Kathy He

Kathy He

Early history relived at Fort Rodd Hill

Period re-enactors gather for Historical Timelines event

If you don’t have a time machine, this might be the next best thing.

Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Site will take you back hundreds or even thousands of years, from the Roman empire, to the middle ages to early modern history for an up-close and personal look at the lives of our ancestors.

“We have lots of different re-enactors from various areas, all coming with their period costumes and uniforms. It is very authentic,” said park spokesperson Sophie Lauro of the site’s Historical Timelines exhibit and demonstrations, happening today (June 17) through Sunday. “The folks that come and participate have so much knowledge from history that they like to present to our visitors.”

Period armourers, weavers, carpenters, bead makers, bucket makers, calligraphers and other set up tents and other displays and live their lives on site, working with the tools and techniques from long-gone eras. Some even showcase techniques that start with raw materials, providing hands-on experiences for visitors who want to beat their own flax and watch how bread was made centuries ago.

Re-enactors are also available to answer questions, as many have a deep and rich understanding of the period they represent. Some visitors even dress up for the period themselves, while others bring antiques from home to ask re-enactors about.

“They really tailor the information to the audience that they speak to,” Lauro said, noting that a five year old, for example, would hear a description they could understand. “Some people who come are history buffs. Re-enactors can tailor information to someone looking for something specific or detailed, as well.”

Timelines stretch from 122 AD right up to the early 1900s, with various centuries represented in between. The event showcases periods of history in a unique and personalized way the whole family can enjoy.

“It’s a true family event. A lot of re-enactors bring their own family, so you will see their little kids  dressed in middle aged clothing, making butter,” Lauro said. “I think there is something for everyone.”

Regular admission to the Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Site applies. Entrance fees are $3.90 for adults, $3.40 for seniors, $1.90 for youth and $9.80 for a family of four.

For details, visit pc.gc.ca/fortroddhill or call 250-478-6481.