Historical Interpreters Brave The Heat In The Name Of History

Posted at 7:17 PM, Jul 21, 2017

With the heat index peaking in the 100 degree range, some historical re-enactors talked on Friday about how people dealt with July heat in the 1800s.

The answer? They sweat.

According to the interpreters at Andrew Jackson's Hermitage, there wasn't too much they could do except sit in the shade. The mansion does have an aligned front and back door to allow a breeze to flow through the house, and residents likely opened up all of the windows. 

"At night, they would spend a lot of time on the porches. We even think some of the children would sleep on the porches as well," said Jason Nelson, VP of marketing. 

Interpreters still dressed in full historic garb during the heat. However, the mansion is now air conditioned along with many of the other buildings on the grounds. Also, water is provided to the interpreters and they frequently take breaks from the heat.

"I've been here four years and I don't remember it being worse than this," said Judy Holland, on of the supervising interpreters. 

Holland said she thinks it's likely people in the 1800s wore less clothing during times of extreme heat, such as gowns they would typically wear to bed.

Guests have access to water stations and vendors throughout the more than 1,000 acre site.

"We try to keep the line moving as fast as we can without ignoring or skipping over their questions."

This is the busiest time of year for The Hermitage. They've also allowed guests to ride along on golf carts on the grounds.