Volunteer Spotlight: Michaela

Name: Michaela Francis

summer 2014
When did you begin volunteering?

May 2018

What drew you to volunteer at the Hunter House?

I wanted to tap into my love for museums and history in order to keep that spark alive. After being unable to do the graduate program of my dreams I hit an emotional rock bottom, and only recently have I been able to pull myself out of that funk.

What is your favorite item in our collection?

If I have to choose, it’s probably Mrs. Hunter’s teacup collection.

Coffee or Tea?

Depends on my mood!

Favorite period television or movie drama, historic novel, or both.

I don’t have “a” favorite, but there’s a series I’m currently watching that I’m absolutely in looooooooooove with! One of my hobbies is watching (mostly East) Asian movies and dramas. There’s a Chinese historical drama (based on a book) I’m watching called “Legend of Fuyao” about a young woman born from a divine lotus petal who goes on a journey across five kingdoms to collect secret talisman and bring peace to the land.

Do you have a mantra or favorite quote?

Sure don’t! But, I have a collection of memes that I like to use regularly and send to my friends.

Name a hidden talent of yours.

I wouldn’t really call this a talent, but it is hidden in a way since it’s to my advantage to hide it from the general public. I can make this weird “Pterodactyl” noise that most people find amusing.

What has been the highlight of your time as a volunteer with us?

Being able to interpret the actual belongings and living space of the Hunter family.

When not at the museum, you can find me…

Walking around Downtown Norfolk!

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Volunteer Spotlight: Carol

Each month, we would like to highlight some of our docents and bring them to life for each of you. Our docent staff is made up of individuals from far and wide, of varying ages, and diverse backgrounds. We hope you might consider joining our team after learning more about us. Next up- Carol!

Name: Carol

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When did you begin volunteering? 

April 2016

 

What drew you to volunteer at the Hunter House?

I had visited Hunter House in the 1990s and when we moved to the neighborhood, I was immediately drawn to the house because of its Victorian architecture and the overall charm of the grounds.

 

What is your favorite item in our collection?

Harriet Ayers’ sampler and the tilting ice water pitcher

 

Coffee or Tea?

Tea, of course!

 

Favorite period television or movie drama, historic novel, or both.

Poldark, anything Jane Austen, Upstairs Downstairs

 

Do you have a mantra or favorite quote?

“We’ll figure it out”

  

Name a hidden talent of yours.

I am a good proofreader

 

What has been the highlight of your time as a volunteer with us?

Getting to know (and love) all of the people who support the museum

 

Fill in the blank: When not at the museum, you can find me at a YMCA yoga class or gardening.

 

Thanks for sharing with us Carol! If you would like to know more about joining our family of volunteers, call us at 623-9814 or shoot us an email at hhvm1894@gmail.com.

Volunteer Spotlight: Doug

Each month, we would like to highlight some of our docents and bring them to life for each of you. Our docent staff is made up of individuals from far and wide, of varying ages, and diverse backgrounds. We hope you might consider joining our team after learning more about us. Next up- Doug!

Name: Doug

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When did you begin volunteering? 

October 2017

 

What drew you to volunteer at the Hunter House?

In September 2017, the museum had a 110th Jamestown Expo Tea and I attended with the Tidewater Coin Club to display and discuss our memorabilia for the event. I ended up being recruited by the staff.

 

What is your favorite item in our collection?

The Barred Owl in the back parlor. I call is Oscar.

 

Coffee or Tea?

Both- coffee for breakfast, HOT tea for the rest of the day- year round!

 

Favorite period television or movie drama, historic novel, or both.

I don’t even own a tv, let alone watch it.

But, I do have some favorite movies- 1991 version of Last of the Mohicans and The Black Robe.

 

Do you have a mantra or favorite quote?

“You can’t learn any younger”

  

Name a hidden talent of yours.

Numismatics, Historical Reenactor (30 years- French and Indian War and Revolutionary War), former folk musician and guitar player, former radio disc jockey, make knives and powder horns for the reenactors

 

What has been the highlight of your time as a volunteer with us?

4/25/18- I gave my first tour as a docent, solo!

