Vintage Faire 2013 was everything you could expect—only more. A goodly crowd gathered on the square, or rather by the mill, to celebrate in a number of ways. There was food, entertainment, commercial booths, trinkets, wine tasting and even a melodrama; enough to capture the interest of anyone who ventured out on Saturday afternoon. There was even a sort of an instructional painting class being held on the banks of the creek where several artists set up and began working on scenes from nature’s canvas practically at their feet.
One of the bigger draws was the cowboy re-enactment club as they staged a shoot-out at the south end of the library building. Cowboys and dance hall girls alike were shooting each other with pistols, shotguns and rifles. Just like in the movies, there was no blood. The performances were staged every hour to the delight of dozens of fans. The shootout was one of the larger draws at the Faire.
Several of the members of the re-enactment group were on hand at the Buckaroo Breakfast earlier in the day. They have been loyal supporters of the youth agricultural programs and related that those programs have disappeared from some of the schools closer to their homes.
A regular at the celebrations around the mill was the outlaw chef, Ron Clanton, making bacon wrapped baked beans. Clanton had earlier demonstrated cooking technique to the Boy scouts, who were serving navy beans, corn bread and the rest of a complete dinner they had cooked with their own Dutch ovens. These were not the only food vendors, there was also pulled pork sandwiches hot dogs and other foods that satisfied the palates of a number of event goers.
The blacksmith was an attraction for a number of the men at the faire. There is something about making useful items in the flames of a charcoal fire that appeals to a large bunch because of the nostalgia associated with it. There was a shake-maker from the Upper Rogue Historical Society making shakes from a piece of Sugar Pine that had been laying on the forest floor for more than forth years, and was still serviceable as roofing material.
Former Jackson County Commissioner, C. W. Smith demonstrated his skill at sculpting while working on a piece destined to become a bronze of a Native American. Smith also displayed some of his finished work. One of the more beautiful pieces was a bust of Mother Theresa but there was a cowboy and other figures that demonstrate a considerable talent in this discipline. Smith said he had been sculpting since his days in high school.
A group of artists lined the lower level near Little Butte Creek, painting scenes painting one of the more scenic spots along what is to become a trail from the mill to the Main Street Bridge. One of the favorite subjects of the group was the old oak tree leaning towards the stream. The ancient tree has a character like no other and is conveniently located near the stream to please the eye of some of the area’s best artists.
Also entertaining were the Old Time Fiddlers on a spot of lawn near the antique shop. Here several chairs dotted the grassy area and several canopies shaded folks from the mid-day sun. Other musicians were on hand singing and playing guitar and other instruments.
Many vendors, selling a variety of wares, filled the area between the antique shop and the museum. And, of course, the museum was open and attracted many visitors to their large display of antiques and memorabilia. Among those displays were the recent additions form the collection of Eagle Point resident Jim Estep who made donations of some of his miniature homes and his military uniform.
The mill itself was abuzz with activity both upstairs and down. Upstairs, tours of the grinding room amazed everyone, especially the children. Downstairs, three local wineries were offering taste samples of their vintage wines.
Judging from the milling around and the smiles on the faces, this year’s event was better than last. It was a picture perfect day, and unlike last year, warm enough to go without a coat and enjoy the shade when and where possible.