We have some great things down the road – now’s your chance to get involved! As a thank you, we’re throwing you a party.

Calling all volunteers!

Past, present, and future volunteers – this is for you

On Saturday, August 22, we’ll host a coffee and cake type reception for anyone interested in volunteering at the Gulfport Historical Society, whether you care to volunteer as a museum staffer or work on special events. It’s our way of saying “thank you” for all you do.

If you’ve never volunteered with us before, that’s OK – please come and talk to us. Feel free to ask questions to see if we’re a good fit for you.

Museum volunteers will get a refresher on procedures and all their questions answered. We’ll also review how to use the security system and the iPad.

The biggest need we have is bodies to keep the museum doors open to the public. When we reopen with our new exhibit in September, we’ll also open the doors to the Square Mullet Coffee Company, a cafe serving coffee, tea, soft drinks, and fresh baked goods. We need someone to run the Square Mullet; there may be an opportunity for income in the distant future with this position (to be clear, right now, it’s a volunteer position, but we have income goals and once we meet those goals, we will consider paying a manager). The person who runs it will start as a volunteer but will have a great deal of marketing latitude.

Ideally, people will volunteer for a shift at the Square Mullet and this will serve as double-duty to staff the museum. Please contact Nicole Spence at info@GulfportHistoricalSociety.org for more information, or see her at the August 22 meeting.

In addition to staffing the museum, we need help with special events and projects on site. As many of you know, we’ve revamped the museum’s interior, and our new curator, Daun Fletcher, is already hard at work on our second exhibit of the year, What We Did on Our Summer Vacation. This photo retrospective will explore how Gulfportians have recreated since the town’s first settlers arrived in the 19th century. In addition, Daun has a list of projects with which she would love your help.

Projects include: 

  • Creating a list  a list of all of the ‘artifact’ furniture the museum has in its collection, including a description and photo.
  • Searching for items to match our accession paperwork. Accession paperwork is a fancy name for the paper trail each item in our collection should have. Volunteers will simply match the item to the paperwork and leave the paperwork by the item. If it is a list, volunteers can leave all the items in one area with the file on top.
  • We have some beautiful old windows donated to us, and we plan to use them in the next exhibit. We could use help carefully cleaning those windows (just the glass).

Board member Rob Burkhart has given us the fantastic idea of a book of photos and stories from Gulfportians. We want to make this happen; to do so, though, we need manpower. Take a look at that to-do list and tell us if you can help:

1. We need someone to collect photographs – and the information about the photograph. (Who is in the picture, where and when the photograph was taken, were there any special circumstances surrounding the photograph.) This information needs to be paperclipped to the photograph. Also, the owner of the photograph needs to be documented so they receive credit.

2. Someone to research the photographs to ensure their accuracy.

3. Someone to take photographs of some present-day locations. Not every historical photograph needs a present day comparison, but places that have been altered could have a present day photograph for comparison.

4. We would like to have sections of the book that feature businesses or attractions no longer around, like Osgoods fish house, or the lumber mill on Tangerine, or the skating rink on 49th Street. Perhaps we will add a section on our famous murders, or a section about the trolley – show a map of the tracks and tell readers what happened to the cars. Are any of them still in existence? We will need someone to research this.

We have other chances to volunteer, too:

Shortly, we’ll announce our October lineup. As most of you know, last year Gulfport City Council declared the first-ever Gulfport History Month in October. This year, the second annual Gulfport History Month has a great lineup of events, and we can’t wait to share them with all our members. We will need volunteers to work all the events, so if you would prefer to help one time only, please let us know at the August 22 meeting.

Finally, we need typists. We have some wonderful oral histories, but we need someone to transcribe them. This you can do in your own home, at your own pace and is one of our most important jobs.

No matter what your schedule or desire, there’s something for everyone. See you August 22 at 4 p.m.!