West Virginia Wildlife Center hosts living history reenactment

A camp set up at the 2022 living history reenactment held at the West Virginia State Wildlife Center on Friday, August 5 and Saturday, August 6.

BUCKHANNON — The West Virginia State Wildlife Center hosted a living history reenactment over the weekend, where multiple exhibitors set up displays to teach the public about days – and decades – gone by.

Around 500 people visited the center over the course of the weekend and were able to view 20 exhibitors showcasing multiple learned skills. The exhibitors travelled 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 tanning hides and campfire cooking.

Roun Tuet reportedly started the event over five years ago as a lone camper who wanted to share technical skills used in the early days and shed light on the history of our beginnings. These skills and knowledge have been collected throughout 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 reenactment was to work up to a walk-through history exhibit that is inclusive from pre-colonial days all the way to Civil War times. “A lot of events are time specific, however ours is all inclusive,” Tuet mentioned.

If you missed the event, be on the lookout for future exhibits. “Come learn and enjoy,” invited Tuet. “It’s just a bunch of us old farts, sitting around trying to educate people on how life was back then. We like to call it ‘period correctness.”

“We are so honored to be chosen as the location for the reenactment each year. This event works really well with what we are trying to promote here; conserving nature but also having skills to enjoy nature. Sometimes it’s really nice to get a refresher on all the different abilities that were used 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 exhibitions is always the gunsmith. However, the exhibition that showcases cooking skills is really interesting.”

The group is always looking to expand on exhibitors, so if you or someone you know has some pre-colonial to Civil War re-enacting skills or would like to exhibit a camp, contact Judy Channell at [email protected] or call (304) 472-7729.


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