Bath re-enactments slated for July 16

Published 7:25 pm Thursday, July 7, 2016

Pirates will once more take over the town of Bath during the third annual Pirates in the Port.

Set for July 16, the event brings history to life as actors dressed in colonial garb set up camp on the grounds of the Palmer-Marsh House and demonstrate to visitors what life was really like in the first days of North Carolina’s first town. Featuring demonstrations on cooking, medicine, sailors’ tasks aboard ships, and weapons of the era, Pirates in the Port represents a new way to introduce current generations to life in the past, according to Elizabeth Midyette, a historic interpreter at Historic Bath State Historic Site.

“It’s a lot of hands-on to show people instead of just talking to people,” Midyette said. “I think some of the historic sites are moving toward more living history-type events.”

Bath historic site has partnered with the re-enactor group Devilmen of Cape Fear, and its leader Bill Hall, to recreate British Lt. Maynard’s return to Bath after the battle of Ocracoke. Maynard was charged with bringing the pirate Blackbeard to justice; the pirate was killed at Ocracoke and Maynard returned to Bath with several of Blackbeard’s crew as prisoners. At 11 a.m. Maynard’s crew will come ashore at the state dock (off South Main Street), an occasion that will be narrated by author and public speaker Stan Atamanchuck, who wrote the book “Blackbeard’s Fun Pirate Talk.” At 4 p.m., the Devilmen will hold a memorial service for the British sailors lost in the battle. In between, visitors will also be able to experience the Periauger, a vessel typically seen on the Carolina waters during the colonial period.

“It’s like a living history day,” Midyette said.

Made from North Carolina cypress, Periauger is a two-masted open sailboat that resembles a dug-out canoe. Michael Alford, former director of the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort, began the project to build the boat in the early 2000s, as there were no surviving examples of periaugers, according to the Perquimans County Restoration Association.

Pirates in the Port is free and open to the public. The Palmer-Marsh House is located adjacent to the Historic Bath visitors center at 207 Carteret St., Bath.