by Annette Meserve
This article was written for a promotional client, La Plaza Inn Bed and Breakfast, for their newsletter, La Plaza Inn Chronicles.
On March 20th members of the local chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) presented La Plaza Inn owner and innkeeper Karen Wilson with a proclamation recognizing the Inn’s support and involvement with their organization.
According to the official website, the SCA is a national non-profit organization that is focused on “…researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe.” In addition to hosting several small events throughout the year, The Shire of Villaleon, based in Walsenburg, CO, helps the greater Kingdom of the Outlands to put on its premier event, ‘Battlemoor’, at the Stroh Ranch near Gardner. This annual event is a Field-Of-War and Medieval Village that gathers members from the greater Kingdom of the Outlands as well as many Knights, Ladies, and Artisans from Kingdoms across the country.
Local Seneschal (president) Beth Harper, said that they recognized La Plaza Inn because of the warm welcome that participants have enjoyed, staying and eating at the Bed and Breakfast. She went on to say that many SCA members were charmed by the way the Inn’s staff initially took the group’s unique costuming and unusual activities in stride. “Many of us stop [at La Plaza] because the staff didn’t laugh at our clothes.” said Ms. Harper
She also noted Ms. Wilson’s dedication to building a good relationship with the SCA in an effort to promote the economic development of the Walsenburg area. Ms. Harper said that the five-day-long Battlemoor event, welcoming members and “newbies” but not spectators, brings 1,000 people into the area in the late summer of every year. Ms. Wilson has spearheaded the effort, among local businesses, to welcome and serve participants while they are within the Shire’s borders, supporting the interests of both the SCA and the area’s merchants.
The national organization of the SCA is made up of 19 Kingdoms all of which are divided into smaller regions like the local Shire of Villaleon. Members construct costumes and accoutrements befitting their position in the 17th century society and take on these roles as they move into SCA events. Ms. Harper stressed that her group is not focused on the ‘fantastical’ but rather on staying as true to historical accuracy as they can.
They are committed to continuing the practice of historic crafts such as weaving, spinning, pottery, leather work, and brewing among many more. Ancient arts of war are practiced as well including fencing, archery, and swordplay. The Shire of Villaleon members go so far as to train on the effective use of the siege engine and the trebuchet (always practicing appropriate safety precautions, of course).
Battlemoor is one of many such events that are hosted around the country, several happening at locations along the I-25 corridor from Cheyenne, Wyoming to Santa Fe, New Mexico. According to Ms. Harper, there are an average of 1,600 SCA members, passing through Walsenburg on their way to these events throughout the year. She has been encouraged by the La Plaza effort to acquaint these people with the local offerings. She feels that creating an image for the town as a hospitable way-station for these travelers will benefit all concerned.
More information about the SCA and their schedule of events can be found at:
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