From the Docent’s Point of View, Part 2

For this month’s blog post, part 2, we have decided to highlight two more of our docents who truly bring the story of Margaret Brown to life. These docents have been with us for over 20 years combined.

Meet Annie:

Annie on our front porch

1.How long have you been a docent?

I can’t remember!!  Think it has been about seven years.

2.What made you decide to become at docent at Molly Brown?

I had friends visiting in 1999 and treated them to a tour.  It was my first time at the Molly Brown House although I had been in Denver since 1975.  As we walked through the house, I kept thinking that I would love to tell Margaret’s story as a docent.  It took me a bit of time, but I finally made it.

3.What is your favorite thing about being a docent?

My favorite thing is sharing Margaret’s life story and accomplishments with visitors from other countries, other states, and, of course, from Colorado.

4. What is your favorite thing to talk about during your tour about Margaret?

The house, her family, and Titanic are among my favorite things to talk about.  My absolute favorite would be her involvement in the suffrage movement, the progressive movement, and charities. When talking about Margaret’s social activism, I think about all the women of that time who worked tirelessly to make the world a better place, but whose names are forgotten.

5. What is your favorite artifact in the house?

My favorite artifact is the light fixture in the foyer because it is original to the house.

6. Is there a story about a tour that stands out in your mind?

One late afternoon, I had only a couple on my tour probably in their late 70’s early 80’s.  They were the sweetest couple I had ever had on a tour.  The gentleman loved everything including the house, Margaret, and especially Titanic.  As we were leaving the second floor to go to the kitchen, he asked me if Margaret’s relationship with Jack Dawson was the same as in the Titanic movie.  I had to tell him that Jack was a fictitious character.  By the look on his face, I could tell he was crushed and it broke my heart.  But his next question made it even worse for a docent who must tell the truth.  The question was –  and Rose???

7. What do you want people to remember about the legacy of Margaret Brown?

To me Margaret’s legacy is that she achieved much in her life, but never turned away from her heritage.  She could have easily reinvented herself after she and J.J. became rich as many people did.  Margaret never tried to hide her humble beginnings or her Irish heritage and still achieved great things in her lifetime.  In any time period, this is a strong, confident woman.

8. Anything else you would like to share about your experiences at the museum?

It is wonderful that people take time from their visit to Denver or from their busy lives to come to the Molly Brown House Museum to hear about Margaret and Colorado history.   Docents are privileged to tell Margaret’s story and it is a story that seems new to me each time I tell it.

Meet Steph:

Steph at the State Capitol

1. How long have you been a docent?

I have been a docent at the Molly Brown House Museum for ten years.

2. What made you decide to become at docent at Molly Brown?

I have always been interested in history and historic houses.  I love the statement “Well-behaved women rarely make history” and think Margaret Brown fits that description.  When I retired from education I wanted a significant and rewarding volunteer experience.

3. What is your favorite thing about being a docent?

Meeting new people and sharing Margaret’s story with them.  I enjoy bringing the house to life with stories of the people who lived there and want to make sure that my guests have a meaningful experience.

4. What is your favorite thing to talk about during your tour about Margaret?

Margaret’s independence, her sense of social justice, and the wealth of experiences she had over a lifetime.  I want people to leave knowing how extraordinary and unique she was.

5. What is your favorite artifact in the house?

My favorite artifact is the punch bowl in the dining room.  It is beautiful and represents happy times in Margaret’s life—her wedding and entertaining guests in her home.

6. Is there a story about a tour that stands out in your mind?

Very early in my docent career I had the opportunity to give a tour to people who had lost their sight.  It was an interesting way to describe the house and its artifacts and challenged me to see it in a new way.

7. What do you want people to remember about the legacy of Margaret Brown?

Margaret Brown never gave up on her dreams; she had the determination and the persistence to achieve her social and philanthropic aspirations.  People she encountered throughout her life benefited from that experience.

8. Anything else you would like to share about your experiences at the museum?

I feel that I am an integral part of this museum.  My efforts are always acknowledged by the staff.  They are open to new ideas and allow volunteers to experience “behind the scenes” work at the museum in addition to our interaction with our guests.  I also appreciate the friendships I have with other volunteers at the museum.

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