After encountering Regia Anglorum at a demo put on by the Danelaw group at Gulf Wars 13, we have been off and running! Our first meeting was held in January, 2005, and we did a lot of the background organization that has allowed us to play in the Early Middle Ages!

            By popular vote we chose a name--Micel Folcland--and colors--green and gray. The name means "Great Folcland;" Folcland, itself, literally means land of the folk or, idiomatically (and quoting Anglo-Saxon language authority Steve Pollington) "a word meaning 'tribal land, land held in common by the folc'." Charles Wright, a professor at the University of Illinois specializing in Old English, notes that the latest research has shown this to be slightly outmoded, and offers the Wife's Lament as a poetic, non-legalistic use of the term as nation or homeland. Our thanks to Mister Pollinton and Professor Wright for their help! The colors are to be used on shields, weapons and other objects to indicate the owner is a member of Micel Folcland.





            We held an organizational meeting/work weekend in January of 2005 and got to know everyone. Then on the weekend of 17 June, we held a Living history Exhibition (LHE) at Jubilee Old English Fair. It was in the SCA camp, they put us as far away from the normal folk as they could, and it only lasted three hours, but we had a nice display and talked to a few interested people. We decided what we needed to do better, and we have set our sights for a better display next time.

            At the Regia feast and meeting held at the 2005 Pennsic, we were given permission to expand our membership area to include Indiana. In November, we applied for a land grant, and it was given by the Lawspeaker on 29 November. Official confirmation was given right before the New Year. Micel Folcland is now an official branch of Regia Anglorum!

            A well-attended class on Early Medieval Reenacting was held on 21 January in Urbana, Illinois, at the Festival of Maidens (an SCA event). A joint meeting of Regia Anglorum in North America and the Vikings North America was also held.




            On the weekend of 22-23 April 2006, Micel Folcland held its first independent LHE and encampment at Forest Glen, a Vermillion County forest Preserve near Westville, Illinois, at a site used by many living history groups. "Folcland Fest I: A Viking Celebration of Spring" was attended by four members of Micel Folcland--Babette Colburn, Karen Bergquist, Julie Watkins and Folo Watkins, and there was a steady stream of interested folks, who looked at artifacts, talked to the reenactors and asked a lot of intelligent questions. We cooked, did naalbinding, bonework and listened as a pack of coyotes ran through the camp at night. A good time was had during a splendid weekend, and we talked about upcoming activities. Susan Biggs--the manager of the site-and her staff liked the event, and we were invited back for next year, and we also discussed organizing a timeline event that might include other eras. For more pictures from the event, see the Regia Flickr page and the Micel Folcland Flickr page.




            We to set up at Jubilee Old English Fair over the weekend of 17-18 June 2006. We were set up next to St. Sebastian, a 14th-century living-history group, and once again we had a steady stream of visitors. Babette and Karen did cooking. Babette's son, Ethan, was also there, running around with his newly acquired wooden sword. Julie did naalbinding and card-weaving, using her new loom. Folo used his new shaving horse, but spent most time talking to the public and performing his usual functions at the fair. Quite a few friends and interested potential members stopped by. An informal meeting was held on Saturday night, and the entire camp was woken up when a tree fell at 4:00 in the morning, landing directly in the Saint Sebastian firepit. Nobody was harmed.

norsa_at_the_raven05t.jpg             Micel Folcland was invited by Norsa, a branch of the Vikings North America, to participate in South Elgin’s Scandinavian Day on 10 September. Despite wet weather for much of the day, a lot of fun was had by all. A highlight was a visit to the Viking (sometimes incorrectly called the Raven), the ship built in Norway in 1893 and sailed to the Chicago World's Fair to prove that the Sagas were not myth. The fair was the Columbian Exposition, celebrating the four hundredth anniversary of Columbus, and the Norwegians wanted to remind people that the Vikings were here first!

            Our size doubled at our first Hearth Night, which was held in Homewood in September. Karen was kind enough to host a weekend of sewing, archery and much more. Everyone got a chance to know each other better.

            In January, we will have another meeting at Festival of Maidens 34, while in February, we turned out in force for Reenactor Fest II, where we shared a table with Folump Enterprises. In February we also became incorporated as a nfp corporation.

            At the start of April, four Regia training officers came over from the United Kingdom. Ian Uzzell. Hazel Uzzell, Jenny Uzzell-Smith and Jon Smith came over on their own tuppence and devoted the entire time to teaching. They taught, shared information and listened to us, and are bringing what they found back to the Mother Stem. We were visited by potential members, as well as members of Geforthian Strand and Wynmerestow as well, and we had a great banquet on Saturday night where our visitors were properly welcomed and feted. An account is here and photos may be found here.

            Later in April, instead of Folcland Fest II, we helped run a timeline event at Forest Glen. There was a small reenactor turn-out, but we had fun. Forest Glen has agreed to hold it again. An account is here, while photos are here.




            In June, we set up again at Jubilee Olde English Fair. In September, two of our members drove out to Keizer, Oregon, to participate in Westmearc’s training event which hosted Martin and Clare Williams. A few weeks later, the Eolder, Kim Siddorn, visited Micel Folcland on a cross-USA trip, and Karen Bergquist guided him and his wife around Chicagoland, and Babette Colburn arranged a visit to the Viking which saw the turn out of several Micel Folcland members. For the latest information on preservation efforts of the Viking click here.




            On the weekend of 26-28 October, Hearth Night II was held at Forest Glen County Preserve near Westville, Illinois. We had the cabin, and we worked on cooking techniques, combat, archery, natural dyeing, fire-making with flint-and-steel, gaming, talking about Regia matters and much more. Chuck Ehschlaeger was chosen and agreed to serve as Military Training Officer. It was cold, the firewood burnt too quickly and we all had a great time!

