Volunteer at Fort Stanton

by Kaye on May 12, 2016

Do you want to walk in the footsteps of history? Do you want to tread where the frontier army was first stationed to protect the embattled Hispano settlers of Las Placitas, long before they called it Lincoln? Where Kit Carson began the rebuilding after the Texas Confederates left? Where the folks who started the Lincoln County War first met? Where Black Jack Pershing commanded the Buffalo Soldiers? Where the first Tuberculosis Hospital in New Mexico existed. Where German sailors were interned during World War Two?

You can be a part of the history of Lincoln County when you volunteer for as little as three hours a month as a docent at the Fort Stanton Museum. Fort Stanton, Inc. staffs the museum at Fort Stanton Historic Site and wants to expand the museum hours. Right now the museum is open Thursday through Saturday from 10am to 4pm, and on Sunday from noon to 4pm.

Museum at Fort StantonVolunteers will receive a 1 to 2 hour Docent Orientation to introduce them to the Museum and Gift Shop. An additional orientation is available to those interested in conducting tours of the parade grounds. Following orientation, new volunteers are assigned to work with an experienced volunteer and, when ready, volunteers are put on the Fort Stanton Museum schedule for a 3 hour shift.

Docents look forward to helping with Fort Stanton LIVE!, serving as museum guides, helping at the information table, and even getting into period costume, assuming a character’s identity, and engaging the visitors in historic conversation. Fort Stanton LIVE!, to be held July 13-14, will bring costumed Living Historians from the Civil War and Indian Wars eras to Fort Stanton for demonstrations, presentations, a concert and a military ball which will have visitors dancing into the night! Additionally, the event brings authors, historians, photographers, artists, and a variety of historical vendors to site to share their crafts and other handiwork.

Docents who volunteer to be at the museum on the third full weekend of each month will be there for the Living History Encampment at Fort Stanton when the Living Historians of the Fort Stanton Garrison, re-enact the pre-Civil War Company K, 8th US Infantry (1858). The soldiers set up camp at the Fort on Friday evening, and on Saturday present interactive historical interpretations from10am to 4pm. Visitors will enjoy the regular morning drill exercises followed by a variety of military activities throughout the day. Docents could assist visitors to witness everything from musket firing to mounted saber drills to the roar of the artillery.

If you are looking for a special place to visit and to volunteer, a place to help you understand the history of New Mexico, and a place whose beauty and activity will leave an indelible impression on you and your family, please visit the Fort Stanton Historic Site and help bring New Mexico history to life. Stop at the museum and speak with the docents on duty and be sure to contact Charlotte Rowe (575-336-4015) for more information.

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