Welcome to the Online Clann Tartan Newsletter for August 2013

Board Minutes Board & Staff Directory Guilds
Calendar of Events Maps Announcements
Articles  Event Schedule Event Maps and Notification


Memebers' Meeting

The August Members Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, August 3rd at noon at Bruce and Julie's home, 4736 12th Ave South in Minneapolis.  As always, there will be plenty to discuss. If you have items for the meeting agenda, please let your Board know.

St. Paul Irish Fair

Clann Tartan will be at the Irish Fair in St Paul!We will be bringing a bit of Scotland to the Irish Fair from Friday, August 9th through Sunday, August 11. The hours of the fair are

Friday: 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m to 7 p.m.

We are going to be open from opening till 5:00; possibly 6:00 on Friday since we all just got there. It is a very large event; that means a lot of people to talk to about history and how the Scots and the Irish have worked together and what the Irish and Scots have in common. It should be a good recruiting event, which means it's worth hustling for in spite of the short preparation time.

Their website is: http://www.irishfair.com/ and admission is free. The festival is held on Harriet Island, in the middle of St. Paul proper. There will be a lot going on at the fair, so taking a look at the website is advisable. A link to the Google Map for directions is here: http://tinyurl.com/mmo3dnt

There are various restrictions on what we can and cannot bring to the event, so if you have any questions about your kit at all, please contact your staff and ask them ahead of time. For example, we cannot bring weapons of any kind onto Harriet Island by police order.

Setup will be Friday morning; as Bruce has suggested, our camp will consist of three troopers locked together with the middle one as a fly. Though our personal kits should be correctly period, we will probably be displaying some modern photos and informational materials: If we can't have pikes and muskets, we will make do with photographs of pikes and muskets. Teardown will be very simple and we might stick around till close Sunday night and do it then, otherwise we may tear down Monday morning.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Anthea, our HCF at anthea at winternet dot com. Her phone number is (763) 257-7038.

Let's get to work!

We have one more confirmed work weekend at the Dun Gowan historical site: It is September 7 and 8. If weather permits we will have an additional weekend October 19 and 20. If you are interested in participating for work weekends, please let the membership know. Also, if you would like to participate but need a ride or plan to participate and would like a rider, please let the membership know!

Hope to see you real soon!


It Is Time for Annual Dues Once Again. Clann Tartan uses a fiscal year of April through March, and for simplicity, all members' dues are for the same time period. Dues are $20 for adults and families, $10 for students. Payments can be given to Bruce Yoder, our Treasurer, at meetings, drills or events; mailed to the PO box, or mailed directly to him at 4736 12th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407.


Reasonably priced, accurate 17th century shoes, boots, and other leather items, are available from member Pegeen Rozeske. 320-493-6163

Want to quit smoking? Lose weight? Sleep better? Deal with other issues? Your good Auntie/Cousin Mairi is opening her hypnotism clinic! For more information or to schedule a session, contact me at Mairi2 at juno dot com, or via cell at 651-307-2977.

I look forward to working with you!

Mary McKinley


Submissions for the Newsletter!

Items you can submit include research articles, character sketches, and other items pertaining to living history and Scottish Culture. Email your items in either plain text, or MS Word format to newsletter at clanntartan.org or snail mail to our postal address.

Items must be received by the 15th of each month to be considered for inclusion for the upcoming months issue. Mailed submissions will not be returned unless requested. All pertinent submissions will be considered as space permits. All research articles must reference at least three sources. Submissions may be broken in multiple parts.

Deadline for articles to go in the September newsletter will be August 15.

Board Minutes

Board Meeting, June 18, 2013

In attendance:

Board members present: President: Marty Byers, Vice President: Karen Bastien,
Secretary: Betsy Bolton, Treasurer: Bruce Yoder, Quartermaster: Mike McCarty,
Company Rep: David Vavreck, Camp Rep: Laura Swenson; Also in attendance:
Contract Rep: Mia McDavid

I)  Minutes: Approved as amended.