 

Fill in the blank: When not at the museum, you can find me waling for exercise, having breakfast at Chick-fil-a, shopping for groceries, reading the newspaper, working in my workshop making tools, and generally enjoying retirement.

 

Thanks for sharing with us Doug! If you would like to know more about joining our family of volunteers, call us at 623-9814 or shoot us an email at hhvm1894@gmail.com.

Volunteer Spotlight: Phyllis

Each month, we would like to highlight some of our docents and bring them to life for each of you. Our docent staff is made up of individuals from far and wide, of varying ages, and diverse backgrounds. We hope you might consider joining our team after learning more about us. Next up- Phyllis!

Name: Phyllis Campbell

phyllis 

 

When did you begin volunteering? 

April 2013

 

What drew you to volunteer at the Hunter House?

My interest in the Victorian Era

 

What is your favorite item in our collection?

My favorite space is the inglenook on the staircase

 

Coffee or Tea?

Tea

 

Favorite period television or movie drama, historic novel, or both.

Westerns; I love Chuck Norris

 

Do you have a mantra or favorite quote?

not really, but I love to tell jokes

  

Name a hidden talent of yours.

Like any good Victorian, I can play piano (a little)

 

What has been the highlight of your time as a volunteer with us?

Hanging out in the kitchen with the other volunteers spending time together drinking tea and having snacks

 

Fill in the blank: When not at the museum, you can find me getting my exercise walking at the mall.

 

Thanks for sharing with us Phyllis! If you would like to know more about joining our family of volunteers, call us at 623-9814 or shoot us an email at hhvm1894@gmail.com.

Volunteer Spotlight: Anna

Each month, we would like to highlight some of our docents and bring them to life for each of you. Our docent staff is made up of individuals from far and wide, of varying ages, and diverse backgrounds. We hope you might consider joining our team after learning more about us. Next up- Anna!

Name: Anna Barbay

anna 

 

When did you begin volunteering? 

October 2017

 

What drew you to volunteer at the Hunter House?

I came to a garden lecture on Penny Dreadfuls and decided to start volunteering that day! Now y’all are stuck with me 😉

 

What is your favorite item in our collection?

The cabinet in the front parlor and Mrs. Hunter’s bedroom suite

 

Coffee or Tea?

Tea! (Unless I really can’t function, then coffee)

 

Favorite period television or movie drama, historic novel, or both.

Penny Dreadful, The Alienist, Alias Grace, Titanic, The Molly American Girl Collection, The Importance of Being Earnest, Pride and Prejudice, Dracula, Frankenstein

 

Do you have a mantra or favorite quote?

It doesn’t cost anything to be a nice person; everyone is fighting an invisible battle; let it be; fail again, fail better

  

Name a hidden talent of yours.

I can write, sing, and crochet

 

What has been the highlight of your time as a volunteer with us?

I’ve made not just new friends, but a family. I feel like I have been here far longer than six months (in a good way). It has renewed my love of history and research. I have a true home away from home.

 

Fill in the blank: When not at the museum, you can find me at home working on genealogy, watching tv with my cats, working at my brother’s shop, performing with my murder mystery troupe, or in the craft section of Walmart buying stuff I don’t need 🙂

 

Thanks for sharing with us Anna! If you would like to know more about joining our family of volunteers, call us at 623-9814 or shoot us an email at hhvm1894@gmail.com.

Volunteer Spotlight: Becky

Each month, we would like to highlight some of our docents and bring them to life for each of you. Our docent staff is made up of individuals from far and wide, of varying ages, and diverse backgrounds. We hope you might consider joining our team after learning more about us. Next up- Becky!

Name: Becky Fawcett

becky 

 

When did you begin volunteering? 

Late 1990s

 

What drew you to volunteer at the Hunter House?

The previous Director forced me 😉  (Just kidding, I love you Margaret!)

 

What is your favorite item in our collection?

The Japanese Bridal Chest upstairs in the hallway- if only it would fit in my pocketbook!

 

Coffee or Tea?

TEA- no contest

 

Favorite period television or movie drama, historic novel, or both.

It’s not Victorian, but “Pride and Prejudice” and “A Woman of Substance”

 

Do you have a mantra or favorite quote?

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and “All is well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well”

  

Name a hidden talent of yours.

