Monday, April 29, 2013

The Gathering at Macktown - Living History

About a decade or so ago, our dearest friends (pert near family!), took our oldest child with them to her first historical reenactment encampment.  She was 4 1/2. And she adored it. As her little brother got older, he joined in the fun around the same age (but was reluctant to do overnights as early as she did). G3 is of the same age and wants to day trip it. The next one they do is fairly close, so we might let him go for a day. Since his personality is so different from his older siblings, we shall see. Or, one of us will finally dress up as well and go along with. Connie & Dave know what they are getting into with him, so who knows, lol!

Connie & Dave

The persona that my children have has changed over since they started (as our friends children have grown up and moved on....and far away). Currently, they are indentured servants for our friends and are in the 1780's time period. They are French.

Dave Titter at closing ceremonies - center

So, this weekend kicked off the first reenactment of the year for the older 2 children at Macktown, a Living History Education Center in Rockton, IL. M2 went early and participated in the school day. G2 stayed behind because our church had their Men & Boys retreat and he just could not choose one. Gary drove him to Macktown after the retreat was over on Saturday afternoon & we went and picked them up about an hour before it ended.
G2 in front of The Ordinary
At some of the reenactments, M2 is an indentured servant in an "inn" - The Ordinary. She has a friend that she really clicked with last year at Trail of History in McHenry, IL that she got to work with at the inn again at Macktown (and probably at Kenosha & Trail this year). G2 is standing in front of the sign for The Ordinary (above).

G2 - center - green westcoat - closing ceremonies
G2 gets  to run around with the boys, but he also hauls wood, water, plays with knives, marches with his "gun" with the "militia" group at opening/closing ceremonies - fun stuff like that.  His favorite thing so far was getting to participate in reenacting battles at Trail of History. I think he had to die once last year (in fact, his group lost the battle!). The second time around, they were victorious, lol!

The yellow behind M2 is one of the voyageurs canoes.
When we got to Macktown, we knew we were there only an hour before closing time. That was just fine as we got to watch the closing ceremonies. Then, right away, G3 & M3 got to trade the "beaver pelt" they were issued at the gate with the voyageurs. They traded their pelt for a shiny bead. And lo & behold, big sister was there to help string the beads for the children. They were so excited to see her there! They had missed her terribly these last 5 days. After they got their cherished bead necklaces, we hiked up towards the tents where we knew we would find big brother.

Bead threading after the beaver "skin" trade
On the way, G3 was distracted by a man in a skirt that was wearing a "redcoat" & cleaning his musket. G3 immediately stated that that man in the redcoat was a bad man! We were a little shocked....until it occurred to me that he had watched several episodes of Liberty's Kids with his siblings... The Redcoats were the bad guys!! Ha!  We explained to him that the skirt was a kilt & then G3 asked a couple of questions about the musket.

Then we were off to find big brother!!  Dave & Connie presented G3 & M3 with their first wooden guns. They thought that was fabulous! M3 was not willing to give her gun to G3, much to his dismay... he wanted to have 2 to run around with (the easier to get the bad guys with, I guess).

G3 has the newly acquired weapons over his head.
We feel so privileged that our children have been able to participate in these reenactments. They have had a window to history opened for them that very few children have even the slightest thought about.  They don't just read about the history in books - they get to reenact some parts of it. Be in the battles, experience the life of indentured servants, wear funny clothes (and know when someone is quite obviously confused about the period of a certain piece of clothing, lol!).  At night, when the public is gone, they have gotten to sit in on all kinds of discussion around the campfire. They have learned a lot and I am so blessed that get this chance to help educate others at the same time.

M3 & Connie


  1. Such a great opportunity and experience for the children. Thanks to Connie and Dave for helping their love of history grow and just having plain o'l fun in the process.

  2. They are the best, aren't they! Just love them to death!