Nevada City Re-Enactors Miss My Time-Travel Joke

There was an episode of South Park making fun of guys like this, the steadfast historical re-enactors that refuse to break character, but if you’ve never met with their kind, they really are every bit as annoying as that clever bit of off-color satire I’ve suggested. They really can’t take a joke.

This is us checking out a real antique horse impersonator in Nevada City, Montana, which is not actually in Nevada.
This is us checking out a real antique horse impersonator in Nevada City, Montana, which is not actually in Nevada.

Nevada City is an entire town of recreation. Most of the buildings setup on site are in some way authentic, though almost all of them have been moved to this site thanks to careful, pro-active conservation efforts within the state. The buildings you’ll find here are all indeed authentic, though none of them existed in their current location until their old locations kicked them out.

The state of Montana decided these relics were too valuable to lose,which is why they relocated them to a single, central location, which is right here in Nevada City.

I understand a few of them may be authentic originals to the sites, but that’s not why this place exists, it’s all here for historical preservation, and what better way to bring it all to life than with volunteer actors wandering around throughout the summer weekends gussied up like true frontier extras in a movie without cameras.

As such, the jailer is jerky enough that you’ll feel like a criminal just asking him kind questions about the jail, and if you try to gamble in the casino without odds, you’ll find yourself the loser even when you win (as brother Dominic did in his special report, the results of which will not be forthcoming… just too traumatic.)

When we tried to talk to them about modern-day concerns, they all feigned ignorance, like we were talking about some crazy future language and future concerns they knew nothing about… well I wasn’t sure if they were just being difficult in efforts to steal the limelight (as so many acting extras do) or if they were really in their characters… so I put it to the test.

I decided to tell them I was from the future. I have my Wall-E watch, which is both battery operated and liquid crystal displayed. I tried to trade them for my synthetic shoes, but as surely as they spoke down to me for not understanding their ye olde timey ways, they got snippy when I tried to share with them my future ways.

You guys can’t tell me you’re from the past if I can’t say that I’m from the future. I can rule you people, even though I’m five, because I know more about astronomy and telecommunications than even your grandchildren will ever know.

My joke was lost on them, and I call it a joke because they didn’t get it (if they understood me and accepted it, you can bet it would have been serious from my end).

If you’re in the area, I do strongly suggest you see Nevada City, just adjacent to Virginia City in Montana. Check with the chamber of commerce to make sure the place will be in full-swing when you pass through, and expect to enjoy the full revelry of a hundred volunteer re-enactors making like they might have a hundred (or so) years ago… but don’t try to trade with them, because as much as they like to stay in character, it seems they have limited patience for time-travelers from the future.

But seriously, if I’m 5 and you can’t appreciate my joke about coming from the future, it’s totally possible you might actually be from the past.

Seeing and sawing as these old-timey gents slowly cut a log
ABOVE: Patrick was invited to join in on the lack-of-action as he helped a coupld of old-timey bandicoots fail to saw through so much as a single, simple log.

Standing in front of rustic cabins in the frontier lands
ABOVE: Once Dominic recovered from losing his zero-stack of chips in the gamblin’ hall, he had better fun just wandering the old buildings.