We’re sure you’ve heard of historic reenactors.
Just like costumed interpreters at historic sites like Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia or Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts, reenactors dress up in authentic period costumes and play roles as people from the past.
But unlike costumed employees at historic sites, reenactors are not paid to do it. Instead, reenactors just suit up for the pure love of history.
Though they’re amateurs, many reenactors are serious history buffs who’ve read hundreds of history books and have become experts not only in the people and events of the past, but also in the details of everyday life in the past, from cooking to soldiering.
And of course reenactors know about historic clothing. Some have become so expert on sewing garments of a particular time in the past that they’re affectionately known by other reenactors as “stitch counters.”
Historic reenacting started in the 20th century with reenactment of battles from the Civil War. Since then, reenactors have started to put on battles from every major war fought by Americans, from the French and Indian War in the 1750s and 1760s through World War II.
Reenactors have also branched out beyond recreating battle scenes and military camp life into staging period-accurate dances and balls, market fairs and other interesting episodes from the past.
We admire organized reenactors a great deal and we doff our hats and caps to them.
In fact, we admire what they do so much, bringing history to life, that we’ve decided to take reenacting beyond organized events into everyday life. After all, only a small number of Americans attend battle reenactments or costume balls. We want to reach all the others with the magic of historic reenactment.