Medieval James Himself

Medieval James Himself
Guide at Ozark Medieval Fortress

Monday, December 13, 2010

Where Does the Ozark Medieval Fortress Find Workers?

On my tours, people have asked this question at the beginning, middle and end of the tour if I don’t say something about it first. In Medieval Europe, the lord would contact a master mason to be the designer and foreman of the castle project. This master mason would then find the artisans (particularly the stone cutters) and arrange with the lord for the workers. At the Ozark Medieval Fortress, the French investors had to split these tasks. For the design of the castle they contacted the head of the school of architectural history at the University of France at Paris. The head mason to serve on-site for 2010 they found in California. He is French-born and trained. Franck Falgairette, Master Mason for Ozark Medieval Fortress (pictured) worked with his father on Roman ruins in Algeria and Italy. He also worked on cathedral restoration in Italy and castle restoration in France. He came to the Ozark Medieval Fortress to supervise in the manner of the 13th Century and also to recruit and train the other masons and stone cutters.

All the other employed workers and artisans for 2010 were Americans. We did have the pleasure of the volunteer expert help of Rasmus Dahl of Denmark. Many other people came and worked as volunteers, some for one day and others for extended times. Volunteers came from as far away as Michigan and Wisconsin. Our employees drove anywhere from one mile to 50+ miles one way each day. Catherine, the goodwife at the wool cottage, came to work for the Ozark Medieval Fortress all the way from Mississippi. Janell, the basket weaver, came to us from Oklahoma. All these people came together to create an amazing and successful 2010 season. If you were a guest this year, you know what I mean. Otherwise, I’ll look forward to seeing you at the Ozark Medieval Fortress in 2011.

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