Historical interpreters help tell the story of Meadowcroft through the centuries. Visitors exploring the site’s three recreated villages see history come to life as interpreters share information and reenact roles important to that time period, such as a schoolteacher or a blacksmith.
Interpreter Lisa Maust took some time to share how her passion for learning and her love of the outdoors come together in her role at Meadowcroft.
Get to know Lisa in the Q&A below!
1. What is your role at Meadowcroft?
The role I perform consists of revealing information regarding the various exhibits (19th Century Meadowcroft Village, Frontier Trading Post, Monongahela Indian Village) to tourists and school groups. My passion for being outside is accentuated by hiking around the property for Venture Outdoors programs as well as the “Walk in Penn’s Woods” program. I also do winter cleaning and extra deep cleaning when needed!
2. What do you enjoy most about it?
Being outside and close to the natural world is what I enjoy the most! Also, satisfaction from a tourist saying, “I didn’t know that.” This role feeds my love of lifelong learning.
3. What kind of preparation goes into being an interpreter?
I visit libraries (Heinz History Center, Meadowcroft, and local), access archival searches through the internet and journals, talk to more experienced professionals, and of course pester the rest of the staff for answers! I usually make notes and practice for my talks and demonstrations.
4. What’s one of the most interesting things you’ve learned through your role?
The primitive skills: fire-starting, cordage (making cords or rope from natural plant fibers or animal sinew), shelter, hunting, weaving, pottery, and thriving (how prehistorical folk learned to survive without the technology to dig wells, etc.).
5. Why do you think it’s valuable for people to visit sites like Meadowcroft?
It’s important to have the opportunity to traverse an area that offers a time sequence of significant changes in our culture through many hands-on exhibits, reminding people of antiquarian everyday living and comparing those past lives to where we are presently.
Meadowcroft will open for the season in May 2019. Until then, learn more about the people who share history at Meadowcroft in our most recent Q&As:
Kim Roberts is the communications coordinator for the History Center.