Sabrina Barlow was 12 years old when she began volunteering at the Museum of New Jersey Maritime History in the small town of Beach Haven. As a teenager, she created and ran a children’s program for the non-profit, enhancing the guest experience.
Now, nearly a decade later, Barlow is at it again, this time here in Historic Downtown Fayetteville at the Holliday Dorsey Fife Museum. Through July, she is tasked with helping to improve guest experiences by revising the Docent Tour Guide, creating an Artifact Reference Guide for each room of the museum, helping revise existing displays, create new displays, and more.
Barlow, who is an upcoming senior at Hillsdale College in Michigan, is majoring in history and politics, so when her family moved to Fayette County two years ago, she purposed to get to know the story behind her new hometown. Last summer, she volunteered at the National Archives in Morrow, where she did archival work relating to The Manhattan Project. This year, she contacted Museum Manager Thomas Lee to inquire about volunteering, and that’s when she learned about the City of Fayetteville’s summer intern program and about the museum’s need for the kind of work Barlow already has the passion and experience to do.
One of the first tasks set out for Barlow is to learn the stories already being told at the museum.
“It’s been interesting so far,” Barlow said. “I didn’t know what this museum was about, I just passed by it a lot, and I had heard about it.”
Lee said he was impressed with Barlow’s perspective on working with the museum from her first communication with him. “She said she wanted to learn more about her new community,” he said. “She wasn’t just looking for a job.”
Barlow says she hopes to be back in town next summer as well, though she hasn’t made specific plans to that end just yet.
“I’m looking into grad schools right now,” Barlow said. “They will probably be in the Georgia area.
The Holliday Dorsey Fife Museum, located at 140 West Lanier Avenue just off the Courthouse Square in Downtown Fayetteville, is open Tuesdays and Thursdays 10-5, and it is open Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays 10-3. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for students and seniors. Visit hdfhouse.com or call 770-716-5332 for more information.