Feeling like I should give back to my new community, I picked a way to draw on old skills and learn more about my new home. I volunteer at the Sharlot Hall Museum, which is the local history museum, started by an illustrious woman of Prescott’s early days.
The four months of weekly training sessions included topics like the great beasts that once roamed here, first people of America, early Prescott Culture, the Yavapai people, Territorial history, and sessions on each of the many buildings that make up the museum, including the Territorial Governor’s headquarters. I opted to volunteer in the museum’s Library & Archives, where I do photo research and am helping with an oral history project. I also serve as a substitute docent at the Fort Whipple Museum, which was in service between 1864 and 1920 during the Indian wars, as the headquarters of the Military Department of Arizona, as home to the Buffalo Soldiers, as the mobilization point for the Rough Riders, and as a U. S. Army hospital. I also occasionally help with the museum’s special events like the Prescott Indian Art Market.
Not part of but related to my volunteering, I’ve written a few articles for the local paper. The first two are about a man who did much to help Prescott prosper in the late 1880s to the late 1910s. The third is about an illustrator who accompanied expeditions through central Arizona.
While I don’t miss working, it is nice to apply myself in ways that benefit the community and my desire to learn more about it. And that don’t interfere with other plans we might have!