LAFARGEVILLE One can relive the past only if there are people willing to tell others about period activities and re-enact historic events.
That is what Catherine G. Arie, Philadelphia, said she envisions for north country communities.
A lot of people in the hobby have grandkids now, and were getting them interested in it, Mrs. Arie said Saturday at the Living History Timeline and Civil War Re-enactment at the Northern New York Agricultural Historical Society Museum at Stone Mills, 34312 Route 180. Id like to get more re-enactors and the public out to these.
Only six tents with people in character and appropriate attire and accessories were displayed Sunday on the museums grounds as part of the two-day event. Mrs. Arie said that while re-enactors came to the event to educate people about various time periods, wars and activities, they also were trying to recruit more people, particularly children, to join in the fun.
We dont have as many young people in the hobby, Mrs. Arie said as she spun sheeps wool into yarn. The kids could help spin wool, watch the camp and, with a battle, lots of times theyre a flag bearer. Theres a lot that kids can do.
Hawkeye J. Hawk Douglass, 9, Potsdam, was the only child re-enactor at Sundays event. Dressed in a white shirt and pants, replicas from the mid-1700s, Hawk said hes old enough now to be part of re-enactments, acting as the water boy in battles. He said hes also pretty good at hand-making kindling to start fires.
Honestly, I dont think there are enough kids doing this, the fourth-grader at Potsdam Central School said. I go out maybe 10 times a summer.
His father, Stephen J. Douglass Jr., said re-enacting history with his son creates a special bond between the two and teaches his son responsibility. He said that much like cleaning his room at home, Hawk must clean his tent, which may have tools, toys and other period objects strewn about.
Mrs. Arie said that if children gave history a chance, they would learn interesting facts, such as the evolution of weaponry.
Richard R. Rick Pickert, Philadelphia, showed off his .54-caliber hunting musket, a replica of one used in the 1800s.
Once a month, Mr. Pickert camps primitively and teaches himself ways to survive by living off of the land. He attributes his love of history to watching movies about Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone when he was a kid. It inspired me, and I really like history, he said.
Mr. Pickert is a member of the Warren Ferris Party of the American Mountain Men, through which he and about a dozen others throughout the state practice challenges from the mid-1800s.
For more information on other museum events or to get connected with a re-enactor, call the museum at 658-2353.