DANVILLE — Diana Stevens has created a very special life for herself. Her says her love of history brought her a perfectly suited husband, friends galore, and a passion for creating beautiful things.
Stevens was born in Indianapolis but grew up and lived in Fort Wayne for 40 years before moving to Danville.
“My husband, Michael, is a Danville native — born and bred,” she said. “We’ve been married for 26 years.”
The two had an unconventional meeting and marriage because they are both living history interpreters.
“We met at a festival,” she said. “He was a palm reader and he immediately asked me to marry him. He said, ‘I’d like you for my wife,’ as we were at a campfire.
“We became friends and then really bonded together because of our love of history.”
They were married in 1986 in an outdoor ceremony at the Feast of the Hunter’s Moon in West Lafayette.
Stevens works for the Department of Homeland Security in the customs department and her husband is a union carpenter.
But at home and on the weekends they celebrate history. Stevens has portrayed characters from several time periods but truly enjoys colonial times.
“In the colonial days it was before we were the United States and there were lots of things going on,” she said. “The home was the center of everything.”
Over the years she has developed a love for spinning. She owns a Carson Cooper spinning wheel that comes apart so she can easily travel and use it for demonstrations.
“I love that you can actually see a product that you’ve made,” Stevens said. “Just think — our ancestors had to do all this to live. We get to do it has a hobby.”
Stevens said she uses wool she gets from Hendricks County’s Martha Mussman.
“She has a flock of sheep so the wool comes from right here in Hendricks County,” she said. “She’s a terrific lady.”
Stevens has started a Fiber Guild that meets at the Hendricks County Senior Center. It meets from 7 to 9 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month.
“We have knitters and sometimes I do my crewel work,” she said. “Crewel is an American stitch work. There are not that many stitches. It’s very fun and creative because you use different colors to create the art work.”
Those Hendricks County residents who went to Civil War Days last June may remember Stevens and her husband. He was selling snake oil and she was spinning in the parlor at the Hendricks County Museum.