We happened upon a 18th Century event last weekend which was being held at the
Old Stone House in Slippery Rock, PA, formerly a 19th Century stagecoach tavern
and now a museum of Western PA history.
The stone house was built in
1822 as a stagecoach tavern on the newly-constructed Pittsburgh to Erie Pike. It
provided rest and respite for travelers until about 1918, when it was abandoned.
The Old Stone House
was rescued by the Western Pennsylvania
Conservancy in 1963, which restored the historic building. In 1999 Slippery Rock
University took over the site, and it is managed by faculty and students from
the history department, a great way to study hands-on history.
driven past this house my entire life as it sits quietly at the crossroads of
Routes 8 and 173, just north of the Jennings Environmental Center.
the home and its spring house as their backdrop, 30 to 40 re-enactors took over
the place for two days this past weekend and brought living history to those
lucky enough to visit.
The re-enactors were part of the French and
Indian War Weekend, revisiting the Conflict on the Venango Trail. We happened
upon the festivities to witness a simulated trade of goods between the Native
Americans, who brought pelts, and the English colonists, who traded weapons,
tools, blankets and other necessities and gifts such as beads and
To let you know how authentic these actors were, one young boy
about ten-years-old was scared of those in costume, a lot of whom were carrying
weapons. His grandmother went up to a man dressed as a Native American wearing
lots of "English" accessories and asked if he would talk to the young boy about
what he did in "real" life to ease the boy's mind.
The man asked the boy
if he had ever heard of the television shows, NCIS
then said that's what he did when he wasn't portraying a Native American: He
was a criminal investigator.
Listening to the re-enactors answering
questions about the past also reminded me once again about how many diverse and
fascinating activities and hobbies available to Baby Boomers who find they have
a little more time on their hands. We have friends who go to re-enactments of
the Civil War era in Gettysburg, PA, dressing up to play a part and enjoying
It takes a lot of passion I would think to dress
up and portray someone else, but what better way to learn about the past than
from those who look like they just stepped out of it? Sounds like something
worth checking out. Photos of the