Living History Reenacting and Its Influence on My Interests in Steampunk


I was a Civil War Reenactor from 1995-1999ish. The American Civil War was early in the Victorian era (1861-1865). It sparked my interest in the era and taught me about the etiquette and rules of the period. It gave me plenty of historical sewing and cooking practice.

Also, I was raised in Oregon City, which is the official end point for the Oregon Trail, so I was constantly educated in the history of the 1840s starting at an early age. We visited historical homes as field trips, when to living history museums, and after high school, I worked at the Ermatinger house giving tours. My favorite was the ghost tours, but that is a separate story. . . .

When reenacting, I made were corsets, bloomers, petticoats, aprons, blouses, and learned the proper styles for hair in the Victorian era. I learned about why I wasn’t allowed to wear black (a hardship since I was a little bit Goth in high school), and how to make historically accurate food like hardtack.

It is easy to see how the Victorian aesthetic influenced my writing and art as in this cover design. My love started with the era but transformed into sci-fi and fantasy (as all things do in my life) and became steampunk.

One can see the influence of the Victorian era and steampunk on my fashion and the fashion designs I create.