Historical society hosts volunteer event

Contributed by Jill Tartaglino

Are you looking for a satisfying way to contribute to the community?  The Fluvanna Historical Society needs volunteers with all sorts of skills, no matter how much or little time you have to give.  Its mission is to preserve the history of the county, and to share that information. There’s no need to have extensive knowledge of the county or be an expert in anything. Here are some of the ways you can help:

Museum volunteers: Fluvanna County is fortunate to have several museums: the Old Stone Jail, Holland Page Place, and the Farm Heritage Museum. Our docents give tours of the exhibits.  This is very rewarding work, and a favorite of many of the museum volunteers. The Society also give tours of the historic courthouse and walking tours of the Village of Palmyra.  Museum volunteers assist with maintaining the exhibits and with creating new exhibits to engage visitors.  They also help with inventory of our artifacts and keeping accurate records of the Society’s holdings. 

Event coordinators: The Fluvanna Historical Society hosts events throughout the year to inform people about the work it does and to engage with potential donors and volunteers and encourage people to join the Society. Volunteers help plan these events and help manage the logistics, including organizing and setting up chairs, tables, and publications. 

Writers and photographers:  The Society publishes annual newsletters, an annual bulletin, and creates press releases, announcements, and advertisements. Skilled writers help with this work, as do gifted photographers. If you have an interest in history, the Society can use your talents.

Researchers:  Do you love to research topics in history? The Society needs people who can help find information for its annual bulletins, newsletters, and various projects. 

Computer/IT specialists:  People with these skills are much needed!  From help with the Society’s website to assisting with archive indexing, scanning and digitizing its many valuable old documents can be fascinating.

Archiving: The volunteers in the Society’s archives preserve and organize the documents, photographs, and maps in its collection.  They also help people with research requests, whether they are looking for their ancestors, wondering about the history of their old home, or are interested about a particular place or event in the county’s history. 

Digital mapping experts: The Society is working on a project to do historic digital mapping of Fluvanna County. It needs volunteers who are familiar with using digital mapping.  Just as important, but not requiring any skills, are people who know about the “lost places” in the county.  Do you know about abandoned cemeteries and homesites, old stores, or other forgotten places?  The Society will be getting GPS coordinates, information, and photos of these places to add to our maps.

Clerical work:  The Society always have a pile of papers that need to be filed. This is an easy job that would be very much appreciated!

Carpentry, building, maintenance, and gardeners:  The Society can always use a hand with the small but important everyday tasks:  weeding and planting the small gardens at its headquarters, Maggie’s House, and its museums; making small repairs to buildings; minor painting, gutter cleaning; building racks to organize  artwork and photographs or other storage.

Whether you have a couple of hours every week, or can just help out occasionally, the historical society can use your help and your talents!  Come and talk to us!  The Society will be hosting an informational session so that you can talk to us about what you might have to offer or find out more. Come to Maggie’s House on Main Street in Palmyra on Saturday, Feb. 4 from 10 a.m. to noon. You can also email fluvannahistory@gmail.com, or leave a message at 434-589-7910.  

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