Last October, members of the Rapidan Society were invited to get a peek behind the scenes of Shenandoah with the park’s museum management department to winterize Massanutten Lodge.
The Lodge, which was once the home of Addie Nairn Pollock, co-owner of Skyland Resort and wife of Skyland founder George Freeman Pollock, is part of Shenandoah’s Museum collection.
Under the supervision of Kandace Muller, the park’s Museum Specialist, and her expert staff, Rapidan Society volunteers got to help park staff pack up historical artifacts and clean the structure. They moved and covered large furniture items, wrapped and stored other items, such as textiles, decorative plates, and baskets, and otherwise helped protect the Lodge’s contents from degradation over the winter until Shenandoah re-opens in the Spring of 2024.
Volunteers had the opportunity to ask Muller questions about how the park handles its tangible history, and they learned about the use of standard museum management processes for historical collections.
“I was able to learn something about the history of the Lodge and meet park employees and interns,” said volunteer Anne Colgate. “They were all so passionate about caring for the park and its treasures. It was all fascinating and I hope I can do it again.”
Fran Butterfoss and Patsy Neese hang protective plastic over a window.
David Weiss and Tom Butterfoss vacuum cushions through a protective screen.
All the volunteers worked hard and learned first-hand what goes into preserving history while also ensuring that park visitors get a chance to learn about the people and events that made Shenandoah what it is today.
Laura Macaluso and Anne Colgate pack up fragile books under the guidance of Museum Intern Claire Kittell.
With your support, we’ve been able to fund a Museum Management Intern for the last 5+ years to assist Muller and her team with managing exhibits, conducting demonstrations for park visitors on best practices is the museum management field, and keeping track and taking care of historical artifacts like those in Massanutten Lodge.