Learn to be a Joanna Furnace Tour Guide

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Fascinated by 19th-century history? Interested in early technology, crafts, cooking, or how about the art of ironmaking? Enjoy working with visitors, children and school groups? The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association and the Joanna Furnace Ironworks Museum are now recruiting friendly persons who are interested in volunteering to be historical site tour guides for pour 2018 season.

As a volunteer Tour Guide, you will lead small groups of visitors through the 226-year-old iron furnace complex. Your job will be to communicate the breadth of life in a 19th-century iron making community and blast furnace and introduce your group to the interpreters in each of the buildings. You will be taking the visitors back to a different place and time.

Each year over 30,000 people visit Joanna Furnace. The education programs reach over 2,000 students from Berks, Chester and Lancaster Counties. Since 1980, over 1.1 million guests have visited Joanna Furnace.

The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association invites interested persons to participate in one or all three of our Joanna Furnace History Training Classes coming in March. These classes will give basic, introductory level, information on assisting with tours at our upcoming fall festivals, public events and spring educational programs.

The three classes offered in 2018 are as follows:
History of Joanna Furnace – March 13th. This PowerPoint presentation will describe who the real Joanna is, why the furnace was built on this site in 1791 and discuss each of the historic Joanna Furnace Ironworks buildings.

Meet the Smith Family (the ironmaster dynasty of Berks County) – March 20th. HCVHA Executive Director Mark Zerr and Smith family descendent and Education Administrator, Juliana Flora will introduce the Smith Family genealogy. Attendees will learn where the Smith family originated and how they ended up with the Joanna Furnace Iron Site. Did you know that the Smith families’ real last name was MacDonald?

Garb Training – How to dress appropriately for our events and programs – March 27th. HCVHA garb trainer, Barbara Esterly will review women’s and men’s garb throughout the 100 years the furnace operated and demonstrate how to properly wear the period clothing. As interpreters and demonstrators, it’s crucial that all HCVHA Tour Guides and Interpreters tell a complete and historically correct story. To be a tour guide is to be a storyteller.

All the 1 ½ hour classes are held on Tuesday evenings at 7 pm and are FREE to HCVHA members. Non-members are also welcome to attend the classes but will be required to give a $10 per class donation to the organization.

RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED TO ATTEND EACH OF THESE CLASSES. Please email Mark Zerr at mzerr@haycreek.org or call 610-286-0388. Reservations must be made by March 8th.

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