PHMC Volunteers of the Year for 2019 Part 1

Anthracite Heritage Museum and Iron Furnaces Associates
James Shemanski
James Shemanski began volunteering at the museum in May 2018; his impact equals that of a much longer-tenured person. Jim is willing to assist wherever he is needed and is open to learning new skills. He is very personable, easy to chat with, and a good listener. A retired high school principal, Jim began volunteering as a docent so that he could support group tours and continue to share his knowledge about anthracite history with future generations. He assists in other areas as well - he helps inventory collections, greet customers, assists with front desk and gift shop staffing, and helps manage the Associates' digital files.

Brandywine Battlefield Park Associates
Stephanie Demott
During a visit to the site in 2014, Stevie Demott noticed that the Ring House garden was overgrown and in need of a spruce-up. She offered to help and worked with her husband, Tom, and Ralph and Marcia Denlinger to weed the four garden plots and replant them with herbs for the 2015 season. Stevie researched appropriate plants for an 18th-century kitchen herb garden and made ceramic markers for all the plants. She inserted color-coded stakes and wrote a guide to help visitors gain a better understanding of the medicinal, edible, household, and fragrant uses of plants and herbs in the 18th century. Each year, she continues to weed, replant, and make the garden a more enjoyable addition to Brandywine Battlefield Park.

Bushy Run Battlefield Heritage Society
Jean Saunders
Jean Saunders has been a member at the site for about 30 years, joining when her two children were young. In 2007, after she retired from teaching history, social studies, and language arts at the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, Jean increased her volunteer activities. Besides working in the gift shop and managing the desk at the Visitor Center, Jean serves as co-chair of the Education Committee. Under her leadership, many new programs have been introduced, requiring a great deal of organization to coordinate numerous activities and Committee members. Carrying on the family tradition, Jean's granddaughter Alli is very involved with the youth programs at Bushy Run.

Friends of Conrad Weiser Homestead
Garry Zerbe
Garry Zerbe grew up near the Homestead and remembers riding his bike on the paths in the Park and ice skating on the pond when he was 12 years old. In 2007, he responded to a request to join the Board of the Friends, two months after retiring as an equipment operator for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. His specialty is grooming the Park with various work parties, and he is the mighty set-up man for large events. Garry can be seen very early in the morning setting up the numerous display and traffic signs for the Patriotic Concert and Artisans in the Park events. His hope is to see the site remain open and active and for improvements to continue so that everyone can enjoy the beautiful setting - just as he did as a 12-year-old on his bike.

Friends of Cornwall Iron Furnace
Bruce Chadbourne
Bruce Chadbourne began volunteering at Cornwall in 2018 after moving to the area from Florida, and he is now a weekly volunteer at the museum. When he is not giving guided tours of the furnace, he is cataloging a large manuscript collection known as the Feitig Collection. Bruce volunteers at the museum's special events, including Charter Day, Blast, and Christmas at Cornwall. He attends most of the site's lectures, which he records for posterity. Bruce recently participated in a joint event with the Mount Gretna Historical Society, where he spoke about production of iron as it related to the Colebrook Furnace.

There is no honoree for this site for 2019.

Friends of Drake Well, Inc.
Bruce Peterson
Bruce Peterson has volunteered at the site for over 20 years. A consummate jack-of-all-trades, he provides invaluable expertise to a wide variety of projects. Over the past year, he has served as a tour guide, outreach educator, and Historic Pithole reenactor, sharing his background as an educator, his gregarious personality, and his love for oil history. (His portrayal of the "Cook" at Pithole Lantern Tours is a guest favorite.) Bruce has also provided significant insights regarding the museum's exterior exhibit upgrades. He was instrumental in the creation and implementation of the site's Brews & BBQ fundraiser - assisting with event planning, menu development, food preparation, and acquisition of proper equipment to improve the concession aspect of this and other site events.

Eckley Miners’ Village Associates
Georgia Nause
Retired teacher Georgia Nause has been volunteering at the site for more than 15 years. As a daughter of a coal miner, she loves to share her memories as she gives a tour. Whether it is with casual visitors, a busload of senior citizens, or a group of school children, she loves interacting with people. Georgia helps at the front desk with special events throughout the year, taking admissions, putting on wrist bands, or just answering questions. She is willing to do anything that needs to be done - always with a smile and a great attitude.