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


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.

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