Letter: Be part of maritime history at Herreshoff Museum

Letter: Be part of maritime history at Herreshoff Museum


To the editor:

For 42 years the Herreshoff Marine Museum has been a fixture on the Bristol shoreline, assembling an unequaled collection of antique classic wooden boats and artifacts documenting an important piece of Bristol and Rhode Island maritime history. In the past few years the museum has experienced a tremendous resurgence and excitement about its programs.

  • An audience of more then 100 guests typically attends our monthly lecture series.
  • Sailing school attendance has doubled in each of the last two years.
  • Exhibits have been renewed, redesigned and made more interesting.
  • Our project to build a 1/6 scale model of the famous America’s Cup defender Reliance has attracted universal admiration and a cadre of dedicated volunteers.
  • Attendance, membership and store sales are all up.

However, no museum (or any other nonprofit, for that matter) can prosper without a strong corps of volunteers to perform critical roles that it does not have funding to pay for. The Herreshoff Marine Museum has enjoyed enthusiastic volunteer support at times in our history. We would like to rekindle that interest.  We have the following openings available for volunteers or interns:

  • Membership secretary/Development assistant – uses our DonorPerfect software to keep track of all contributions and memberships, prepares thank you letters, tax notifications and solicitation letters.
  • Volunteer coordinator – Schedules volunteers, helps solicit new volunteers, keeps track of volunteer hours, organizes volunteer training and social events.
  • Docents – become experts in the history of the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company and its founders, greet visitors to the Museum, conduct visitor tours, assist in school field trips to the Museum.
  • Gardeners – tend the Museum’s gardens and flowers.
  • Boat maintenance – help maintain our boats, both those on display and our use boats.
  • Exhibit assistants – help maintain, design and improve exhibits.
  • Store clerks – work in the Museum store and meet and greet visitors to the Museum.
  • Docks and waterfront hands – help maintain, launch and haul our docks and moorings, greet and assist visitors to the marina.
  • Collections care assistants – assist the curator and the registrar in identifying, cataloguing and caring for the Museum’s collections.
  • Building maintenance – help maintain our campus buildings, including painting, carpentry, plumbing and electrical work.

The minimum age for acceptance as a volunteer is 16. We ask volunteers to commit to a minimum of at least four hours per week and at least 120 hours per year.

All those interested in volunteering should email [email protected] or call Maggie Church at the Museum, (401) 253-5000. An information session to find out more about the HMM volunteer program will be held on Saturday, March 23, from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. Please consider helping us “be all we can be.”

Larry Lavers

One Burnside Street

Mr. Lavers is chief operating officer of the Herreshoff Marine Museum, www.herreshoff.org.