CLARK, NJ - Visitors to Clark’s Dr. William Robinson Plantation Museum were able to step back in history today as the museum celebrated its 235th anniversary. Across the front of the property different reenactment groups set up tents for the weekend so they could teach visitors what life used to be like. There is the 7th Virginia Calvary Company A, the Bloody Historical Pirates, Red Storm Drum and Dance Troupe, and Heart to Hearth Cookery. Each are dressed in period pieces and ready to answer any questions about the time.
“The more you teach the more you learn,” said Sgt. Phil Kohn of Company A. “People ask you questions and you have to find out, you learn something new.” Education is important for all the reenactment groups. They have turned their passion for history into a way to give people a better picture of the past.
“We want to show people how difficult life once was,” said Chelsey Cayer from Bloody Historical Pirates. Her group tries to show visitors the real history of pirates, instead of what is shown in movies.
Around the camps, visitors can see real artifacts from the Civil War, and watch weapons demonstrations, as well as reenactors in character. For Jerry Greyhawk though, it’s not just a reenactment, but a part of his life. “Native culture gets overlooked a lot, but we’re still here, we’re still strong. We’re not just history, we’re a part of the present,” he said. The Red Storm Drum and Dance Troupe perform Native dances and songs and tell stories for the audience.
Inside, visitors can walk around the house where Ingrid Sceusi from Heart to Heart Cookery is making authentic recipes that Dr. Robinson’s family might have enjoyed.
“I want this to be a memorable, education experience. I called the best of the best to be here and celebrate our anniversary,” Scott McCabe, the Director of the museum said. “So many people in this town tell me they never realized this is a museum. Now they come back every year.”
The anniversary celebrations continue through Sunday. On Saturday night from 8 to 10, there will be a candlelight tour of the camp.