Visitors to the Troy Historic Village can learn about Civil War history through a variety of interactive conversations with historical reenactors through the upcoming Supper with a Soldier program.

Visitors to the Troy Historic Village can learn about Civil War history through a variety of interactive conversations with historical reenactors through the upcoming Supper with a Soldier program.

Photo provided by Alex Konieczny

Troy Historic Village to offer ‘Supper with a Soldier’

By: Brendan Losinski | Troy Times | Published May 3, 2023


TROY — It’s not every day people get to speak with a Civil War-era soldier.

History buffs can drop by the Troy Historic Village on Saturday, May 13, for an interactive day of learning history via professional historical reenactors.

The day will focus on the history of the Civil War era. Union and Confederate soldiers will be camped on the grounds, showcasing the food, equipment, drills and living conditions typical of soldiers of both sides.

Reenactors will also be portraying surgeons and hospital stewards, describing medical procedures and equipment used during the war. Civilian reenactors from the Colombia Society will be on-site discussing women’s domestic roles in the spring, including food preparation, gardening, pest control and spring cleaning.

“It’s a strolling Civil War experience featuring soldiers and civilians of the time period chatting about different aspects of the era that they represent,” said Troy Historic Village Youth Programs Director Alex Konieczny. “Dinner will be served as well, and people won’t eat with the reenactors per se, but they can talk about things with them as they eat and as they walk around.”

The Troy Historic Village has done similar programs before — often designed for students and then expanded to be presented to the general public.

“We have done this before. It’s related to one of our key school programs,” said Troy Historic Village Executive Director Jen Peters. “Each year we do Civil War Days, where students come out to learn about the war, about soldier life, what they did for fun, what they ate, etc. At times we’ve tried alternate versions of it (for) the general public. We tried Supper with a Solider a few years back. Bringing food into the question is a great way to bring people in and engage with the reenactors during the experience.”

Supper with a Soldier will take place 4-8 p.m. on Saturday, May 13. Tickets cost $25 for adults and $20 for youths ages 6-17. Members of the Troy Historical Society get the discounted rate of $22 for adults and $17 for youths. Children under age 5 are admitted for free. Dinner is included in the ticket price.

Those interested may go to for more information and to register. When buying tickets, attendees select a time slot for when to arrive at the event.

“The time slots are there to spread out arrivals,” said Konieczny. “You will have small groups arriving about every 15 minutes. They can move through the event at their own pace and stop and chat with who they want to. You can stay as late as you want, though.”

Peters said this is a great way to engage with history in a unique and dynamic way.

“What we’re about is education, but also community and hands-on experiences,” she said. “We’re looking at another program this fall called Indigenous Voices, which is something similar where fifth graders can talk to members of the indigenous community. We might expand that to the general public in a similar way.”

Konieczny said he was particularly looking forward to one reenactor who presents a character who is an expert in the debunked field of phrenology.

“We have a (reenactor) coming this year who we had for some programs last year, and he was a big hit,” he said. “He talks about phrenology, which is measuring the bumps on their head to determine what jobs they would be good at or what their personality is like. It’s a pseudoscience which has been long debunked, but he does a great job explaining and demonstrating this old-time field and showing it off to people.”

Both hope members of the Troy community will come out and enjoy a fun, engaging day of exploring history in a hands-on way.

“This is a great way to experience history rather than read about it. They’re all reenactors, but you will learn more talking with someone than you will reading out of a book,” said Peters.

“It’s a cool opportunity to chat with some very authentically minded reenactors about their passions,” added Konieczny.