Former Teacher Steps Back in Time as Mrs. Custer - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Former Teacher Steps Back in Time as Mrs. Custer

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General George Armstrong Custer and his wife are returning from the 1800s to Fort Abraham Lincoln State park this weekend to help share the history of the great western expedition.

For the last 20 years Marla Matkin has been dressing up and playing the part of the generals wife.

"This is a marriage of my two loves, theatre and history," says Matkin.

As a former elementary school teacher she thinks both kids and adults can learn more when they experience history first hand.

"They read a paragraph in a book and it's just a paragraph in a book," she says.

So, as often as she can, Matkin steps back in time and talks about her life as the generals wife.

"This is our first true home together in our twelve years of marriage and we've occupied it for a few years. Always before we lived in what you would call a duplex, one family on one side, another on the other side. So this is our only single family home and you have to agree it's a beautiful home," says Mrs. Custer.

A home that was re-built after a fire nearly destroyed it.

"It occurred in the room right above our bedroom. Problem with the fireplace there and I discovered it and luckily it was not a windy night or the whole fort, or the buildings along this row would have been in peril," says Mrs. Custer.

Anyone who wants to learn more about the fire or the life of the Custers can join them at their home in Ft. Lincoln State Park this weekend.

Matkin has played other characters over the years but she says she has been Mrs. Custer the longest and enjoys portraying her the most.


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