            Karen traveled to the United Kingdom in November and took part in working at Wychurst, plastering outside walls and marking a section with her initials and those of Micel Folcland.

            There were meetings at Festival of Maidens in January and at Reenactor Fest 4 in February. Karen and Folo gave presentations.

            Hearth Night III was held on 8 March in Urbana, Illinois. The main attraction was a day-long basket-weaving class by Donna Weeks.

            The Second Timeline event was held at Forest Glen on the weekend of 3-4 May, and the following weekend saw an encampment at the Culver Academy Timeline in Culver, Indiana.

            Micel Folcland appeared at Swedish Day in Geneva, Illinois (the current site of The Viking) on 15 June and there was an encampment at Jubilee Old English Fair near Brimfield, Illinois the next weekend. A fine article on the encampment appeared in the Beacon.











            Julie, Babette, Sharon, Michael, Robin, Ethan, Sylvie, Orion and Folo did attend the Viking-hosted event, Scandinavian Day, on 7 September at Vasa Park in Elgin, Illinois. It was a beautiful weekend, and it’s always fun playing with fellow travelers who do thinks slightly differently but a lot similarly!

            Hearth Night, our training weekend, was held 11-12 October 2–8 in Forest Glen Preserve, near Westville, Illinois. Another was held in Homewood, Illinois in January 2009. There was a Micel Folcland table at Reenactor Fest on 6-8 February 2009, and we did do a stage presentation as well.

            Another Folcland Fest was held on 2-3 May at Forest Glen in Westville, Illinois, and we participated in the annual Culver Military Academy Timeline in Culver, Indiana the next weekend. We set up next to The Viking again at Swedish Day on 21 June at Good Templar Park in Geneva, Illinois, and the Anglo-Danes invaded Amish country to set up at Rockome Gardens (near Arthur, Illinois) on 11 July.





            On 12 September, we set up for a Laid-Back Day in the Country at Forest Glen, and then the next day set up a camp at Scandinavian Day at Vasa Park in Elgin, Illinois. On the weekend of 10 October, we again held Hearth Night in Forest Glen. Our featured guest was William S. Short of Hurstwic; Bill just published a book , Viking Weapons and Combat Techniques (He’s just published a new one, Icelanders in the Viking Age, which is highly recommended as well) and gave a well-received lecture on subjects from the book. At the meeting, Mike Kinney was elected unanimously as a new member of the board and as Authenticity Officer. He replaced Karen Bergquist, founding AO, who has been given the title of AO Emeritus.

            Micel Folcland did a presentation at Reenactor Fest 6 on 6 February 2010, and we did an interview with the Living History Podcast later in the day. On 24 March, it was uploaded and may be heard here.

            We attended the Culver Military Academy’s Timeline again on 8 May and had a great time playing with fellow travelers (and the cold wind). On 15-16 May at Folcland Fest V was held at Forest Glen Preserve, Westville, Illinois; and on 20 June we again set up alongside the 1893 Viking ship at Swedish Day in Good Templar Park, Geneva, Illinois. And on 24-25 July, we hosted Geoff Williamson from Regia in the UK and held Midsummer with Oswine at Forest Glen Preserve, Westville, Illinois, featuring a visit by Geoff Williamson of Regia from Britain. It was an exciting and well attended show; you can see shots of Chuck Ivesdale on his Flickr page.

            Hearth Night was held on 8 January 2011. We reserved the Conference Room at the Urbana Free Library from 9 am until 12:30, Then we retired to Crane Alley Restaurant for dinner and then to the home of Julie. No presentation was made at the Military History Fest (formerly, and always in our hearts, Reenactor Fest) in February, though Julie, Babette and Sylvie were well received in the Fashion Show.

            We set up monthly recruiting booths at the Market at the Square, and we also had a table at the University of Illinois’ Quad Day, where Registered Organizations try to get new members. Over the summer, we had Folcland Fest VI at Forest Glen Preserve, Westville, Illinois; Swedish Day 100 at Good Templar Park in Geneva, Illinois, a Simple Day in the Country at Forest Glen and Scandinavian Day at Elgin, Illinois. A meet-and-greet, with a celebration of Regis’s Silver Anniversary, was held at the Pennsic Fair, and we lined up an appearance for the Urbana Park District.






            At Military History Fest 8, on 5-7 February 2012, Micel Folcland set up a recruiting booth and also sent Julie and Kerri to the fashion show. In a full summer, successful events were held at Forest Glen, at Swedish Day at Good Templar Park in Geneva, IL and at Scandinavian Day at Vasa Park in Elgin, IL. In addition, Micel Folcland participated in the first annual Forest Glen Timeline; despite the extreme heat, everyone had a good time!

            The fall Hearth Night was held at the Kankakee/Bourbonnais Model 6 on the weekend of 1 December. Then we settled in for a long winter’s nap until Military History Fest (ReenactorFest) in February! At it, Mice Folcland again set up a recruiting booth, and the fashion show was attended by Julie, Kerri and Sharon. In addition, Micel Folcland participated in a very successful Healing through the Ages panel and, afterwards, a Facebook group on the subject was formed!







            The usual events were held during the summer, and in addition Old English Fair—the former Jubilee—changed its date so that it was no longer opposite Swedish Day; and in the fall, we were invited to the Paxton Swedish Day, where we set up in a city park and fielded questions. In addition, Micel Folcland the local Spinning and Weaving Guild met at Forest Glen on 14-15 September for a timeline event, Camp in Time, where we were joined by reenactors of various other eras. A good time was had by all attendees!

last updated: February 2013