Cannons fired this past weekend at a military history fair as part of Wellington’s bicentennial celebration have a Hollywood pedigree.
One owned by Bob Kelley of Woodville was used in the 2003 Tom Cruise film, “The Last Samurai.” Another owned by the village of Carey, Ohio, was used on screen in the movie “Gettysburg” and for sound effects in Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” series.
Kelley commands a local chapter of Taylor’s Battery, a unit of Confederate Civil War reenactors.
“We’re the only Confederate artillery group in northwest Ohio and have been together for over 20 years,” he said. “This really turned out to be a nice event with quite a few different groups. I’d like to see it grow and to see it come back.”
Doug Osborn of Olena brought cannons from Carey to the Lorain County Fairgrounds and commands a unit of Union reenactors: Battery H First Ohio Volunteer Light Artillery.
“Most of us have done this for a long time,” he said. “These kinds of events are familiar to us but this is a new area for us to go to. It’s nice to get out and spend the weekend with your friends too. For me, I have a lot of family that fought in the Civil War and around that time period. It’s about remembering what they did as much as it’s about trying to keep the history alive for people.”
Efforts are already being put together for another military fair next year that would be sponsored by Eagles Aerie 2051, according to village officials.
Historian Al Leiby put his heart and soul into organizing the fair, according to mayor Hans Schneider.
“It was his baby from the beginning,” he said. “There’s not many events like this where it doesn’t cost anything to get in. In that aspect, I think it was a great event with a lot of hard work behind it. Next year is just rumors at this point but everything the Eagles do is always first class. I think there’s a real chance for this thing to grow here in Wellington.”
“It’s a relief to see it all come together,” Leiby said. “The reenactors have been outstanding. I spent five years in Germany, so when I saw the 100th Jager reenactors, they just blew me away. They are so realistic right down to the haircuts.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.