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Senior Reenactors at the Old Fort

Senior Reenactors at the Old Fort by Jason Marquardt

The Historic Old Fort in downtown Fort Wayne has been open since 1976 and performs reenactments from different time periods monthly. Two Snider seniors are part of these reenactments.

Harrison Snyder and Will O’Brien both got into reenacting because they love history and enjoy sharing their love for history with others.

Reading is a passion for both of the seniors. Both enjoy reading history books in their spare time. O’Brien reads a lot of the Sharpe’s Rifles series and Snyder is currently reading Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History.

O’Brien was introduced to reenacting from birth on, as his father, Sean O’Brien, is also a reenactor. Snyder started participating around five years ago.

Both agree that the best part of reenacting is “teaching the general public the history.”

They feel that reenacting is  rewarding and fulfilling.

When asked about the best time period to reenact, they both screamed in unison “the War of 1812!”

Will and Harrison in their War of 1812 uniforms

O’Brien said this war is the most aesthetic of all the wars they reenact.

He feels “the uniforms for this reenactment are the coolest.”

For some of these reenactments, they are required to campout overnight for multiple days. They are served food at reenactments. Both said they enjoy the food, however, it is not always authentic to the time period.

During the 1800’s, the soldiers only ate Pinto bean soup with bread while the reenactors were able to eat a larger variety of food, such as beef stew.

The only part of reenacting that O’Brien and Snyder cannot agree on is the best part of their outfit. When asked his favorite accessory, Snyder’s face lit up as he was ecstatic about the following response, believing that “the best part of our uniform is definitely the bayonet,” while O’Brien took another approach, arguing that “the best part is the knapsack.”

O’Brien and Snyder participate in reenactments once every month. Their next reenactment is “A Christmas Open House” on Saturday, November 24th.

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