River pirates, highway men and Indians take over Tunnel Mill in Charlestown, Ind.

River pirates, highway men and Indians take over Tunnel Mill in Charlestown, Ind.

Credit: Mary Lyons

Part of the 2 p.m. battle you can see at Brigand's Grove.


by Mary Lyons


Posted on August 13, 2011 at 9:38 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 5:21 PM

CHARLESTOWN, Ind. (WHAS11) – Historical bad guys take over Tunnel Mill and the John Work House on Saturday at an event called Brigand’s Grove in Charlestown, Ind.

Reenactors had set up several tents to show what it was like for a river pirate, highway men or Indian to camp from around the times of 1650s to 1800s and some took part in skirmishes throughout the day on Saturday. Battles that demonstrated how, at the time, royal troops would try to clear out any rebels in the area.

Josh Kelley who attended the event with his family and who use to participate in historical reenacting said, “It was very interesting and the reenactors seem pretty knowledgeable about the time period.”

One reenactor, Susie Dunkleberger, from Cincinnati described to those in attendance how she would cook on the fire pit. Dunkleberger said that they would add or take off coals depending on with how many inches they could get close to the fire.

“They would boil or cook things over their fire, but would bake off the fire,” Dunkleberger said.

The organizer of Brigand’s Grove and owner of Taylor Rose Historical Outfitters, Nathanael Logsdon, said the primary mission of this event and others he hopes to hold is education.

“You wouldn’t teach math class without math problems or a science class without experiments,” Logsdon said.

One woman said the Brigand's Grove event is really educational.

"We home school and seeing the history of this area puts into perspective that real people fought and died for our liberties,"Holly Kelley, Josh Kelley's wife, said.

Logsdon plans and hopes events like this one will be something he can keep doing here on Tunnel Mill at the John Work House. The historical house is even registered on the National Register of Historic Places.

Logsdon’s business, where he makes and sells English Civil War to WWI clothing, is based out of the John Work House. He is also working to renovate it for the Boy Scouts of America.

“They were in a tricky situation, because they didn’t have a use for it,” Logsdon said.

He said the BSA have owned the house since 1929, they had used it as a ranger house up until 1989, then it was rented out, but eventually it sat vacant until 2001.  Because of the way the John Work House property is situated with the Boy Scout camp on Tunnel Mill Logsdon says they didn't have a real suitable use for it.

Some of the other events, as well as reenactments, Logsdon wants to hold at the John Work House are workshops that will teach lost trades that include: blacksmithing, log-cabin building and masonry.

Logsdon hopes that through the renovation of the house and the historical events he can create something nice for the community.

Brigand’s Grove continues on Sunday with battles at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and you can also tour the John Work House and see a cannon demonstration. The event runs from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.