Inn owner will miss camaraderie of Cedar Creek re-enactment

Rebecca Reeves

MIDDLETOWN — During the 4 1/2 years that she has worked as one of the two owners of the Wayside Inn, Rebecca Reeves has always enjoyed the Battle of Cedar Creek re-enactment.

The annual event is the busiest time of the year for her, packing the inn’s restaurant for two or three days and bringing the inn a few thousand dollars in rooms.

This year, she will be missing out on the extra revenue, as the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation announced Tuesday that it would be canceling the re-enactment this year.

“New circumstances beyond the control of the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation, and our paramount concern for the safety of our reenactors and visitors, have forced us to cancel this year’s reenactment,” the foundation stated on its website. “We do not take this matter, the community of supporters, or the public interest lightly, and we have made this decision with the best of intentions.”

Officials have not stated the reason for the cancellation.

But while Reeves will feel the economic impact of the loss, she’s going to especially miss the camaraderie that the event brings.

“Other people will fill up the weekends; we always have people that are coming,” Reeves said.

Every year, re-enactors come to the inn and to the inn’s restaurant, going to dinners and hosting events in their Civil War garb.

Reeves said that she thinks people are particularly attracted to the inn because of its history. The inn has been operating since the 1700s, and Confederate Gen. Jubal Early, leader of the Confederate forces during the battle, supposedly stayed in one of the rooms upstairs.

“A lot of people enjoy the fact that this property was here during the Civil War,” Reeves said.

And every year, the re-enactment brings the same set of familiar faces.

There’s Seth, for instance, a kid who comes down to the re-enactment every year with his mom to help out at one of the vendors.

“We mark off his size on the door…of the inn,” Reeves said. “And he lives out of the area. So it means a lot to us to see the people year after year.”

In all, Reeves said that about two-thirds of the inn fills in October with returning re-enactment visitors.

“Before they leave in October, they save the room for next year,” Reeves said.

Reeves said that she’ll miss the “welcome home feel” that the annual re-enactment gives her, the annual reunion of friends.

“The economic impact, it’ll hurt but it’ll fill up easier than that personal aspect,” Reeves said.

She added, “I can think of six couples right off that I’ll miss seeing.”