David A. Schmid Biography

My passion for history started on our family vacations in the 1960’s. Traveling on a road trip around Illinois to explore its rich history in the state I was born in. It’s good to know ones neighborhood. I grew up in the Disney age of Davey Crocket, Dan’l Boone and Johnny Tremain. That gave me a taste of the past, and my hunger grew. I remember as a young boy checking out adult type books on history at the library and the poor check out lady always asking me if I knew if this book was written for adults. I would always nod my head and check it out anyway. I poured over these books and read what I was able to read. Then the movie Jeremiah Johnson came out in 1972. I remember the day my brother Paul and I were walking home from the local theater; we both looked at each other and said, “Someday we are going to do that!” We had no idea about historical reenactments or living history, until the calibration of the American Bicentennial began in 1975. In 1976 we were invited to a reenactment of the American Revolutionary war and I was hooked. Upon graduating from High School in 1977, I was on the local Police Department and taking classes at community college. That was the summer I joined the living history community, and what a ride it has been. My passions grew!

In my 31 years in living history this passion for the past has taken me on many adventures. I have portrayed a Loyalist Soldier, a Hessian and American Militia Soldier during the Revolutionary War. A Colonial Pennsylvanian Militiaman during the French and Indian War, and a Voyageur during the Great Lakes Fur Trade 1640-1800. My passion includes the Early French Explorers 1604-1680 and the Exploration and Settlement of New Amsterdam by the Dutch West India Company of 1609-1666. My study is not complete unless I understand the Native Americans that were here first. So much detail and study has been a joy to search out on this fascinating culture. I embrace their culture and spirituality on a personal level.

I go on what we call historical treks. Wearing their clothing and using their equipment we go off in to the wilds of this great country and disappear for a while and live the life of those of the past. Those times in the forests teach me so much about what the ancients went through. Walking in their shoes over the same trails and eating their food, makes a historian appreciate the past. I am dedicated to study our country’s past. We have a lot to learn from those people. What bravery it took to travel from across the Atlantic to come to a new world with so many unknowns. I admire these brave people and this message is what I share with the classes I teach.

My professional experience includes 3 years at the Minnesota Historical Society and 2 years at the Ramsey County (St. Paul, Mn.) Historical Society. Along with 31 years teaching special programs at public schools in 4 States with subject ranging from American Revolution, French and Indian Wars, American Civil War, Napoleonic Wars, Fur Trade, Great Lakes History, Native American Cooking and Colonial Exploration.