Saturday, May 7, 2011

Living History

You've seen them. Those characters dressed up in period costumes, telling the tales of yore. They're everywhere. Ghost towns, historically preserved mansions, tourist hotspots like Colonial Williamsburg or Old Sturbridge Village. Some of you like them, some of you are annoyed by them, some of you are completely ambivalant about them. Well, I'm one of them. We are re-enactors and we absolutely love what we do. This is the start of re-enacting season for me. Right now I'm co-coordinating a group of re-enactors for the big Daly Mansion shindig in July. We will fill the mansion with costumed volunteers. Some will portray wealthy guest and some will be servants or grounds keepers. All will have equal pay in the fun and frivolity department.
Daly Days Cast
On flag day, in June, I'll portray a widow a the local military post cemetery, telling a mysterious tale of the transfer of remains from one fort to another and the possibility that the job may not have been done up to muster. Some or all of the bodies may be missing! I also share the stories of two soldiers buried at the post cemetery.
Fort Missoula Stories and Stones
In October, I'll be telling the sorrowful tale of the deaths of 6 young children belonging to the Frank Woody family. Mr. and Mrs. Woody were founding members of our community and quite influential in the establishment of the town. I've portrayed Mrs. Woody for several years now and each year I tell a different snippet of her life story. As a young girl she crossed the plains by covered wagon, fell into a camp fire and was horribly burned. As a young woman, she became a teacher and was our town's second teacher. As a married woman, she bore 9 children, buried 6 and continued to influence all those around her with her generous spirit. These stories would be lost to time, if not for the dedicated volunteers who spend countless hours researching and compiling the information.
My research time and energies will be spent on these projects until fall. I may find tidbits of my own family history along the way, and I'll post those discoveries as they come. But I'll be back, full force when these projects are completed.

"Frank H. and Sarah Woody" Montana Pioneers

1 comment:

  1. I personally love living history re-enactments. I've never been involved with it myself, but I enjoy watching them.