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WJBD - Local News - Iuka Wilderness Days Filled With Smoke, Fire, and Fun

A collection of black powder firearms owned by Iuka resident Mark Linder. The long rifle at the top of the group is an authentic 1829 Civil War-Era percussion rifle, passed down from his Grandfather.

Iuka Wilderness Days Filled With Smoke, Fire, and Fun

By Rob Sussman, WJBD News

The second annual Wilderness Days took place in Iuka Park over the weekend and the air was filled with smoke and noise. That was thanks to the 17th Illinois Territorial Rangers reenactment group, a group dedicated to re-enacting life during the War of 1812--the second war that took place between the newly-formed United States and Great Britain.

The group travels all across Illinois, setting up camp and putting on demonstrations of  life in the 1810's, including bow and arrow shooting, campfires, homemade vegetable chowder, and Tomahawk Throwing. 

The event also featured BB Gun Shooting as well as black powder rifle demonstrations. Black Powder rifles were last used in the Civil War era. Iuka resident Mark Linder said that in order to join the military in those days, you had to have two teeth right next to one another in order to rip open the powder bag to reload your rifle quickly. A talented soldier could fire about three rounds a minute.

The 17th Illinois Rangers also set up an authentic steel forge and displayed hand-made furniture and knives.

Several vendors also took part in the event along with a sizable tractor display. The Iuka Lady Pirates sports teams sponsored a dunk tank and kid's were able to compete in a pedal tractor pull. Part of the proceeds from the event went to benefit the Iuka Park.

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