So many! Not all hidden: crocheting, writing, scrapbooking, stamping, started to learn the flute when I turned 60 but it isn’t a talent yet

 

What has been the highlight of your time as a volunteer with us?

Lots! Making friends with everyone, drinking tea together, learning all about the Victorian Era, and being able to sign up for events before everyone else because I know about them first!

 

Fill in the blank: When not at the museum, you can find me reading, working on my hobbies, picking up by grandkids, drinking tea, or watching Blue Bloods (I love Tom Sellick!!!).

 

Thanks for sharing with us Becky! If you would like to know more about joining our family of volunteers, call us at 623-9814 or shoot us an email at hhvm1894@gmail.com.

Volunteer Spotlight: Gloria

Each month, we would like to highlight some of our docents and bring them to life for each of you. Our docent staff is made up of individuals from far and wide, of varying ages, and diverse backgrounds. We hope you might consider joining our team after learning more about us. Next up- Gloria!

Name: Gloria Eatroff

gloria 

 

When did you begin volunteering? 

Honestly, it has been so long I cannot recall- maybe 1999?

 

What drew you to volunteer at the Hunter House?

I love all things Victorian- have loved it since childhood. I was born at the wrong time!

 

What is your favorite item in our collection?

The Renaissance Revival bed and the student relaxer chair

 

Coffee or Tea?

Tea, black with no sugar or cream

 

Favorite period television or movie drama, historic novel, or both.

I’m a lover of anything Victorian, however, I love “Brooklyn Bridge”- a series from the 1950s.

 

Do you have a mantra or favorite quote?

“Could be worse!”

  

Name a hidden talent of yours.

I am a really good worrier- ask my family.

 

What has been the highlight of your time as a volunteer with us?

The companionship with lots of nice ladies; learning something new each day; collecting more Victorian ‘facts’

 

Fill in the blank: When not at the museum, you can find me with a book and a cookie or furiously scribbling letters to my children.

 

Thanks for sharing with us Gloria! If you would like to know more about joining our family of volunteers, call us at 623-9814 or shoot us an email at hhvm1894@gmail.com.

Volunteer Spotlight: Raven

Each month, we would like to highlight some of our docents and bring them to life for each of you. Our docent staff is made up of individuals from far and wide, of varying ages, and diverse backgrounds. We hope you might consider joining our team after learning more about us. Next up- Raven!

Name: Raven Hudson

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When did you begin volunteering? 

November 2017

 

What drew you to volunteer at the Hunter House?

The Hunter House and the Freemason district as a whole drew me in to moving to Norfolk two years ago. I saw the house when I visited for the first time to see my brother, and it stood out to me as the most beautiful house in Downtown Norfolk (in my humble opinion). I knew from the moment that I saw it that had to visit and learn all I could about the Hunter family.

 

What is your favorite item in our collection?

I love Mrs. Hunter’s room the most. Her vanity, donned with photos of the family and personal items, always makes me remember that real humans lived and thrived in the home. I like the container that would hold her hair, which is odd but endearing in a way.

 

Coffee or Tea?

Black tea and agave for life!

 

Favorite period television or movie drama, historic novel, or both.

I’m obsessed with the popular history novel The Devil in the White City that describes the Columbian Exhibition in Chicago of 1893 in conjunction with the murders of H.H. Holmes. I also love the author Ransom Riggs who scours antique shops looking for old photographs and writes stories about the characters he images from them. Much of the images he uses are from the Victorian period. His recent series Ms. Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children was made into a motion picture, but to see the photographs you must dive into the books. I love all things Sherlock Holmes as well.

 

Do you have a mantra or favorite quote?

My mantra for 2018 has been to constantly appreciate was I have in front of me rather than looking for the things I desire or the future. I want to make everyday full of things that make a happy and spend time doing fulfilling work.

  

Name a hidden talent of yours.

I’m pretty good at taking objects that you normally throw away and repurposing them. I reuse used tea bags, cardboard, newspaper, and old book pages a lot in my artwork.

 

What has been the highlight of your time as a volunteer with us?

I am very new so it’s hard to say what my highlight is just yet, but honestly every moment in this lovely home feels like a dream to me. I particularly love just walking through the house and spotting the rainbow patterns reflecting off the floors and walls from the stained-glass windows. I love seeing how happy the tea party goers are when they visit for the first time and decorating for those teas. I also love hearing all the stories about the Hunter family that the seasoned docents remember.

