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The Norfolk Towne Assembly Then

In the 18th and early 19th Centuries, an “Assembly” was a group of prominent citizens of a community who came together to organize social and educational events for the benefit of the community.  These included events such as subscription balls, talks on new discoveries, plays, concerts, and other “cultural” events.  Here in Hampton Roads, the "Norfolk Assembly,” for which our group is named, existed in the 18th and early 19th century.



The Norfolk Towne Assembly Today

Today, there are many Living History organizations that focus on 18th and early 19th century military, and fur trade portrayals however, few of them focus on recreating the “civilian” of the past.  The Norfolk Towne Assembly works to fill that gap as a living history group whose members study and participate in many types of reenactment and educational activities reflecting the people, culture, and lifestyle of the period.

Through our programs, the Assembly strives to promote a deeper appreciation for the cultural and scientific advances of the “Age of Enlightenment.”  These include social dance, music, art,  period costume, etiquette, culinary dishes, table games, sporting activities, etc.

At the same time, although our focus is primarily on the “civilian,” we welcome those whose interests involve the military.  In the colonial period, as well as during the early republic, there were few “professional” soldiers.  Therefore, most soldiers in America were militia and thus almost everyone was a civilian (and had a profession) before they became “military.”

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that we are a bunch of stuffy academics though.  Our membership is made up of men and women from all walks of life: teachers, medical professionals, skilled tradespeople, musicians, active and retired military, businessmen, craftsmen, students, the list goes on and on.  All of us have one thing in common however – a love for the study of the cultural history of America and for sharing those studies with the public in meaningful and thought-provoking ways.

Sound interesting?  Want to learn more?  Check out our JOIN US page for more information about how you can become a part of the Norfolk Towne Assembly's efforts!