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A journey back in time at the Frontier Heritage Fair

Life on the frontier, Wild West, and Civil War came to life for visitors at the Frontier Heritage Fair at the Lane County Fairgrounds Auditorium this weekend. Photo by Samantha Smargiassi.

EUGENE, Ore. - Life on the frontier, Wild West, and Civil War came to life for visitors at the Frontier Heritage Fair at the Lane County Fairgrounds Auditorium this weekend.

The Fort Umpqua Muzzleloaders in Springfield sponsored the family-friendly event, which ran Feb. 18 and 19. The Muzzleloaders mission is to learn about, celebrate, and recreate early frontier life. Admission cost $3 for adults and children under 12 were free.

Club members Al and Dixie Stromme wore period attire and have been a part of the club for over 50 years.

“This is the life we lead," Dixie said. "We grew up in this fair, and it taught our children respect for history.”

All members of the club dressed in 1800s attire, attracting history buffs and people from the Eugene community.

Janiece Dimick, of Eugene, said she was returning to the fair after a number of years because of how unique it is.

“I love the handmade soaps and bead work," Dimick said. "There is just so much history here. People don’t stop to think about the old ways of life, but they are really interesting."

The environment at the fair was warm and inviting, and members of the Fort Umpqua Muzzleloaders were enthusiastic about sharing information about frontier life and demonstrating historic trades, including bowl making, blacksmithing, muzzle loading, spinning yarn, and trapping.

Old-time music performed by The Oregon Old Time Fiddler's Association filled the auditorium as visitors explored tables displaying historic trade goods, ranging from firearms to beads and blankets to leather goods.

“I was a new club member last year," club member Steve Gilmore said. "I know I’ll keep coming back because I love the old ways and educating people about muzzle loading. You can get things here that you can’t find hardly anywhere else.”

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