Hoosier Town Manufactures History. Honest!

By Eric Olson

April 13, 2011 Updated Apr 13, 2011 at 12:42 PM EST

Pierceton, Indiana (Indiana's NewsCenter)--THIS IS THE CLOSEST WE’LL EVER COME TO SEEING WITH OUR OWN EYES HOW EARLY AMERICANS LIVED, HOW THEY DRESSED, THE TOOLS THEY USED…HOW THEY SURVIVED. REENACTORS SHOW US ALL THAT…BUT THEY GET SOME VERY CRUCIAL HELP FROM A SMALL CORNER OF YOUR COUNTRY. IN A NINETEENTH CENTURY BUILDING IN THE 21ST CENTURY THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY IS DILIGENTLY RECREATED BY JAMES TOWNSEND AND SON, ONE OF THIS COUNTRY’S FEW SUPPLIERS OF HISTORICALLY ACCURATE CLOTHING, TOOLS AND UTENSILS…THE KINDS OF THINGS YOU’D FIND SOLDIERS USING EVERYDAY IN THE REAL FORT WAYNE 250 YEARS AGO, OR THAT BEN FRANKLIN AND OTHER FOUNDING FATHERS MIGHT EMPLOY IN THEIR DAILY LIVES. SOME OF THE ITEMS ARE MADE RIGHT HERE AT THE PIERCTON STORE…JOSH KING IS FORGING SUGAR NIPPERS, A TOOL USED TO NIP CHUNKS OF SUGAR FOR YOUR TEA FROM A BLOCK OF SUGAR, THE WAY STORES USED TO SELL IT.

Josh: As soon as they came up with cube sugar these disappeared.

ABOUT HALF OF THE COMPANY SALES ARE CLOTHING ITEMS, MOST OF THEM MADE HERE AS WELL. TOWNSEND AND SONS SELLS TO REENACTOR GROUPS AND HISTORIC SITES AND MUSEUMS ALL OVER THE WORLD. THE BEST SELLING ITEMS ARE THE ONES THAT WEAR OUT QUICKEST, JUST LIKE TODAY.

Jonathan: We sell a lot of socks. We sell special socks that go up over the knee they’re for knee breeches and things like that and we sell an awful lot of socks. Tri corn hats are obviously very popular.

THIS STORE IS ITSELF A REENACTOR OF SORTS, LOOKING MUCH LIKE A BIG DEPARTMENT STORE MIGHT HAD THEY HAD SUCH THINGS IN THE 1700’S. IT’S KIND OF A LIVING MUSEUM…A HISTORY LESSON…DISPLAYED ON SHELVES AND IN CASES AND ON HOOKS…REMINDING US THAT THE MEN AND WOMEN OF HISTORY WERE FLESH AND BLOOD JUST LIKE US, IN CONSTANT SEARCH OF COMFORT AND PROTECTION AND ENTERTAINMENT…ANYTHING TO HELP EASE THEIR WAY THROUGH AN OFTEN HARSH LIFE ON THIS EARTH. THIS IS ERIC OLSON REPORTING.




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