Re-enactors enjoy talking to visitors about life in the 18th century.

A first-time visit to the Fort Massac Encampment could be a little confusing about what is and is not on display, so there are some general rules and tips visitors may want to keep in mind while visiting the Encampment.

An example could be a blanket or a piece of pottery in front of a tent. Those are probably meant for visitors to look at. But a tent that is securely tied shut is not.

Re-enactors enjoy talking to people about the things they have researched — their clothing, lodging, tools, crafts and so on. They also welcome questions and many will offer items for visitors to examine.

But, respect on both sides is very important. Some suggestions are offered that can make for a better relationship between the visitors and re-enactors.

• Ask questions and do not feel that questions are stupid. Individuals probably have not studied the 18th century. Visitors are not expected to know the answer. So ask away.

• Remember safety. Knives are sharp and fires burn in any century. Parents and guardians are urged to keep children away from cooking fires and not to let them pick up knives, bayonets or fragile glass items. If parents and guardians want them to touch something, the re-enactor should be asked if the item could be shared.

• Respect closed doors. Individuals may be invited to look into a buckskinner’s tipi or a soldier’s tent. If so, look around, but please do not open a lodging that is tied shut. The re-enactors are really living in those spaces and they may not be quite ready for company.

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