BUCKHANNON – The West Virginia State Wildlife Center held a living history reenactment over the weekend, where several exhibitors set up exhibits to teach the public about the days — and decades — past.
Around 500 people visited the center over the weekend and were able to see 20 exhibitors showcasing multiple acquired skills. Exhibitors came from surrounding counties and beyond. Last year one exhibitor traveled over 150 miles to participate. The people who made the event possible showcased talents and skills such as hide tanning and campfire cooking.
Roun Tuet reportedly started the event over five years ago as a lone camper who wanted to share the technical skills used at the start and shed light on the story of our early days. These skills and knowledge have been accumulated over the years and the event has grown to around 30 registered exhibitors. Due to unforeseen circumstances, not all 30 sites were able to participate this year.
The goal Tuet had in mind when starting the Rendezvous or Living Re-enactment was to prepare a walking history exhibit that was inclusive of pre-colonial days through the Civil War era. “Many events are time-specific, but ours is all-inclusive,” Tuet said.
If you missed the event, be on the lookout for upcoming exhibits. “Come learn and enjoy,” Tuet invited. “It’s just a bunch of old jerks, sitting around trying to educate people about how life was back then. We like to call it “period correction”.
“We are very honored to have been chosen as the venue for the reenactment each year. This event works very well with what we are trying to promote here; conserve nature but also have skills to enjoy nature. Sometimes it’s really nice to have a refresher on all the different abilities that were in use back then,” said Trevor Moore, wildlife biologist at the West Virginia State Wildlife Center and W.Va. Division of Natural Resources. . “One of my favorite exhibits is always that of the gunsmith. However, the exhibit that showcases cooking skills is really interesting.
The group is always looking to expand the number of exhibitors, so if you or someone you know has pre-colonial skills at Civil War reenactment or would like to exhibit camp, contact Judy Channell at [email protected] or call (304) 472-7729.