II) Reports:

a) Vice President: No report.

b) Treasurer: Financial update was given. We also have 98% of the insurance
issue resolved. Our insurance will not cover us if we use projectiles or
sharpened steel with the public.

c) Secretary: Still needs to send out welcome cards. Roster needs to have update
on board and staff positions.

d) Quartermaster: Grenade launcher has been repaired. Hail shot will have ash
purchased for it. Muskets will have repairs done, as well.

e) Camp Rep: Nothing to report.

f) Company Rep: An issue was raised about communication between Board, Staff and
membership. The Secretary proposed a joint meeting to address the issue, which
was agreed upon by the Board.

III) Guild Reports:

a) Music: It’s good.

b) Dance: Church is unavailable over the summer due to construction. It’s at the
Yoder’s house.

c) Fiber: Nothing to report

d) Sword: Nothing to report. Most interest is at the shows.

e) Historic Site: Next to do is put a floor in. There is a work weekend not this
weekend but the following.

IV) Events:

a) Fort William: The attendees are meeting by themselves before the event.

b) Second Muster: Dates are July 13 and 14. Muster committee should meet.

c) Irish Fair: August 10 and 11.

d) Big Island: We are on! We need to figure out how many stations we can handle.

e) Mankato: Also still on.

V) Old Business:

a) Cannon: no change

b) Cauldron: information regarding purchase to be sent to Mike.

c) Flag Silk: the free samples were too small to be useful. Mia proposed buying
about 3 samples of about ⅛ yard to get an idea of the silk’s properties. Board
approved the purchase.

d) Copper basin. Not yet complete.

e) Wooden buckets: work in process

VI) New Business: None.

Next Meeting: July 16, 2013 at 7 pm.

Board & Staff

If you need to contact someone associated with Clann Tartan, here is where you find out how. If you are unsure who to contact, you can always email us at: info at clanntartan dot org

Board Members

President Marty Byers 651-261-5815 orthodoxdruid at gmail dot com 2/12 - 2/14
Vice President Karen Bastien 651-399-3505 kybastien at gmail dot com 2/13 - 2/15
Secretary Betsy Bolton 612-619-6406 basil80 at hotmail dot com 2/13 - 2/15
Treasurer Bruce Yoder 612-825-4519 bruceyoder at juno dot com 2/12 - 2/14
Quartermaster Mike McCarty 651-497-5324 mccartym149 at gmail dot com 2/13 - 2/15
Camp Rep. Laura Swenson 651-204-1778 or on my cell at 715-497-9792 mommyco at baldwin-telecom dot net 2/12 - 2/14
Company Rep. David Vavreck 612-353-1237 baethan1630 at yahoo dot com  2/13 - 2/15

Board meetings are currently held at:

737 Pelham Boulevard
St Paul, MN 55114

The doors lock at 7 pm on Tuesdays so members who are interested in attending the meeting should contact Karen. 


Chief of Staff Sarah Shaftman  612-371-4425  smuzikant at visi dot com   
Assistant Chief of Staff vacant      
Captain Marty Byers 651-261-5815 orthodoxdruid at gmail dot com  
Lieutenant Rich Mueller (651) 583-4264   dragon_musk at yahoo dot com   
Head Camp Follower Anthea Potter 763-257-7038 anthea at winternet dot com  
Assistant HCF Betsy Bolton 612-619-6406 basil80 at hotmail dot com  
Other Staff Ann Peters 612-333-0605 AnnEdyth at aol dot com  
Other Staff Glenn McDavid 651-490-1842 gmcdavid at comcast dot net  
Other Staff Judy Byers 651-261-3933  
Other Staff John Debnam 952-492-5536 mage_ironwolf at yahoo dot com  

Our garage is located at 4352 Nicollet Ave S in Minneapolis. Access is in the alley on the west side of Nicollet. South bay of the double garage. Minor problems or issues should be reported to Bruce. In the event of an emergency, the landlord is Brad at 763-670-9200


Sword Guild:

Come out and learn the ways of Highland defense.

Join the Sword Guild and feel the raw power of the sword.

