Historical Volunteers

The District offers many opportunities throughout the year for historically-minded volunteers to immerse themselves in the history of our region. Whether you enjoy working with the District’s volunteer team to restore the historical McConnell farmstead or prefer to dress in historical garb to interpret the stories of our past at the Powers-Walker House, the Festival of the Sugar Maples or one of the many programs presented by the Education Services Department, there’s a place for you to contribute your skills in the company of other historically-minded volunteers.

For more information, contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 815.338.6223 x 1201 or Volunteers@MCCDistrict.org


Powers-Walker House at Glacial Park
Volunteers host “living history” events, tours and open houses at the restored Powers-Walker homestead that help the public appreciate and understand early settlers’ connection to the land. Wearing their own historic attire, volunteers interpret and demonstrate early settlement crafts and everyday living skills from the 1850’s at events, such as the Ice Cream Social of 1858 and the Harvest Gathering of 1858.

QUALIFICATIONS: Minimum age 18; must be a registered District volunteer. Volunteers must be physically capable of carrying out their duties. They must be responsible, reliable and available at the times required by the position.
EXPERIENCE: An interest in local history and the ability to work in a team setting is necessary.
SCHEDULE: Primarily weekends and evenings
LOCATION: Powers-Walker Historic Site in Glacial Park, Ringwood


McConnell Farmhouse in Richmond
Volunteers are leading the effort to restore the District-owned historic 1870’s Greek Revival style house and farmstead in Richmond. When completed, it may open to the public as a living history educational site, much like the Powers-Walker House. Volunteers meet one Saturday each month to work on indoor and outdoor projects such as painting, carpentry, tuck pointing, window repairs, decorating and grounds keeping.

QUALIFICATIONS: Minimum age 18; must be a registered District volunteer. Volunteers must be physically capable of carrying out their duties. Responsible, reliable and available at times required by the position. Volunteers supply their own historic costume.
EXPERIENCE: An interest in local history, relevant experience in historical interpretation or skills/crafts of the time period and the ability to work in a team setting is necessary.
SCHEDULE: Once a month on a Saturday morning.
LOCATION: McConnell Farmstead, Richmond


The Festival of the Sugar Maples
When the maple sap begins to run at the end of winter, this event holds a special magic for many volunteers who enjoy sharing their knowledge of our historical ties to the land through the traditions of making maple syrup. Each year, staff and volunteers tap maple trees and make syrup at Coral Woods in preparation for this popular annual outdoor educational event. During the first two weekends of March, volunteers lead tours of the half-mile Sugar Maple Loop to teach visitors about the history and process of making maple syrup. Volunteers may also dress in period garb to interpret the early history of syrup making.

On weekdays, school groups enjoy a field trip to the festival, and are introduced to the same late winter landscape and syrup making techniques that are presented to the public. At the end of each tour, the visiting public and students are offered a taste of pure Coral Woods maple syrup at the Sugar House.

QUALIFICATIONS: Minimum age 14; must be a registered District volunteer. Volunteers must be physically capable of working outdoors in late winter weather conditions and walking at least one mile over uneven ground. They must be responsible, reliable and available at the times required by the position.
EXPERIENCE: No prior experience is necessary. Ability to work with the public, enthusiasm for interpretation, and public speaking skills are necessary for tour guides and historical interpreters.
TRAINING: New volunteers attend a Saturday morning training workshop.
TIME COMMITMENT: This event is held each year in March. The minimum time commitment is one weekend or weekday shift, plus a Saturday morning training meeting for new volunteers.
LOCATION: Coral Woods Conservation Area, Marengo


Cultural History Education Programs and Events
Volunteers who interpret historical lifeways and traditions can choose to assist with several ongoing events, including Historical Skills Workshops, Time Travelers Camp, Historical Holidays, Make Your Own Wooden Toys, Winter on the Frontier, Prairie Pioneers, Life with the Métis and Life in a Wigwam. 

QUALIFICATIONS: Minimum age 14; must be a registered District volunteer. Volunteers must enjoy historical interpretation and be willing to take direction from the Education Services Staff. Ability to work with the public and public speaking skills are necessary.
TIME COMMITMENT: Depends on the event. Usually 2 – 4 hours per program.
LOCATION: Primarily Glacial Park and the Prairieview Education Center, but programs may be occasionally be presented at other District sites.