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Hop in the DeLorean, folks!

Dukin' it out, 1812 style. Photo via Dad.
Last weekend, The Boy, the 'rents and I loaded up the Volvo station wagon and took a DeLorean-esque trip back in time to 1812. More specifically, we visited the large-scale, reenactment-bonanza that is Mississinewa 1812. If you're not familiar with the glorious spectacle that is grown men and women dressing up in costumes in order to recreate scenes from the distant past, you're in luck! 'Cause I'm gonna

The littlest reencator.
Photo is mine.
Historical reenactments are events, usually designed for public education and entertainment (but sometimes just for nerd love), that recreate to varying degrees the conditions and actions of an historical event or time period. If you ever went to a living history museum on a field trip where the facilitators talked to you while churning butter in a log cabin and pretending not to know what your cell phone was, you've witnessed historical reenactment. The Mississinewa 1812 takes reenactment to a whole new level. Hundreds of people, of every age (we literally saw babies dressed up in 19th century garb), gather on the banks of the Mississinewa River to live out the experiences of the American Indians, American soldiers, and British crown soldiers who lived and fought there during the War of 1812. And just so you don't think I'm the only one into this stuff, there were probably close to a thousand spectators there too...

If you're a history dork like me, you'd appreciate the opportunity to  better understand one of the lesser-known conflicts of American history, to see often painstakingly accurate representations of a historical lifestyles (many reenactors are HARD CORE about their craft, hand making their clothes and accessories or using actual artifacts to better represent the past), and gain perspective on how our country was formed from a variety of cultures (Indians! Pirates! Settlers! Minstrels! Militiamen!) There's a butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker... a pirate battle (yes, river pirates would attack settlements from time to time), a blacksmith's shop, Indian encampment, food tents, and a medical clinic, all created to transport viewers back to a place in time.

The Boy checks out the Dr's leeches. Yum.
Photo is mine.
NOTE: If you hate history, you can enjoy the following activities: eating large turkey legs and fresh kettle corn, listening to many things go "boom," gawking at people in funny clothes, listening to a story teller (we sang a Miami Indian chipmunk song for the next three days), buying a bird whistle and driving everyone around you crazy by blowing it incessantly, or getting your fortune told.

If none of this sounds fun to you, then you are a stick in the mud. Sorry.

Actually, it might not have been fun for this horse either.
Photo via Dad.


  1. I love that you wrote about civil war reenacting and that you enjoyed going to one! If you are willing to travel, Greenfield Village in Michigan puts on a huge reenactment every labor day (I think)! It is a little known fact that back in high school I dallied in civil war reenacting with a few friends - I'll have to show you the dresses I made sometime.


  2. awesome! i definitely want to have a historical fashion show. one year I dressed up for 1812 and it was so fun. i'm seeing a roadtrip in our future... :)


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