What is Living History?

Many of us are familiar with the quaintly whigged and beribboned characters in period dress at historic mansions or early American sites.  But role-playing or “living history” in its purer form is a rigorous and demanding profession that requires a comprehensive knowledge of a historical individual’s geographic, social, and cultural context.  With this knowledge, an experienced living history interpreter is able to authentically “re-create” a character, bringing him or her “to life” within the context of a world (in this case, an 18th-century world) without commercial detergents, blow-driers, or dependency on mass-produced products.

Bringing Carroll’s Hundred to Life

During the 19th and 20th-centuries, industrial growth and urbanization in Southwest Baltimore largely obscured the colonial world of Carroll’s Hundred.  But archaeological research by the Carroll Park Foundation and other groups since the early 1970’s has revealed the remnants of Charles Carroll’s “Hundred-on-Patapsco”, as the property was known, through the excavation of artifacts or material culture.  And this is only the beginning!The next few years promise many more surprises as new archaeological sites are investigated.

Lost Voices Calling Out to Be Heard

Using this exciting evidence, as well as more traditional historical research, Carroll’s Hundred envisions bringing the historic landscape to life, using authentic characters, from the Scottish gardener, to the convict servant, to the orchard slave, to interpret daily life on the pre-Revolutionary ‘Hundred’of 1770.  This will be a very complex and challenging undertaking that uses the art of theater, the science and knowledge of many disciplines, and the humanity of Ghandi.  Driving it all are many lost voices calling out to be heard.

An Early American Melting Pot

This type of interpretation will give Carroll’s Hundred the opportunity to become one of the few, if not the only, living history parks in the nation to give a truly inclusive interpretation of the diverse community of slaves, indentured servants, farmers, native Americans, and gentry – an original American melting pot!