11th annual Chippewa River Rendezvous awakens history - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

11th annual Chippewa River Rendezvous awakens history


Cornell (WQOW) - The past and present came together at a Cornell park on Saturday. People were able to step back in time and learn about Wisconsin's pioneering days.

History shaped the modern fields of Mill Yard Park in Cornell into a war zone.

Early settlers are coming back to life through the Chippewa River Rendezvous, a weekend dedicated to teaching the way people lived as early as the 1600's.

Matthew Taylor, a voyager taking part in the event, said, "Life for us, you need fire to cook, to keep warm, to make your tools, blacksmiths, to make your knives."

Back in the early 17th century, voyagers would start campfires using steel and flint.

Taylor said, "This specific flint is the same flint that they would make arrowheads out of. The flint is not the making of the spark. The spark is the metal coming off of the steel. So, this is where you get the spark from.”

Even those from other states were just as eager to make sure history back in 1863 is told to a tee.

Bryce Stenzel, who portrayed Abraham Lincoln at the event, said, "In November of that year (1863), that's the year that I (President Abraham Lincoln) wrote and delivered the Gettysburg Address. The Battle of Gettysburg was fought in July of 1863. So, it all happened 150 years ago, plus one."

Even though historic battles are long laid to rest, history continues to live. Stenzel said, "You watch the young people who go through here, young and old alike, but particularly the young ones, and you watch their eyes light up when they see somebody they can talk to. They can handle a weapon. They can have it explained to them."

The Chippewa River Rendezvous will continue through Sunday from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m.

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