Making Young People Feel Welcome at Your Event

~Kristen Mrozek

Look around at your next reenacting event. How many young people do you see? Children, teens, and young adults were a great part of the 19th century culture. Their participation as living historians today shapes the future of the reenacting community as a whole. This session will focus on ways to include or recruit young people at your events, and to encourage them to be leaders. This will include practical tips for keeping children and teenagers engaged at living history events.

Are You Hot in those Clothes? Warm Weather Wear for Men

~Bill Christen

The question of “are you hot wearing those clothes?” often comes from a curious spectator at reenacting events. How did men alter their clothing to survive warm climates? In the modern age of air conditioning, it can be hard to imagine staying cool without such conveniences. This presentation will cover the 19th century answers to coping with summer heat, including fabric choices and how people kept cool beyond clothing.


19th Century Entertainments:

Children and Adults

~Michael Mescher    

This presentation will explore a sampling of some of the different types of activities that could be enjoyed at parties and family gatherings. These will include parlor games, simple magic, tableaux vivants, and demonstrations of some of the elements. Other activities, e.g., board games, will be described and attendees can examine period examples and accurate reproductions.

Civil War Collection:

William L. Clements Library

~J. Kevin Graffagnino

Students of early American history know the Clements Library for its extraordinary array of primary sources on the exploration and discovery of North America, the colonial wars for control of the continent, and the era of the American Revolution. It may surprise some people to know that the Clements also has a remarkable collection of books, maps, photographs, manuscripts, newspapers, and other original materials on the Civil War.  Clements director J. Kevin Graffagnino's presentation offers a visual overview of the breadth and depth of the Library's Civil War holdings, suggesting opportunities for research on all aspects of the great conflict and its lasting impact on our nation.  

All workshops will be held Friday, March 24th at Monroe Community College, with the exception of the Clements Library visit, which can be found on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor. Registration for workshops is separate from the regular conference registration. 

Visiting the Clements Library

~Clements Library Curators

The Clements Library is offering an opportunity to tour the rare books room, along with time to look through specially selected resources pertaining to mid-19th century sources. Built in the 1920s in the Italian Renaissance style, the library serves the University of Michigan and the community.

This workshop is approximately 45 minutes away from Monroe, and will require attendees to provide their own transportation.

Doll Basics 101- 1850-1865

~Samantha Stanley

In a sea of so called “reproductions,” how do you find the best doll for your impression? Samantha will discuss the basic doll styles, materials and construction appropriate for reenacting. Students will look at original dolls in different materials and sizes; don’t forget clothing! By examining original doll garments, we can compare the doll ensemble to the mid-19th century fashion worn by real women, and the effects of such realistic play.

Bringing the Past to Life

~Ken Giorlando, Larissa Fleishman, and Jackie Schubert

Imagine stepping into a historic house or room only to find an assemblage of folks from the past carrying on as if time had stopped. Listen in on the conversations of these "spirits" from another era and witness their actions as if another time came to life before your eyes. 

This session will focus on how relatively easy it is to turn the past into the present, as if creating a portal in time for visitors by just watching. This includes conversations topics, manner of speaking, and a general feeling of living in “another time.”

Pineapple Purse

~Ava Coleman

This session will concentrate on learning the techniques necessary to complete a replica of a small, knitted and beaded, high fashioned, Victorian silk purse.

For Intermediate to advanced knitters. Participants must be able to easily perform cast-on, bind-off, increases,and decreases in multiple ways. The ability to follow instructions from a printed page is necessary.The purse is constructed using multiple small double pointed needles. This should not be a first dp needle knitting project.

A materials package is available and can be customized for color preferences, prior to March 1. After that only the colors shown on the class model will be available. Cost of this package may vary depending on bead selection. The instructor will contact each student individually to discuss preferences and additional class supplies.

Joseph Holt and the Trial of the Lincoln Conspirators

~Steven J. Ramold, Ph.D.

In the chaotic aftermath of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, the burden of ensuring justice President fell on the shoulders of Joseph Holt, the Union Army’s Judge Advocate General (JAG).  A vengeful public demanded that no conspirators escape punishment, but Holt was determined to provide a fair trial. While many were unsatisfied with the outcome of the proceedings, few have placed their criticism on Joseph Holt, who is generally considered to have conducted a fair and accurate investigation into the tragic events at Ford’s Theater.

An Apron to Every Purpose

~Glenna Jo Christen

Aprons, pretty or practical, were an essential part of a woman’s wardrobe in the 19th century. Workshop attendees will see period images and examine original examples of the five basic types of aprons worn in the mid 19th century and learn which apron(s) are appropriate for their period impression(s). They will then learn to make their own knitting apron as well as how to adapt the design to make a gathering apron.Type your paragraph here.

Oh Good Grief; The History of Mourning Practices

~Jomarie Soszynski

Queen Victoria did not invent mourning! The ritualized practice of mourning has been with us forever. Codifying mourning with clothing and social practices seems to be based on what Victoria did and how the social critics of the time interpreted her actions. The presentation will provide a history of mourning, and how it helped shape the 19th century as a whole

Endorsed By:

In a Family Way: Pregnancy and Childbirth in the 1850s and 1860s

~Glenna Jo Christen

Attitudes towards pregnancy have certainly changed over past 150 years. Do you wonder what they wore or what “confinement” really meant to the 19th century person? This “Hatching” presentation will answer those and other related questions using quotations from period letters and diaries, etc. as well as visual examples of original maternity clothing. Suggestions for how to reproduce maternity clothing will also be included.

All seminars are included in the registration for the conference. They will be held at Monroe Community College, March 25-26. Sessions run concurrently, with attendees selecting any of the following topics.

Matching: A Retrospective Exhibition of American Civil War Era Wedding Photographs

~Susan Anthony

Presenter Susan Anthony will share her extensive collection of period "wedding photographs" of couples, and related items, organized in time and geography, and accompanied by discussion of weddings and wedding photography, as well as readings from letters in Susan's collection. Part lecture, part performance, Susan's one-time-only presentation promises to be both insightful and memorable.