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Robbie Maupin: A living historian re-enacts history

Re-enactor, historian, actor and model, Robbie Maupin, wears a lot of hats in his quest for authenticity. In this photo he is portraying Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest in a scene from the “Battle of Shiloh,” a documentary about the bloody Civil War Battle. This scene was filmed on Big River Ranch in Lexington in 2012. (Photo courtesy of Keith Johnson/Wide Awake Films)

Re-enactor, historian, actor and model, Robbie Maupin, wears a lot of hats in his quest for authenticity. In this photo he is portraying Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest in a scene from the “Battle of Shiloh,” a documentary about the bloody Civil War Battle. This scene was filmed on Big River Ranch in Lexington in 2012. (Photo courtesy of Keith Johnson/Wide Awake Films)

By Liz Johnson/Staff Writer

Sitting atop a horse with his dark hair and long beard, clad in period costume, is how most of us are used to seeing re-enactor Robbie Maupin, of Lexington. But few know the story behind his passion for history and historical accuracy.

Surprisingly, Maupin has only been working as a re-enactor for about 17 years.

“Moving to Lexington got me into it,” he said. “Buying an old historic home is what did it.”

Maupin and his wife, Debra, researched the home after being asked to include it on a Lexington Homes Tour. The house, built in 1904, was owned by John Welborn, a United States congressman from 1905-07.

“About 2,000 people toured the house,” said Maupin.

Researching his old historic home is what sparked a passion for history, eventually segueing into the re-enactments Maupin is known for.

“I sat in on a meeting prior to 2000 that was about the 2000 reenactment being planned for 

Lexington,” he said. “Gregg Higginbotham (commonly known for his portrayals of Frank James) and Greg Hildreth, both historians, spoke at the meeting.”

Higginbotham remembers meeting Maupin, who was attending the meeting with his wife.

“We began chatting,” said Higginbotham. “He (Maupin) said he was interested in the re-enactments we were doing and we said we’ll get you started.”

The rest is, well, history. Higginbotham works with Wide Awake Films, a Kansas City, Mo.-based film company that produces a number of historic and biographical films.

The complete story is in the Friday, Sept. 2, 2016 Richmond News. It can also be viewed in its entirety by clicking on E-Edition in the top menu and choosing “Complimentary Publications” on the next viewable page.

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