The Putnam Examiner

Carmel HS Junior Putnam’s Youngest Civil War Historian

We are part of The Trust Project
Tyler Dicembrino and his display at the Kent Library.

While most teenagers spend their time playing sports or engaging in the arts, Carmel High School junior Tyler Dicembrino has grown up with an enthusiasm for history.

At a young age, Dicembrino took a liking to U.S. history after watching films like, The Patriot and Gettysburg. Interested in the Civil War era, he began reading extensively into the time period and reaching out to historians and educators who could give him a better education on the subject.

With his mom, Stefani, by his side supporting his passion, they traveled throughout Virginia participating in private tours of museums and the historic battlefields, where Dicembrino partook in his first Civil War reenactment in Gettysburg at 13.

“I started watching some videos on YouTube and I was getting excited to see them (the reenactment) first hand,” Dicembrino said. “I was sort of thrown into it and it was definitely hard. But when you get out there and you wear all the clothing and put all the equipment on you feel more in with the times and its definitely a hard experience, but a fun one.”

Now 16, Dicembrino has fully amerced himself into that time period participating in reenactment battles, visiting museums, and leading Living History discussions, an educational medium that historical reenactment groups use to educate the public on particular areas of history.

“I like to talk about history when people come up and ask about it, it feels good,” said Dicembrino, adding that the uniform he wears always warrants questions.

Dicembrino’s love for history caught the attention of Kent Library Director Carol Donick as she was looking for someone to fill the libraries community exhibit for the month of September. While Donick invites community members to display their collections of artwork in the library on a monthly basis, Dicembrino was asked to stay through November.

“After talking with Tyler I was very impressed by how knowledgeable he is about history and the museum level quality of the display he created in the Kent Library,” Donick said. “Tyler’s display was very professionally done, and his collection is so large that he will change it in early October and November so that people will be frequently seeing new things.”

Along with authentic items from his personal collection, Dicembrino also displays pictures, books, artillery pieces, memorabilia, and a Union Zouave Uniform that was worn in combat. He plans to refresh his exhibit every few weeks.

“I’m going to have to part with my stuff for a little while,” Dicembrino said. “My room is like a virtual museum with all this stuff.”

Dicembrino will also lead two discussions about his display on Oct. 14 and Nov. 18.

In the midst of his junior year, the young historian will be applying to George Mason University in Virginia, where he wants to study history and political science.

While Dicembrino has his sights set on the future, he wants to keep educating people on the Civil War, stating that schools don’t implement enough of the subject into the curriculum.

“Regular Common Core just brush past the Civil War, they don’t even talk about it,” Dicembrino said. “There’s a lot more to it than the schools teach you and it’s kind of sad they don’t teach it because it leads to a lot of misconceptions that people have because of it.”

We'd love for you to support our work by joining as a free, partial access subscriber, or by registering as a full access member. Members get full access to all of our content, and receive a variety of bonus perks like free show tickets. Learn more here.