I am very excited to be starting a new adventure. This one was too hard to resist.
A few weeks ago I did a short post on the Fairbanks House in Dedham, Massachusetts. The Fairbanks house has the unique distinction of being the oldest timber frame house in the United States. Imagine how a house historian would feel living within a half hour of the oldest house in America!
I finally realized I was missing an incredible opportunity. I felt this house could have a lot to teach me about history, architecture, research and how people value historic houses.
This Spring I signed up to be a docent for the 2012 open season. The program is run by curator Meaghan Siekman and the training started in February. During the training sessions I will learn about the family, the house’s place in history as well as details about architecture and museum pieces.
I am both excited and terrified at the same time. I am really excited to be able to learn about the house and view it on a regular basis. When I work with private clients I typically only get to see a house a few times. Now I will be able to learn and observe on a weekly basis. I am also excited to work with tour groups. I love meeting people and I’m sure I will learn a lot from the many people who will come through the house. Undoubtedly they will include Fairbanks descendants, historic house lovers and hopefully some archaeologists, historians and architectural historians as well. I hope I will be able to learn from them just as they are learning from me.
I am slightly terrified, however, at the thought of trying to remember 8 generations of Fairbanks family history. On top of that I will need to know architectural details and information about the museum pieces. But my excitement is greater than my fear and I can’t wait until the house opens and the tours start in May.
If you’re coming to Massachusetts in 2012 put the Fairbanks House on your list. You just may have me as your tour guide!