Today concludes the induction and training of our 2014 class of Junior Historians. Junior Historians are volunteers from the ages of eleven to seventeen who help at the Village. They give tours of our various homes and buildings, they help with special events, and they complete a project each year (past projects include the exhibits in the Doctor’s Office and the Worth Hotel). This year the new class will work on a project focusing on the Renner School House.
We have 7 new Junior Historians joining the team this year and over this week they have been learning all about the village, volunteering, and how to give tours. Today concluded their camp and they actually served as tour guides for five of our buildings.
Heather and Makayla gave tours of Millermore, one of our biggest houses. Makayla was drawn to Millermore because she has a big family similar in size to the Millers and was interested in the beautiful house. Heather explained that her mother used to live in a small house and moved to a bigger one which is a story similar to that of the Miller family, whose original home, the log cabin, is also onsite. Heather wanted to become a Junior Historian because she has always liked the buildings during her visits and wanted to gain the knowledge and skills to show them to other people. Makayla decided to join because she wanted to gain a better knowledge of history and she feels that being able to give tours of the buildings can help her experience it as well.
With their knowledge of the house and family the girls were asked to compose tweets as if they were William Brown Miller building his new home:
@WBMiller: Chopping some wood for our new house. #upgrade
And a few years later:
@WBMiller: We finally did it! #achievement #longtime
Next on the tour route today was Lydia giving a tour of the 1860s Farmstead. Lydia was in full costume and explained that she wanted to be a Junior Historian because her older sister is one and she knew it would be fun. Lydia picked the Farmstead because it is one of her favorite houses and pointed out that there are many things to do there such as cooking, spinning, and gardening. Plus it also reminded her of Laura Ingalls Wilder books (and we are quite fond of those books around here too!).
Lydia composed a tweet as though she was a young girl living at the farmstead back in the 1860s:
@Farmergirl: Cooling off in the dogtrot house after feeding the chickens. #summeronthefarm
Adam is next on the tour at the Renner School house. Like Lydia, Adam’s sister was also a Junior Historian and he got to help with the Hotel project for YouTube. After helping with that, Adam knew that being a Junior Historian would be fun. Adam’s choice for giving the tour of the school house was also in keeping with family tradition because that is the house is sister picked when she gave her tours. He mentioned that he liked that it was a big and open building and it gave him the opportunity to speak with a lot of people.
With his knowledge of the school house and disciplinary tactics used in the late 1800s, Adam composed his historical tweet from the point of view of a rowdy student getting in trouble:
@PigtailPicasso: Miss Melissa didn’t like my practicing writing with my classmate’s braids #noseinthecircleagain
Further down the path, Catharine was giving tours of the Sullivan House. Catharine is no stranger to the Village as her grandparents are two of our frequent photographers. She wanted to join the Junior Historians because she had already been around the Village so frequently and was interested in knowing more about the houses. She picked the Sullivan House, which features many technological advances, because she loved the fact that it had a toilet and the stories about the family and their toilet.
Catharine composed her tweet as one of the Sullivan boys famous around the Village for his entrepreneurial foresight:
@SullivanToiletKeeper: One More Penny! #toiletfun
The last stop for Junior Historian Tours today was at the Doctor’s Office. Megan was there giving lively tours of the house and explaining the use for each room. Megan discovered the Junior Historians program through our social media posts and wanted to join in order to improve her leadership and speaking skills as she is getting ready to apply for college. She wants to go into the medical field someday which is what lead her to her decision to give tours of the Doctor’s Office. Megan likes that all the rooms depict things that visitors are familiar with, like a waiting room and an apothecary/pharmacy, and this makes the building interactive and something to which visitors can compare their own experiences.
With her knowledge of the Doctor’s Office and Village legend of the resident skeleton, Megan composed her historical tweet as Alice:
@SkeletonAlice: The Doctor’s looking pretty good today. #skeletonregrets
The new Junior Historians did great today giving tours to visitors and staff. We are very excited for them to be joining our group. Make sure to come and visit the Village to get tours from these historians in the making! You will be amazed by how much they know!