|A portion of Troy Historical Village. They did a fine job in their recreation of a 19th century village by using actual restored structures from the surrounding area.|
After a year's hiatus, the Troy Historic Village (in Troy, Michigan) held its second lantern tour, and, just as two years ago, it was a great success.
|Here I am in front of my General Store and Post Office.|
|Note the authentic post office inside the store|
But I must say, I really enjoyed it. I suppose it's because I've been the postmaster in the local reenacting community for so long (nearly 10 years!) that it almost seemed to be getting monotonous. I love changing up my presentation here and there and enjoy being able to venture off the beaten path of strictly the post office & mail and be able to speak about other things of the 1860's as well; within the past two years or so I have also included in my presentations what it was like to travel by stagecoach as well as a description of staying overnight and eating in a tavern.
But with the additional information that I have found in my research of being a general store owner I was able to add a new realm to my 1860's occupational life, and thus enjoyed incorporating the post office and general store and began my presentation to the public by saying, "Welcome to my store where I carry cradles and coffins and everything in between!" (I stole the 'cradles & coffins' thing from a book I own.).
|Why, yes, I do have canned beef. How many would you like?|
I bounced back and forth between 1st and 3rd person during my presentations. This allowed me the ability to show the good folks in a more effective manner the differences between the 1860's to our modern time. And it did make it easier to answer questions.
|Young ladies setting on my porch before they tend to the wounded soldiers in the local church. (The young girl on the right is my daughter)|
Aside from my post office/general store on this lantern walk, there were also Union and Confederate camps, a grieving mother in mourning, the U.S. Christian Commission with wounded soldiers, and a laundress. The visitors on the tour seemed to really enjoy what they saw and heard and were very interested in history being presented this way.
|This poor soldier had a pretty nasty head wound. It was a hard row to hoe, but he survived, due in no small part to...|
|...the care of Mrs. Morgan, the wife of the local pastor.|
|The Union was camped just on the outskirts of town, making an abandoned cabin their headquarters|
|Poor Mrs. Parr, who's husband is off fighting to squelch the rebellion, lost a toddler to whooping cough. The village was there to comfort her during such a trying time.|
I really enjoy presenting in this way, for it "strongly encourages" all who do to learn even more about everyday life in the past - to expand our social history knowledge.
By doing tours and other presentations such as this has personally taken me much deeper than I ever would've imagined into this world of a long ago time. Heck!----I really don't even call it reenacting anymore - it's living history to me now. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought that joining a reenacting unit would turn into what it has become for me.
And it's getting better all the time...
for a few more examples of my living history excursions.
And click HERE to learn more about 19th century general stores.