- Associated Press - Saturday, November 7, 2015

MIDDLESBORO, Ky. (AP) - History comes to life on the weekends for David Fultz, who is a blacksmith and re-enactor at Wilderness Road State Park in Ewing, Virginia.

By day, Fultz is an American and world history teacher at Claiborne County High School. A fellow teacher wore re-enactment clothing to school, and Fultz was intrigued.

“He loaned me some clothes, and I’ve been going up ever since. That was in 2004, and now I do it every chance I get to help out and be there,” Fultz said.

When Fultz started re-enacting, he saw there was a blacksmithing area that was built with all of the tools intact, but there was not a blacksmith currently working. Fultz asked Chief Ranger Billy Heck about blacksmithing and eventually, Heck taught Fultz everything he needed to know.

“A big part of this was, I grew up reading historical fiction and mountain man books, but this is more. I guess, I found my niche and I absolutely love it,” Fultz said. “It’s real, and we can document everything we do - the buildings and equipment - and it’s accurate.”

Fultz originally looked into woodworking during re-enactments, but is given the chance to learn and experiment with different areas of life a few hundred years ago. This is an accurate representation of life in the 18th century, and it keeps Fultz busy and learning.

“It all intertwines and that’s something we try to make people understand in the fort. It’s a community, a family, and we all work together and develop skills for self-sufficiency which was so important then,” Fultz said.

Fultz’s wife, Ashley, and children, 7-year-old Maddie and 4-year-old Noah, not only support him in his efforts, but Maddie also dresses up and participates with him.

“(Maddie) isn’t really into it yet, but she just likes dressing up and wearing a costume. She understands what we’re doing, but she doesn’t really get the concept of period correct, but it’s still a lot of fun for her,” Fultz said.

Fultz has been a teacher for 18 years and received his degree from Lincoln Memorial University. He lives in Harrogate, Tennessee, with his family and enjoys spending time with his kids and being outdoors in his free time.


Information from: The Daily News, https://www.middlesborodailynews.com

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