This weekend 9/3 & 9/4 there will be a really wonderful Civil War Re-enactment event at the historical Museum Village in Monroe NY – Orange County (about 1 hr north of NYC). Go to their website for more information. If you are a history lover or would just like to have a fun day in the Orange County country side this going to be quite a fun and interesting day.
This living history museum village is styled after everyone’s favorite – Old Sturbridge Village in Mass. but the focus in history at the Monroe Village is from 1860 forward into the industrial revolution.
Sturbridge Villiage’s focus is on late 18th Century up to 1860. The Monroe Museum Village picks up where Old Sturbridge leaves off. I have started to read up on this Victorian Era and I’m really enjoying it and discovering just how rapidly and totally the world changed in the time after the Civil War. Monroe’s Museum Village has over 20 historical buildings set up to display various things like printing, textiles, blacksmithing, an apothecary, a one room school-house, a large Mercantile Store and wonderful period Costume Emporium showing period apparel of the time – and just a lot, lot more. They create a wonderful interactive environment with interpreters and instructors on hand to bring the history alive. And, the size of their fully archived collection is very impressive and wide-ranging. They have a humongous amount of stuff for history lovers to drool over!!
What I love about Monroe’s village is the time period: The Civil War and the impetus that brought on the massive world altering industrial revolution. Especially interesting to me is that this is the time period that the sewing machine was invented – that one event was important enough to change the entire world!! Imagine going from having to make every garment worn by your family by hand vs. having a sewing machine. Hello, sweat shops and mass produce apparel. All types of machines were invented to manufacture all types of things that use to take long, tedious hand craft to make. The need to support the war effort was a factor, but America got moving – and kept moving. I find this era, with its Victorian influence to be a particularly interesting period in American history.
Things prior to that had changed very little and very slowly, but the changes that took place once the industrial revolution started seemed to catapult everything forward very rapidly in the urban areas and it started a period of time in our history that resulted people moving around a lot – mostly to the urban areas to work in the new factories. The rural areas stayed quite provincial for the most part…
Well, I’m no historian but I love history and loosing myself in the feeling of stepping back in time. I’ve always loved to watch historical period movies and live re-enactment so I’ll be at the Monroe Village this weekend. The Civil War encampment of the 5th Regiment will be there rain or shine – doing demos and giving talks on the various aspects of camp life during the Civil War. I’m sure I’ll purchase several books on the Victorian Era at their gift shop and taking lots of pictures of the period apparel.
Sewing for history,