Thought I’d take a second to tell you all a bit about the Old Ft. MacArthur Days event we recently attended in San Pedro, California. It was the largest reenactor event I have ever attended – actually, reenactor probably doesn’t even do it justice. Definitely more of a living history event – cavemen were probably the only group not represented at this massive show. Vendors were present as well (thanks to Vintage Productions for letting us set up camp in their space) and many different militaria related items were up for sale.
The event was held on the grounds of Fort MacArthur an old Costal Artillery installation in the hills of San Pedro. Most of it was underground and it was quite a facility to tour. The dark and dank subterranean area gave one quite an impression of what it must have been like to serve there during WWII - or another era of operation. They had an excellent exhibit of an Air Raid Warden’s office, an excellent collection of WWII era kitchen equipment, and even an NIKE missile – I’ve attached some pics for your viewing enjoyment.
Being from Missouri, I was surprised to see a small, somewhat tattered tribute to the 203rd Costal Artillery outfit. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the motto: “Don’t Kick Our Dog.” As most of you know, the 203rd was originally part of the 35th Division – our hometown boys. The text on the display mentioned something to the effect of Midwestern rural boys being sent to defend structures in Seattle and California…what an experience that must have been for them…
Of all the reenactors, I must say I was most impressed by a gentleman portraying a Barber-Surgeon of the late 1500s – William Clowes. Apparently fifty percent of his patients survived his procedures of the time (often involving blood letting, leeches, and amputation), which were good odds. He did a fantastic job, and had some very interesting handouts as well.
Anyway, it was a fantastic event and I would encourage anyone interested in history to attend, and if you are in the neighborhood definitely arrange a visit to Old Fort Mac. Hope you enjoy the pictures!