Historical Re-Enactments Bring History to Life
Living history programs and events in Western Massachusetts happen all year round and include local historical re-enactors portraying the life of New Englanders centuries ago at encampments and school programs. They often showcase the skills and activities of people during war time periods such as the American Revolutionary War or the Civil War. Participating historians help to preserve the heritage of our region’s past and the study of American history. In addition to encampments, some units engage in battle reenactments which are rehearsed recreations of actual battles.
10th Mass Volunteer Infantry
This living history group based in Franklin County hosts local skirmishes at public events, including Veterans Day Observances. Honoring those who served in the Civil War, the 10th Mass Volunteer Infantry preserves history through living history events, reenactments and parades throughout Western Massachusetts and New England. Visit them online for their schedule of events at 10thmass.com.
Old Sturbridge Village – Sturbridge, MA
Every August, Old Sturbridge Village hosts Rebels & Redcoats. This event is one of the largest re-enactments in New England. The village becomes a large military camp from the Revolutionary War. Visitors can walk through the camp, witness mock battles and skirmishes, see historic training exercises and learn about the different uniforms and fashions of the time for both militia and military. Also features cannon and musket demonstrations, and a battlefield hospital.
Historic Deerfield – Deerfield, MA
In April, Historic Deerfield hosts their annual Patriots Day Revolutionary Muster & Parade, offering a full day of activities, including a colonial-era encampment, fife and drum music, a re-enacted skirmish, and period activities for a hands-on integrated experience that supports learning about Revolutionary times.
[Photo Credit: Sienna Wildfield]
Excerpt from Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts (Seasons: Nov/Dec), a downloadable bimonthly publication produced by Hilltown Families that sheds light on embedded learning opportunities found in cultural resources that exist within the geography, history, and cultural traditions of Western Massachusetts.