Patty Schrum, one of six generations born and raised in Hampton, said her deep love for the city brought her out to the first-ever Battle of Hampton re-enactment on Saturday.
The two-day long event, presented by the Hampton History Museum, commemorates the 240th anniversary of the battle.
On Saturday, men and women dressed as British soldiers and local patriots recreated the land and sea battles from Oct. 26, 1775. Historians say the battle turned Virginians away from British rule at the start of the Revolutionary War.
Schrum, 67, spent the afternoon walking with her husband, daughter, and sister — all Hampton natives — through Mill Point Park, which was transformed into a Revolutionary-era camp. It was special for them to learn more about the city they knew so well already, she said.
"It all happened here," she said. "I mean, our freedom."
Between 70 and 80 re-enactors took part in land and sea battles. Actors of all ages told stories, made fire from scratch and played music in the smoky camp.
A cannon demonstration that boomed through the park at 3:30 p.m. wowed some and led people like Schrum's daughter, 50-year-old Michelle Kelly, to plug their ears.
Kelly's favorite part was not as loud: watching 40-year-old Gabriel Stone and his counterpart, 45-year-old Stephen Christoff, play a 16th-century instrument called a serpent, a trombone, and a saw.
"I just loved how authentic it was," she said.
Luci Cochran, Hampton History Museum's executive director, said the turnout was modest, but that's not unusual for a first-time event, she said.
"Since it's something new, word of mouth usually helps," said Cochran, who was happy with how well the re-enactments went.