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Ormond Beach Observer Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 5 years ago

Ormond re-enactors give a unique look into the city's past

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A few Ormond Beach residents put on a history show on Sunday, during the historical society's Plantation Tour. 

BY EMILY BLACKWOOD | STAFF WRITER

Daniel Sampson adds a new meaning to the phrase “walking in my shoes.”

As a re-enactor for the second Seminole war, Sampson said he identifies with both the Native Americans and the soldiers for the U.S. Army. For the Ormond Beach Historical Society’s annual Plantation Tour, he was dressed as a solider from the 1835 war. He credits his knowledge of their history to watching old war shows on PBS with his father.

“I’ve always loved guns,” Sampson said. “I’ve always been a military historian, and I kind of like the uniforms for the Seminole war. The hats are ugly as sin. They’re called forage hats. If I’m out in the woods and it’s time to gather up nuts and berry, then it (becomes) a bucket, or I can scoop a whole bucket of water for the horse. They were ugly as sin, but they had a purpose.”

Sampson said he first got started with reenactments nine years ago when he dressed up like a Seminole Indian. The experience changed the way he saw Native Americans.

“I thought, I’ll throw some rags on, put a feather in my hair and call myself an Indian,” Sampson said. “You started learning that you represent somebody’s culture when you don a uniform. That’s where I began to study more and learn more about the Indians. It’s an eye-opening experience, and it totally changed my whole perspective.”

Also at the Plantation Tour were re-enactors of James Ormond and his wife. Charles DuToit played Mr. Ormond and Mercedes McCallen played his wife. She said she identified with Mrs. Ormond’s heritage and lifestyle.

“I’m also a sailor,” McCallen said,  “and a great appreciator of the environment here. The history is very rich and vast.”

The Plantation Tour, sponsored by the historical society and Tomoka State Park, covered the Bulow Plantation Ruins State Park, the site of the Ormond Tomb at James Ormond Park and Oswald Plantation at Tomoka State Park.

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