J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Friday, August 05, 2016

Living History in Boston, 13 and 14 August

On the weekend of 13-14 August, a group of dedicated historical reenactors who call themselves the Middling Sort will be in Boston participating in a couple of living history events.

On Saturday, 13 August, the Old State House will host “Echoes of the Past,” “a one-day transmedia game in the streets of Boston that will immerse players in the story of Boston’s famous Stamp Act protest” through a “fusion of interactive theatre and puzzle solving.”

Boston’s first anti-Stamp demonstration took place on Thursday, 14 Aug 1765—a market day, when farmers from the countryside brought in fresh wares to sell to townspeople and bought supplies to carry home. The Middling Sort will help to recreate Market Day based on actual vendors and what they sold. Their goods will also be part of the game.

There will be three sessions of the “Echoes of the Past” game, starting at 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00 P.M., followed at 4:00 by a recreation of the anti-Stamp procession through the streets of Boston, led by shoemaker Ebenezer Mackintosh.

On Sunday, 14 August, the action moves to the Loring-Greenough House in Jamaica Plain (shown above), which is commemorating the 300th birthday of Commodore Joshua Loring this month.

From noon to 4:00 P.M., “Fight or Flight” will explore the choices that the Loring family faced as Loyalists in 1774 and beyond. Should they move into Boston? Prepare to leave New England? What would happen to their estate?

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