The group was founded in 1992, by three individuals who had been active in the SCA, but due to career opportunities had found themselves in an area without a local group. Gauselin the Lost, from Mugmort (southern Ohio), opened a booth at a Renaissance Faire hosted by a local high school in the spring of 1992, to determine if there was any local interest. There she met Katryn Draper y Torres, previously a Minister of Arts for the Marche of the Unicorn (Dayton, Ohio), and Wolfram von Nurnberg, a fighter from Trimaris (Florida), who now lived in the Mansfield area. Although the interest generated at the Renaissance Faire was nominal at most, the three individuals decided to try and start a local branch.
Gauselin talked her reluctant husband into joining and made many phone calls to kingdom officers and to other people she heard might be interested. She found that we would be the sixth member (at that time) of the territorial Barony Middle Marches. (At that time, Middle Marches claimed most of Ohio except for the Cincinnati, Dayton, Toldeo and Cleveland metro areas.) The seneschal of the Marche of Tirnewydd (Columbus, Ohio) said that they would sponsor the group if the founders did get it going. Everyone gathered one evening in May of 1992 to discuss the chances of a group succeeding.
Those present agreed that it would be exciting to form a local group and the initial officers were chosen. Because of their backgrounds, Wolfram volunteered to train as a Marshal and Katryn volunteered to be the Minister of Arts. When the office of seneschal (group president) was discussed, all eyes turned to Gauselin who promptly screamed "NO" and was therefore made seneschal (since it was her idea in the first place). Other seneschals for Three Towers have included Peter Engleke, Galen o'Gradaigh, Giles fitz Alan, William the Wayward and our current seneschal, Michael Stokes, who began his term as seneschal in August 2011.
The name Marche of Three Towers was chosen due to the proximity of a state prison, county and city jails. (Jails being referred to as "Towers" in period) Meetings soon gathered a dozen people at a time. In the mostly rural area of central Ohio, this was felt to be a good attendance.
The Marche was recognized by the Middle Kingdom and made Incipient (a probationary group) in November of 1992. Gauselin received the Order of the Purple Fret for her work in starting the group. The group applied for full status on the second anniversary of Incipiency (Nov 1994), and was accepted to that level at the 1995 Pennsic War. (Pennsic War is the largest event held by the Society. For more information, see www.sca.org.)
At that time, feeling that she had completed the work she had started, Gauselin relinquished the office of Seneschal to Richard Hoad, who served for a year. Aine the Dreamseeker then took over and held the office for four years.
Our name was approved by the Laurel King of Arms during this time, while our device needed some changes. We resubmitted it in Dec of 1997, in April, 1998, it was sent to the Laurel Queen of Arms, and was finally approved in July of that year.
Marche of Three Towers has held a number of events since our inception, usually focused around our beloved Barony of Middle Marches. We have also hosted the Middle Marches Baronial Championships, and the Northern Oaken Regional Arts & Science Symposium.
When Baron Thomas and Baroness Margaret of the Middle Marches announced their intention to step down from their offices at the October 1997 Middle Marches Baronial Championships, a number of groups decided that it was time to try to form a new barony. Middle Marches had by then grown to 13 groups, becoming too large to administer as a single barony. Marche Three Towers has joined Gwyntarian, Alderford, and Thistle as a part of the Barony of Brendoken, created in February 2004.
We regularly serve the greater Ashland community by participating in the Ashland Middle School Medieval Days celebration every May. During 2012, we're also focusing on bringing in new members, and hope to welcome those who find us on the web or in the community!
We've continued to share and educate folks about medieval culture in our community and in our region. After the turn of the century, membership dipped a bit, but in 2012, we're proud to say that we're going strong. Over a dozen members regularly attend meetings. This year, we are featuring monthly arts education classes along with our regular calendar. Contact the New Members officer for information on those classes.