by Erica Tackett
Interning at Fort Mose State Historic Park is a wonderful and pleasant experience. It is a great place to start learning hands-on how state parks function and see what goes on behind the scenes. This small state park is home to the first legally-sanctioned free African American settlement in what is now the United States. Its reputation is small for such an important area in history. During my time at the park I have worked as both Park Ranger and Re-enactor for events. I’ve helped visitors at the front desk and helped guide a school group on a tour of the park grounds while retelling the history.
With the events the park has put on I’ve encountered numerous people who have never even heard of Fort Mose in all their years and are fairly surprised to find out the history of it. With the reenacting I’m able to inform the visitors of its place in American history.
Helping out the park itself and making sure things are running fine is a whole other thing. It’s making sure supplies are in stock to maintenance. It’s a lot bigger than I thought it would be and very hands-on which is nice. I’ve come to help clean the museum, set up new activities for school groups and even help with projects for the park in years to come.
My time at Fort Mose has given me a chance to meet some amazing people from the reenactment side of parks to the ranger side who help keep the parks alive and thriving for visitors and their families to experience.