Have you ever wanted to go back in time and experience just a tiny bit about how people back then lived? Well I have ever since I started enjoying hearing and seeing stories of times long past and was brought to life through books and movies. Maybe that started my fascination with museums and history, stimulating my imagination on how people lived, from their clothes to their customs and traditions that they performed in day to day life.
On October 20th, I was transported back in time to the late 1700s and early 1800s at the Fort Massac Encampment in Fort Massac State Park in Metropolis, Illinois. A free event that lasts for two days and is visited by at least 30,000 people every year. The historic site is filled with tents of homemade crafts, and historical reenactors that represented the French, British, and Americans, and demonstrated the skills and lifestyle of early residents in the area.
Walking towards the encampment, the area bustles with many sights, smells, and sounds of activity that pulls you in every direction. Everywhere you stepped you were assailed by music of bagpipes, seeing men dressed as troops, women candle dipping or selling their crafts, and children playing with their wooden toys.
The events follow a reliable schedule of the thunderous boom of cannons, a mock battle between the troops, listening to the Royal Highlanders Bagpipe Band, watching voyagers canoe at the riverfront, and so much more. Another amazing thing is that some of the people who participate in the encampment, also visit other states and perform in other reenactments and fairs. Therefore, if you’ve ever wanted to have a fun time in getting a sense of life portrayed in the past, then the next historical fair or re-enactment that you hear about might be up your alley. This experience for me was one I truly enjoyed and pushes me toward the learning on how museums that display art and history can provide so much joy. Especially, when one is able to see people from all over come to celebrate history, by giving them a chance to time travel even for a bit.
Museum Science and Management Student Brooke Dillon