BRATTLEBORO -- The students of St. Michael’s School spent Nov. 19 living as people lived in the early 1700s. They devoted the weeks prior to this researching, designing, planning and preparing for this day. Rand Hall was converted to "Randfield," complete with Meeting House, trees, stone wall and a park.
Their costumes were fashioned true to the period, using many resources such as local vintage stores and the backs of relatives’ closets. Teachers and students sewed bonnets and pinafores and aprons from scrap material brought in by parents.
Students in kindergarten through grade 8 were assigned particular occupations and set about getting props to make it all real. There were tanners, silversmiths, cobblers, bakers and more.
There were Native Americans living alongside the colonists. A St. Michael’s School family regularly participates in actual re-enactments. A.J. and Lori Paige were taught the older children about the militia of the era and how to choreograph the re-enactment of a militia drill and the appointing of officers. The middle school children were magnificent in their performance of the drill.
The inspiration for this event was born this summer when two St. Michael School teachers, Kathy Chamberlin and Becky Nadeau, spent a week in Deerfield, Mass., studying at a National Endowment for the Humanities program called "Living on the Edge of Empire." They were able to share what they learned with the students, putting together this event that brought that period alive for the school and all who came to watch the production. It was a fun and educational experience for the students and one the organizers hope becomes an annual event.