Market Fair Vendor Spotlight: 96 District Fabrics

The wait is almost over–Market Fair is this weekend! The event runs 10am-4:30pm daily on Saturday, October 29, and Sunday, October 30. We’ll have new activities and vendors, but lots of familiar faces as well, including the subject of our last vendor spotlight. Beth of 96 District Fabrics graciously agreed to tell us about her life with period fabrics! Take it away, Beth!

My husband Jimmy and I own 96 District Fabrics and we sell period appropriate fabrics, patterns and sewing accessories for reenactors. We bought the business five years ago from friends and we quit our jobs and took on this business full time. We plan to continue with this career path until it is no longer enjoyable.


The 96 District Team, Beth and Jimmy. Photo courtesy of 96 District Fabrics. 


This will be our fifth year in attendance at  Market Fair. We do quite a few different time periods and we look forward to seeing our friends from different regions and time periods. We never have a dull moment! It’s exciting to be a merchant … getting to help people create their custom outfits and helping them pick just the right fabric for just the right project.  We look forward to seeing what our customers have created from previous years purchases and getting involved in what new projects and ideas they have for their next undertaking. Most of the fabrics we carry were created for a different purpose whether it be for quilting, curtains or upholstery. Not just reenactors buy our products as many people appreciate good quality all natural fabrics. Something of which you don’t find very often in modern fabric stores. One of our main challenges is continuously searching for period appropriate fabrics at an affordable price for our customers.


Silks and ribbons and more! Photo courtesy of 96 District Fabrics. 

We attend 25 to 30 events a year while some are only a weekend others last a week and one even lasts for two weeks. Customers can look up our website and see what events we will be attending throughout the year. We are only a phone call or email away!


Look for the 96 District Tent this weekend! Photo courtesy of Heather Hiner. 

Thanks, Beth! We can’t wait to see you this weekend and see all the treasures you have with you!

We hope to see all of you at Market Fair this weekend–the sheep are returning, children can muster with the militia, there will be music and games and shopping and delicious food–truly, what more could you want? Admission is $8 for adults and $4 for children. Check our website and this blog before you visit for the full schedule of events. We’ll also have updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  If you see your friendly neighborhood blogger Hannah racing around with a camera, please say hello! It’s always a pleasure to meet new friends. Meet you in the 18th century!

Humbly yours,


Market Fair Vendor Spotlight: Old Dominion Forge and J. Henderson Artifacts

The wood is chopped, the rat catcher is ready, and we’ve warned the neighbors we’ll be shooting off cannons–Market Fair preparations are underway! Today for our Vendor Spotlight, we’re talking to purveyors of tablewares–Kyle of Old Dominion Forge and Tracy and Jay of J. Henderson Artifacts. Read on to learn more about the manufacture of historic cutlery and the production of stoneware!

Here’s what Kyle of Old Dominion Forge has to say about his practice and his Market Fair experiences.


Kyle at work in the forge. Photo courtesy of Old Dominion Forge. 

My main focus is in making cutlery; reproductions of the knives and swords that would have been used in colonial America. I got started making knives in the mid-90s, but had been working in the forge for several years before, making period fireplace tools, cooking utensils, and other colonial period ironwork. In addition to my blade work, I also offer reproduction and original colonial pewter, nicely scrimshawed powder horns made by my dad, and an ever-changing assortment of high quality, artisan made reproductions.

I’ve been to every Market Fair, except one. I think one of the best things about the Locust Grove Market Fair is the period feel of the event. The house and grounds make a great backdrop, and the high-quality and dedication of those attending make it one of the best. Setting up for an show such as the Market Fair can be a lot of work, but of course I enjoy seeing all my friends and also getting to talk customers about my work.

Seriously, keeping stocked is one of my greatest challenges. A tremendous number of hours goes into each project I make. It can take months to build enough to cover one show.

Some of the other events I can be found at include: Ft. DeChartres 18th century Market Fair, The Fair at New Boston, and the Fort Frederick Market Fair. Indoor shows include: Conner The Longrifles Antique Arms Show, The Contemporary Longrifle Association Annual Show, and the Kalamazoo Living History show.

Market Fair is an amazing gathering of some of the most talented artisans in the Midwest. The Fair pulls in some nationally known artists, several of who have been selected for Early American Life Magazine’s annual Directory of Traditional American Crafts. If its pottery, hand-weaving, fine furniture, ironwork, tinsmithing, leatherwork, etc. that you are looking for Market Fair has work from some of the best 18th century artisans in the country.


Some of Kyle’s handiwork. Photo courtesy of Old Dominion Forge. 

For the next part of our table setting, we turn to Tracy and Jay of J. Henderson Artifacts in Southern Indiana.


J. Henderson is a popular staple of Market Fair.

We’ve been attending Market Fair for a while, and we’ve been established tradespeople since 1999. Jay and I both apprenticed at Dakota Stoneware in Bushnell, SD. Jay was there for about 8 years, me for 2, before we started our own business. Our specialty is wood-fired salt-glazed stoneware, in historical designs. We travel the eastern US to historic shows and sites, mainly in the spring and fall. Our home and studio are in south central Indiana.

We really enjoy Market Fair’s 18th century atmosphere, being part of a quality event, and getting to see all of our traveling friends before winter. It’s always a challenge being a self employed artist, and Market Fair has always been our last event of the year, a chance to catch up with some of our favorite people before we switch over to off-season mode.

We are so pleased to welcome Kyle, Tracy, and Jay back to Market Fair this year! Look for them October 29-30! It’ll be another wonderful year of fun and frolic.

Yours sincerely,