One of the things I most enjoy about working at the Barker Mansion is that I am surrounded by real living history. It can also pose as a disadvantage in many cases- we don’t allow photography of the artifacts, we cannot touch the artifacts and most of the items on the tours, some rooms must be roped off at the door. It is honestly an oxymoron. We want people to enjoy the history that the house provides, but as staff we create barriers so items can be preserved and enjoyed for future generations. One of the ways we can show guests artifacts is by creating exhibits.
Yesterday the Barker Mansion staff moved many of the exhibit cases from the 3rd floor ballroom to several other rooms in the mansion. Previously, the 3rd floor was a self- guided floor where several exhibit cases were created with items collected from the mansion. Today our first tour experienced our new exhibit case locations. Cases were put in the Catherine’s sitting room, master bathroom, master bedroom, and exhibits are still waiting to be created in the drawing room and old master bedroom. The tour flowed seamlessly- guests were able to visualize what items Mrs. Barker used in the master bedroom or see what toys Catherine played with in her sitting room. As a heritage interpreter here at the mansion, I am always examining how my tours go and what snags I come across in the story I tell. When the staff came together, we noticed similar problems in how our tour was constructed. Exhibit cases enhanced the experience of the tour and allowed guests to participate in learning what Catherine’s childhood was like here at the Barker Mansion.
Come take a look at our new exhibits!
Tours are offered Tuesday- Saturday from 10am – 11:30am for a 1st floor self guided tour and Tuesday- Saturday promptly at 1pm for a guided tour of all 3 floors of the mansion.Our Behind the Scenes tours are Wednesday nights at 7pm. Entry is limited to the first 15 guests.
See http://www.barkermansion.com for more details.