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Laughlintown's Compass Inn prepares for living history weekend

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By Rebecca Ridingder
Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

History is coming for a personal visit yet again to the Compass Inn Museum for Living History — an interactive, animated weekend that will feature hands-on children's activities, tours of the inn, crafts and demonstrations. Each month during the summer, the Laughlintown museum features living history weekends, each with a different historical focus. July's theme will bring to life the Native American experience. The event will take place 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

“Our living histories have done really well,” said Roberta Smith, the museum's innkeeper. “We always do different themes. Next year, there will be something completely different. It keeps people interested.”

History re-enactor Todd Johnson will be making appearances as special guest Ghost in the Head, a Huron warrior who lived during the French and Indian War. Attendees can learn first hand what Native American life was like. Johnson, who performs re-enactments throughout the tri-state area, is of Huron Indian descent and works as a re-enactor, lecturer, instructor, model and actor.

“The secret behind it is I don't talk about history per se,” Johnson stated. “I'm the guy who is doing it as opposed to just talking about it.”

Ghost in the Head received his name from elders in reference to his exhibiting the traditional, native way of life.

“The re-enactments are a very user-friendly type of situation,” Johnson said. “People come up and talk to me.”

Ghost in the Head has visited Compass Inn on previous occasions and will be at the museum on both days.

Some of the other crafts and activities will include creating necklaces and bracelets made of native plants, as well as taking part in hearth cooking, soap making, weaving and candle dipping. Craftsmen will be illustrating 18th- and 19th-century skills and trades.

Admission is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for students and free for children under five. Admission includes tours and all activities.

For more information, call 724-238-4983 or go to

Rebecca Ridinger is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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