A Living History Book

9 years 10 months 4 weeks ago Monday, November 19 2007 Nov 19, 2007 Monday, November 19, 2007 5:25:57 PM CST November 19, 2007 in News

Using an oar on a long boat, we pull you through history. This history story can't be found on any library shelf. This story has no pages, no binding; its chapters denoted simply by handmade walls.

People are traveling from all around the world just to experience it. Some are from London, Indianapolis, Virginia, Louisiana and Oklahoma City.

"A textbook only gives you cold hard facts, here you can see it you can touch it you can feel it," said Robb Schuster, a NORSA member.

"They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, walking through the picture is worth even more than that," said Sam Shoults, a NORSA member.

A Northeast Missouri farmer donated five acres to create a living history book.

"The wood was all cut from the site. The local Amish community came in and pulled the wood from the hollers and milled it all out for us," explained Robb.

The settlement is the brainchild of a group called NORSA. The viking settlement Norstead takes visitors back to Denmark in the year 1050 AD. There, kids can push away from the classroom to unearth a piece of living history.

"I actually felt like I was right in the middle of all of it," said Abigail English, a 5th grader.

"In every community, there's a guy out there who always wanted to be a viking or always wanted to swing a sword and we help him do that," said Henry Quattlebaum, a Viking Age Living History re-enactor.

When they're not swinging swords, one man is wielding a cell phone. Dulled by the drone of technology, people come here to stay sharp.

"I'm in front of a computer for 9, 10 hours a day, so this is definitely a break," explained Terrie Helleoid, a re-enactor.

"It's something to do to get away from real life," said Eddie Hurman, a re-enactor. 

Through hundreds of hours it took building Norstead, the renenactors have forged a relationship.

"It was well worth the hard work. Everybody pitches it and does their fair share. We're one big family," said Terrie.

They're a family teaching others about forgotten things like the oar of a long boat or the texture of a chain mail tunic.

This is a book you won't find on any nighstand. It burns, floats and shines.

Norstead is in Knox City and may open to the public again this spring.

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