Growing up in the lovely Pennsylvania countryside, spring was always my favorite season and I recall very fondly the wonderful memories of the first days of spring. Spring remains my favorite season, but since joining Lexington Historical Society in March 2015 my mind has now begun to associate spring with different, somewhat unique rituals.
When I think of spring, my mind instantly brings to the forefront the smell of gunpowder on an early (and I mean early) April morning instead of the smell of blooming wildflowers. The banter of schoolchildren as they discuss what the Clarke family might have been having for dinner in 1775 as they participate in our “What Did Rev. Clarke Eat?” school program now greets my ears in place of the cries of newborn calves and sheep. The creaking floorboards in Buckman Tavern as our first visitors of the day begin to explore the rich history of Lexington have replaced the crack of bats during Little League games. Instead of welcoming the final weeks of the school year, spring now welcomes Buckman Tavern, Hancock-Clarke House and Munroe Tavern back to life after a sleepy and quiet winter. All three properties will be open in April (Buckman already is!) and can be visited during these hours.
However, my new favorite ritual of spring has become the Children’s Reenactment of the Battle of Lexington. Through a wonderful partnership with the Lexington Minute Men, Her Majesty’s 10th Regiment of Foot, the Lexington Visitor Center, and Lexington Historical Society, children are given the opportunity to not only learn about this important battle, but to also actively participate in a re-creation of the battle. Participants are sorted into camps (Militia or British Regular) and are drilled in 18th century military tactics by our wonderful volunteer reenactors. After sufficient drilling, it is time for the reenactment to start. With the joy, theatrics, and enthusiasm only children can bring to events, the Battle of Lexington unfolds before your eyes! Not only is it great to see children enjoying history so much, but occasionally you’ll get acting gems such as Thaddeus Bowman, a militia scout who informed Captain Parker the British had entered town, come running to the door of Buckman Tavern shouting “Captain Parker, Captain Parker!! I forgot my lines!” After the battle concludes, participants and parents are encouraged to converse with the reenactors and to view a collection of artifacts from Lexington Historical Society’s collection on display at the Lexington Visitor Center.
This year’s reenactment will be held on Wednesday April 18th and will feature a morning session as well as an afternoon session. Spots still remain open for both sessions and more information on the event can be found on the Children’s Battle Reenactment page.
-Chris Kauffman, Education and Interpretation Manager