he would get to see Civil War soldiers and Abe Lincoln.
Four Mile House is located four miles from downtown Denver and was named Four Mile House back when there was no downtown Denver, it was just Denver (or Denver City on some old maps). I've heard that this house is where the remains of the Hungate family were deposited by the Indians after their brutal killing east of town. It seems odd for the Indians to bring the bodies in when they could have just left them on the prairie and not run the risk of another fight near town so I doubt that story. The Hungate Massacre (the family was not just killed but chopped up) is what brings the citizens of Denver to a fever pitch against the Indians in 1864 and precipitates the Sand Creek Massacre. Before I get some angry comments, I'm not saying it justifies it I'm simply pointing out what was happening that year that prompted Denver's citizens to raise a regiment to fight Indians and culminated in a sad incident at Sand Creek.
In any respect the grounds of Four Mile House are now tranquil and are filled with reenactors of all sorts. There were mountain men and Sioux Indians, blacksmiths and suffragettes, and Civil War soldiers and Abe Lincoln.
I didn't get a picture of Lincoln as my son was a little nervous and didn't want his picture taken with Old Abe. Later he was in the mood but Abe was not in his tent, must have been having lunch. Abe has a wonderful sense of humor. While we were talking with him a soldier asked him to move as we were sorta downrange of the artillery that was going to fire off soon. Lincoln told the crowd that they should move, but that he was less worried about cannons; it was the small guns, like a derringer, that he was more scared of. The joke passed right over the head of the crowd but I enjoyed a little chuckle.
There were also carriage rides, wood crafts, kids games and an old time kitchen display. We got to churn some butter and squeeze some lemonade. The apple peeler/corer/slicer was already out of apples but we got to see what the final result was. My son enjoyed it all. He thought the cannon and rifles were too loud but he loved watching the blacksmith, he got to make a wooden race car and he enjoyed the carriage ride too.
West Virginia Independence Hall, Wheeling, WV
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