The Marco Island Historical Society Re-enactors are taking on a new role. Beginning this November, the program is being expanded to offer historical tours of Marco Island.
Sponsored by the Re-enactors, proceeds from the tours will go towards the Marco Island Historical Society. Fun and entertaining for both individuals or groups, all tours begin at the Marco Island Historical Museum. “Every tour starts out with a short viewing of the University of Florida film, ‘Domain of the Calusa,’” explains Betsy Perdichizzi, founder of the MIHS Re-enactors and well-known for her portrayal of Tommie Barfield. “Then we take a tour of the museum and after that, we move onto the destination of their choosing.”
Three different length tours will be available; two-hour, three-hour and half-day. Guests may choose to visit one, two or three sites respectively. These sites includethe Pioneer Cemetery at the Church of God, Otter Mound Park, Captain Horr’s Plantation, Indian Hill, Veterans Park and the Old Marco Inn. Each of these locations play a significant role in the development of Marco Island.
The Re-enactors will be holding a training session, led by Perdichizzi, on Thursday, October 25, at 10:00 AM at the Marco Island Historical Museum for anyone interested in becoming a volunteer tour guide.
Those interested in becoming re-enactors may also reach out to Perdichizzi. “We are looking for men, women and children,” she states. The MIHS Re-enactors have been performing on and around Marco Island since 1998. Perdichizzi is well known for her “Tea With Tommie” one-woman performances, portraying Tommie Barfield, the Queen of Marco Island.
Portraying historical figures such as Captain Bill Collier, J.H. Doxsee, Bud Kirk, Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, Lita Burnham, FrankHamilton Cushing and Barron Collier, the MIHM Re-enactors, “have always supported community events,” adds Perdichizzi. “Our members like to dress up for events like Old Florida Days in Naples, Old Marco Days and the Christmas Parade.”
The upcoming 2012-2013 calendar for the Re-enactors includes three separate Christmas performances throughout the month of December at the Church of God. Expect to see appearances by historical figures such as Deaconess Bedell, the Drs. Olds and Tommie Barfield. The Olds doctors, played by Ed and Kathy Miracco, will also be appearing in in Everglades City on November 25, to discuss pioneer life and medicine.
“Once you put on that costume, you are that person,” adds Perdichizzi. “You are in character until the costume comes off.” For more information about historical tours or volunteering as a tour guide or a re-enactor, contact Betsy Perdichizzi at 239-394-6917 or betsyperd@comcast. net