Reenactors share skills at Merom Bluff Chautauqua Festival


MEROM, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The annual Merom Bluff Chautauqua Festival may have wrapped up Sunday, but for one couple, the weekend even is just one occasion to share a year-round pastime.

Cathy Malone and her husband have been primitive reenactors for about 30 years now. They offer festival goers a hands-on experience of a much simpler time in American history with their display of historic trades and crafts.

The Malones began as singers, but as the years passed, they picked up skills such as blacksmithing and scrim shaw carving, among other trades.

“We’ve been coming for about 30 years, and we started over, the primitive section was in that direction, and we got to know some people that were doing this sort of stuff the canvas and the teepees and all of that, and we actually joined a group from Olney, Illinois. We’re from Odin Indiana, but we joined that group, and we just took an interest in just the period stuff that they do and it was just fascinating to us,” said Malone. 

The Malones say they will continue their tradition of reenactments at next year’s Chautauqua Festival.

The festival itself serves as a way for the town of Merom to continuously improve not only the annual event, but also the year round community. 

“All we do is we take that money, and we put it back in the community it comes into this town for example right next to us if you pan later there’s a large stage and building here that we just built and that was 42 thousand dollars this new asphalt all around here all this rock new electric I mean we put it back in here so none of it goes into anyones pockets,” said Merom Improvement Association member Curt Buethe. 

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