If you are interested, contact Marty Byers (Email orthodoxdruid@gmail.com), with days of the week and times that work for you. I will then get back to you.


We will sing and play music of many styles and places from our period. Bring your voice and/or your instrument(s). Neither need be period correct.

The Yoders have graciously offered to host music once a month. We will meet at their house at 4736 12th Ave S, Minneapolis, from 7 - 9pm the 1st Thursday of each month.

To contact the Yoders, call 612-825-4519 or email to Julieyoder at juno dot com.

To contact your Music Chair, call David at 612-353-1237 or email to baethan1630 at yahoo dot com

Thanks, and I look forward to making some noise with y'all!


We have a yahoo groups email list for the guild that we use for reminders about the meetings and topical discussions. If you want to be on the email list, request an invitation to join from Bruce at bruceyoder at juno dot com.


The Dance Guild gathers twice a month from 7PM-9PM to learn and practice historic Scottish country dances.

2nd and 4th Tuesdays

During the summer of 2013 Dance will meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays at the home of Bruce and Julie Yoder. See the map below

For more information call:

Julie at 612-825-4519.

We have a yahoo groups email list for the guild that we use for reminders about the meetings and topical discussions. If you want to be on the email list, request an invitation to join from Bruce at bruceyoder at juno dot com.

Fiber Guild

Those who would like instruction, inspiration, or just to come out and play should contact Mia McDavid, 651-490-1842. email miamcdavid at gmail dot com .

Historic Site

Clann Tartan has our own historic site near Duluth MN. Dun Gowan is an ongoing project, which is the site of Gaffneyis Annual Tactical in June. We are finishing the fort and beginning the construction of a village this year. The work weekends for this year will be May 18 & 19 (weather permitting), June 1 and 2, June 29 and 30, September 7 and 8 with October 19 and 20 being our last weekend to work (weather permitting).Contact David Vavreck at 612-353-1237 or baethan1630 at yahoo dot com for further information, or to volunteer to help.


Baethan at the Moon — Sugar

by David Vavreck

A couple of times recently I have published period recipes in our Newsletter which include sugar as an ingredient.

Mia asked "But Baethan - wasn't sugar a godawful expensive imported luxury in our period?" (this is a loose paraphrase)

Good question.

It's like this...

No, sugar was not grown in Great Britain in our period - nor is it today.  As an import, sugar was surely a more expensive commodity than had it been able to be grown in such a northerly climate.  Being shipped in bulk, however, the cost of shipping was negligible on a per pound level.  Even today, many spices are quite expensive by the pound, but on a per serving basis, the cost is negligible.

Originating in India, by the 15th century Venice had quite a trade in sugar (Rolph), controlling a practical monopoly on both production and distribution of sugar for both the Mediterranean region and western Europe.

Sugar appears as an ingredient in English cookbooks with increasing frequency by 1390.  Forme of Cury dates to about then, but this book was admittedly for a high class audience.

Sir Hugh Plat (1552 - 1608) often lists sugar as an ingredient in his recipes, which were published specifically to benefit the poor.

By 1600, New World production of sugar was the single largest industry on earth (Coverco and the International Labor Rights Fund).  It would have likely been available in most any port in Europe - Scotland had hundreds of ports and harbors - and the labor requirements for producing it is the major factor in the development of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.  Lots of sugar was being produced by our period.

I recently saw reference to a cookbook published by an Italian refugee in England in the 1620s or thereabouts.  One of the reasons he was moved to publish it was his being appalled at the English diet, especially their over-consumption of two ingredients - beef (not surprisingly) and sugar.  I cannot seem to be able to find the darned website again, though.  Curses!

Furthermore, there were already sugar refineries in England by 1540 (Wilson).  And of course, when England started having colonies in the Caribbean - especially with England's seizure of Jamaica in 1655 - the price back in Great Britain surely dropped even more.  It was the seizure of Jamaica that induced the Royal Navy to begin serving rum rations, which they did until 1970.  Rum replaced the earlier brandy ration, though I do not know when brandy began to be issued to sailors.

