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History Department

History at Work: CSU Student Quinn Neves, Living History Reenactor at Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts

Hello, my name is Quinn and I’ve been interested in history from a very young age. When I was 12, I started to participate in Civil War reenactments and I still do 14 years later. I was always drawn to the 19th century for some reason, and within the last 3 or 4 years I’ve gotten involved with doing California Gold Rush living history for state parks and museums. I began to volunteer at the Gold Nugget Museum in Paradise CA and conducted research of my own there. After volunteering for 2 years, I was scheduled to start an internship there for the spring semester of 2019. The Camp Fire changed all of that. On November 8th, 2018 the fire took my home, one of my cats, my car, and the Gold Nugget Museum along with my prospective internship. I had to start over, nearly from scratch, but I knew that hardship can be turned into an opportunity. I began to look for a new internship. I spoke to friends in the reenacting community and they suggested I look into historical interpretation sites back East such as Old Sturbridge Village (OSV), Colonial Williamsburg and Fort Ticonderoga, so I did. OSV in Massachusetts seemed like the best fit since its focus was the 1830s. After a 5-month application process, interviews and paperwork, I got the internship thanks in part to support from the History Department and activities I’ve engaged in during my spare time. While there I learned how to farm and garden using 1830s methods, using ox and running cattle. I learned how to make shoes using wooden pegs and was even able to make a pair for myself. I gained a deeper understanding for the 19thcentury and the people who lived during the era and I made some great friends along the way. The Paradise area is still recovering and some of the losses are irreparable, including the Gold Nugget Museum. But with help from the History Department and my friends in the reenacting community, I had an incredible internship at Old Sturbridge Village and I am confident that History will play a central role in my professional life after I graduate.