Earlier this month I finished familiarizing myself with the sites on the Ranch by spending a few days in The George Ranch House. At the beginning of February I also spent a day at the 1860’s site tending the stove and heating water for tea as well as helping with a girl scouts’ program in which the tea was used.
This month I also spent the day north of Houston at Jesse H. Jones Park. They were having an annual event called Homestead Heritage Day. They needed extra help for the day so George Ranch sent a few people to help. Jesse Jones Park has sent volunteers for big events and George Ranch returns the favor when possible. While there I spent the day at their corn crib helping kids shuck and grind corn.
Throughout the month I also had an opportunity to learn new things such as spinning and other textile tasks (for which the ranch held a workshop for interested employees and volunteers).
I have also been working more on my project. I have finished reading a thesis written about the park. While reading I made notes about sections relevant to the project and where I can find information. Next I made a general plan about how to organize the information relating to the 1830’s site and what it the final product will cover. To make the task manageable I am starting with a single site and adding on as time allows. I also worked on reading more sources and adding their information to my framework.
This week I have been spending time at the 1890’s site in the Davis House for an annual event geared towards school children. During the event I have been playing the role of a teenage Mary Elizabeth Davis, often called Mamie. Although I was originally scheduled to work in the house all three days on Saturday, my voice failed. So instead, I ended up working in the office and taking pictures of the event at another site in the afternoon.
In the time I have spent in collections this month I have continued to do general day to day tasks such as condition reports and processing the collection. I have also started working on a object (rather than family) based tour of the 1930’s site. At this point I have mostly done research on this project. I have also continued to work on the upcoming temporary exhibit for the visitor center including measuring and cutting the fabric to recover the case bases. I later helped with the covering too.
I have continued to work on processing the Berry Papers, at this point I have put the first few boxes into an order that is pretty close to final.
Another long term project I have started this month is a pair of General Facilities Reports. By the time I am done I will have completed one for the collections building and another for the visitors center.