 

Fill in the blank: When not at the museum, you can find me exploring other historical areas of Hampton Roads, at the library, antiquing, reading, painting, or traveling if possible.

Thanks for sharing with us Raven! If you would like to know more about joining our family of volunteers, call us at 623-9814 or shoot us an email at hhvm1894@gmail.com.

Volunteer Spotlight: Nathan

Each month, we would like to highlight some of our docents and bring them to life for each of you. Our docent staff is made up of individuals from far and wide, of varying ages, and diverse backgrounds. We hope you might consider joining our team after learning more about us. Next up- Nathan!

Name: Nathan Keckley

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When did you begin volunteering? 

June 2017

 

What drew you to volunteer at the Hunter House?

A love of history, culture, and Victorian literature

What is your favorite item in our collection?

A dance card for the Portsmouth Naval Yard belong to Harriet Hunter, in which she has erased several names and written different ones over them. In a museum sadly lacking in any form of diary or personal journal, I find this card to be one of the objects in our collection that best expresses the human psyche and whimsy of the Hunters. It paints Harriet not as a museum piece herself, but as a human being with thoughts and changes of mind.

Coffee or Tea?

Tea. If black, with sugar; otherwise, straight. My favorites are Earl Gray, English Breakfast with cloves and orange peel, and green with mango.

Favorite period television or movie drama, historic novel, or both.

Downton Abbey

Do you have a mantra or favorite quote?

“So long as there shall exist, by reason of law and custom, a social condemnation which, in the midst of civilization, artificially creates a hell on earth, and complicates with human fatality a destiny that is divine; so long as the three problems of the century – the degradation of man by the exploitation of his labour, the ruin of women by starvation and the atrophy of childhood by physical and spiritual night are not solved; so long as, in certain regions, social asphyxia shall be possible; in other words and from a still broader point of view, so long as ignorance and misery remain on earth, there should be a need for books such as this.” – Victor Hugo

 

Name a hidden talent of yours.

I have an excellent sense of direction. Without a map, I can usually find my way around pretty effectively in an environment to which I’ve been exposed at least once before; when I’m somewhere new, a basic map is usually all I need.

 

What has been the highlight of your time as a volunteer with us?

The best aspect has been the opportunity to write and compose lectures, articles, and parlor talks for the museum.

Fill in the blank: When not at the museum, you can find me ________________

At the theatre or the library

 

 

Thanks for reading! If you are interested in learning more about our volunteer program, please contact us by email at hhvm1894@gmail.com, on Facebook, or by phone at (757) 623-9814.

Volunteer Highlight: Kristen

Each month, we would like to highlight some of our docents and bring them to life for each of you. Our docent staff is made up of individuals from far and wide, of varying ages, and diverse backgrounds. We hope you might consider joining our team after learning more about us.First up- Kristen!

Name: Kristen D.

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When did you begin volunteering?April 2015

What drew you to volunteer at the Hunter House? 

I took a tour of the house years ago and remembered it as being a very warm and friendly environment. My therapist recommended that I do some volunteer work and I remembered the Hunter House as a nice place to visit. I interviewed with Jackie and Margaret and felt very welcomed.

What is your favorite item in our collection?

I like Mrs. Hunter’s writing desk upstairs, with all of the items on the desk as well.

Coffee or Tea?

I’m a big tea drinker at the house, when I’m volunteering.

Favorite period television or movie drama, historic novel, or both.

I love Downton Abbey

Do you have a mantra or favorite quote?

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Name a hidden talent of yours.

I’m very good at organizing

What has been the highlight of your time as a volunteer with us?

Sharing my time and story with other volunteers, especially Jean, who passed away last year. I loved coming to hear her talk about her life. With her English accent, anything that came out of her mouth seemed precious. Getting to know all our volunteers and staff has been a joy.

Fill in the blank: When not at the museum, you can find me ________________

cross-stitching

 

Thanks for sharing with us Kristen! If you would like to know more about joining our family of volunteers, call us at 623-9814 or shoot us an email at hhvm1894@gmail.com.