This month we are highlighting collections volunteer, Roberta Hyman. Roberta assists staff with labeling and housing artifacts, and many other projects! She is appreciated in the museum for her meticulous attention to detail. Visitors don’t see our behind-the-scenes volunteers, so we asked Roberta a few questions about her experience to share with you.
How long have you been volunteering at the Log House Museum?
I don’t remember how long I have been a volunteer, maybe 3-4 years.
What is your favorite thing about being a volunteer?
I love being a volunteer in Collections. I love touching the objects and learning their stories, learning about the donor, and where and when the objects were used. The stories are the best part!
What is your favorite thing about our local history?
Since I am not a West Seattle native I love learning about the area. I like seeing the buildings in the Junction and Alki and knowing what they were “before”. One of my favorite things was working with Nancy McPhee who knows everyone and everything about West Seattle. When I was working to catalog the wedding dress of Isabel Colman Pierce I learned that Nancy had been the 4-year-old flower girl in the wedding!
What is your favorite artifact from our collection?
One of the most fun things was being able to work on cataloging the wedding dress of Isabel Colman Pierce. Carefully handling the beautiful silk and looking at the tiny hand stitches was a treat for anyone who loves textiles. Then to read the 160 handwritten letters in the collection from Isabel’s years at Oberlin College and then on House Tour to be in the house her parents built was very special.
The other fun object I cataloged was the Santa Claus suit worn by Craig Roberts. At my request, he wrote out the story of the suit sewed by his mother and worn by his father for many years at the Junction so kids could have their pictures taken with Santa. It was a charming report.
Every object is interesting whether it be a yearbook or a calendar or a button. Each object has a story and a history.
At this time of the virus, if you are at home spending some time cleaning closets, if you find any interesting treasures from West Seattle’s past, please consider donating them.
(Note: Learn more about what we collect HERE)