Sugar was sold by the loaf, which was made in conical wooden molds.  One would break off a chunk of loaf, then grind it in a mortar and pestle to pulverize it.  Of course, it is possible that one could by less than a full loaf, but evidence is lacking.

Sugar was distributed in various grades;  the more it was refined, the whiter it became.  By the 18th century at least, sugar loaves were sold wrapped in blue paper.  The blueness tricks the eye by making the sugar look whiter - and therefore more refined - than it really was.

There are often notices in period cookbooks to buy sugar "as white as you can get" or "the best you can get" - in other words, as refined as you can afford.

After due deliberation, it has been determined that turbinado sugar, (such as the Sugar in the Raw brand) is the most accurate sugar for the poor folks that we represent.  Modern white sugar is too refined, and brown sugar is generally just white sugar with some molasses added back in, perhaps with some caramel coloring (a known carcinogen, by the way) as well (Thate, pers comm).

Turbinado sugar is made from a single pressing of the sugar cane.  In other words, it is as lightly processed as possible.  Although I have not found it available in loaf form, some stores do carry granulated turbinado in bulk, which makes it very competitive with "regular" cane sugar.

Also, being less refined, turdinado sugar is likely less unhealthy to consume - fewer calories, for starters.  And it is yummy, too.

Would 17th century soldiers have had sugar with every meal?  Not likely.  Would they have had it occasionally?  Surely.  A related point is that we DO have sugar out occasionally.  When we do, perhaps it should be turbinado.

Incidentally, white sugar loaves, wrapped in blue paper, are fairly readily available for purchase.  James Townsend, for example, carries white sugar loaves.  Nippers, too.

Mortars and pestles are also readily available in any number of sizes and materials.


Calendar of Events

Be sure to contact your staff if you plan on attending a show event. Try to give at least a ten day notice when possible. This allows proper planning for the feeding of our members, and in some cases is required by event organizers to allow entry as a participant.

You can call any of the staff members listed, or send an email to staff at clanntartan.org.

Event Schedule:

Hello all,

The following is a list of the dates of the events that are currently on the schedule for this year. The staff has met and decided to keep this running list of events in the newsletter to give you a chance to get an idea of what is going on this season as well as keep you updated to changes in the schedule.

The column titled status will include the following information.

Tentative- this means that an event organizer or Clann has expressed a strong enough interest in doing this event that it warrants reserving space on the calendar for the event.

Pending- this is the next stage of an event. This means that the Contracts Administrator has entered serious discussion about Clann doing an event but we are still not committed to the event. You should however if possible think about whether or not you may be able to attend this event.

Scheduled- this level means that the board and staff have approve the event and we are committed to providing manpower to making the event happen. When an event is assigned this level please let the HCF know as soon as possible if you can or can not attend this event.

Canceled- This means that for various reasons an scheduled event has been removed from the current season. We will try and give as much notice as we can prior to canceling an event.

If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact staff regarding this matter

Your Staff

Jan 1-2012 1st Footing Finished
Feb 9-10, 20123 Big Island Trade Fair, Albert Lea, MN Finished
Feb 16-17, 2013 A Scottish Ramble - http://www.scottishramble.org/ Finished
March 9, 2013 Fargo Celtic Festival http://www.fargoparks.com/events/celtic-festival/ Finished
April 6, 2013 MN Tartan Day Finished
April 27-28, 2013 Muster - Jack McGowan's, Mankato Finished
May 4, 2013 Minnesota Scottish Fair & Highland Games Finished
May 24, 2013 Siege of Woodville Finished
June 13-16, 2013 Tactical - Dun Gowan, Duluth Finished
July 19-21, 2013 Fort William - Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada Finished
August 9-11, 2013 Irish Fair, St. Paul Scheduled
October 3-6, 2013 Big Island Rendezvous Pending
October 9-12, 2013 Mankato History Festival Pending


Bruce and Julie Yoder's Home
Music Meetings, 2nd and 4th Tuesday Dance (Summer 2013)
August Members' Meeting

4736 12th Ave S, Minneapolis 55407