Home is Where the Heart Is
There’s a lot of truth to the adage, “home is where your heart is.” Our Pinewood Estate volunteers are living proof. They make Pinewood Estate a home and thoroughly share the history of Pinewood Estate, fascinating visitors. Visitors want to know everything from the story of its gardens, design and use as a winter retreat for Bethlehem Steel Vice President Charles Austin Buck in the 1930s and 40s, to its transition through the decades and its other occupants, Esther Slater Kerrigan and the William Woodward Keen family. Our curious guests ask any number of questions, from “What is a ‘Moongate’?” to “Does this house have ghosts?”
We are able to successfully answer most of these questions and convey the story of Pinewood thanks to the tireless effort of our volunteers. The primary representatives of the estate, volunteers serve as docents for the self-guided tour. They are familiar with, and in many cases are fully immersed in, the history and stories of this place. They provide introductory information to all visitors, helping them understand who lived here and giving them some idea of how they lived. They are able to answer most visitors’ questions and engage in lively conversations with those individuals who exhibit particular interest in the house. Docents also ensure that both our visitors and the estate’s collection are kept safe. Because of their devotion to Pinewood and appetite for history, there will be additional projects made available to Pinewood volunteers in the future. Such projects could include assisting in routine historic housekeeping, helping conduct annual inventories, and performing research about more specific aspects of Pinewood and its contents. More special events and field trips may also be on the horizon. Of course, there is our annual Holiday Home Tour, during which volunteers design and decorate many spaces in the house, serve as Angels, and assist with the tour’s daily operations. If you are an outgoing individual with a love of history and time to spare, consider joining us and volunteering at Pinewood. We would most certainly love to have you!
If you’re interested in volunteering at Bok Tower Gardens please contact Lisa Allen at 863.734.1211.
by Elyse D. Gerstenecker, Pinewood Estate Coordinator