LIMA — History comes alive at the Allen County Museum.
The public was invited to the museum Saturday for the 7th annual Living History Day.
The day featured a wide variety of exhibits and re-enactors on the museum grounds.
“It’s where we showcase crafts and also military re-enactors. Today [Saturday] we have [re-enactors] from the French and Indian War through World War I represented,” said Sarah Rish, Curator of Education at the Allen County Museum.
The goal of Living History Day is to provide an educational experience for families as they learn how our predecessors lived in pioneer times.
“We’re getting farther and farther removed from people knowing what it was like to have lived back in pioneer days or even knowing how to make butter and things like that, so that’s kind of what this is, is learning about the past and it’s a lot better than reading about it in a book,” she said.
Re-enactors included people portraying former presidents Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. Mark Mohr, a museum docent, was in pioneer garb, cooking in the log house.
“This log home was built out by the Ohio State Highway Patrol headquarters in the mid-1800’s by Peter Faze, so this is an authentic Allen County log home,” said Mohr.
One of the biggest challenges of pioneers in the area was preparing meals. While the men were gathering firewood and hunting, the women were cooking.
“For one thing, it was an all-day long job for the girls and the wives. By the time you cooked breakfast, you had to start preparing lunch. By the time you finished lunch, you had to start on the evening meal,” said Mohr.
Even with temperatures in the 90s Saturday, there was a roaring fire in the fireplace as Mohr and 10-year-olds Abigail Cramer and Miracle Hamilton helped prepare meatloaf and a German apple cake.
“They [early pioneers] would have a summer kitchen outside in the hot July and August months. There would have been a separate kitchen outdoors,” said Mohr.
Robert May was another re-enactor on the museum grounds.
He represented a Revolutionary War pioneer.
“All of the kids come through wanting to know, ‘Is that a real gun? Is that a real fire? Is that a real deer hide or bear hide?’ Kids have great imaginations, but we’ve stifled it. We try to let them think and let them discover all of this stuff, and their ancestors were all here at that time somewhere along the line. So we try to let them understand that that’s where they came from and how impressive their ancestors were that they came through all of this and as a result, here they are today,” said May.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.