January 2, 2019 – There are approximately 120 volunteers currently working at the Sanibel Historical Village. Their duties run the gamut, from greeting guests at the door, to working in the museum store, to giving tours, and to farming the pioneer garden. “We’d like to both recognize our volunteers’ contributions and share with the community what it means to be part of the Historical Village family,” said Executive Director Emilie Alfino.
Ginny Darby came to the village in the fall of 2017. She comes to Sanibel from Dubuque, Iowa, and now spends about seven months on Sanibel and five months in Madison, Wisconsin. Darby was a high school teacher and theater director, directing well over 100 plays and musicals. “What brought me to Sanibel was the same siren song that lures most of Sanibel’s inhabitants,” Darby said. “Sanibel is a magical place.” She most often volunteers in the Rutland house and just recently led her first full tour of the village. Darby said she has always been fascinated with history. “I have the greatest respect and admiration for the pioneers and people who created our country and community. Learning about the history of Sanibel and sharing that knowledge with others is a real joy.” Darby explains why she chooses to volunteer at the village: “The folks who settled Sanibel were courageous, hardworking, and spirited people,” she explained. “The village is a remarkable resource on the island. I enjoy interacting with the visitors and getting to know other volunteers with similar sensibilities.”
Carol DiCorpo started working at the village seven years ago, in 2011. She hails from Avon Lake, Ohio, and stays on Sanibel seven months of the year. A vacation in 1974 brought her to Sanibel, and she has not missed a year since. She serves as a docent in the museum. For Luminary this year, she was a docent in the Rutland House, the first house brought to the village back in 1984. What does she enjoy most? “The museum store and the people,” DiCorpo said. “I enjoy the Rutland House, because that’s where I started. Back then, we would collect the admissions there and tell the visitors the history of the house and some information about the village. We were always busy!” In addition to enjoying the history of the island, DiCorpo said she chooses to volunteer at the village “to meet all the different people coming and going, to make new friends, and to fill that extra time we have when we retire.”
Connie Jump joined the village’s family of volunteers in 2015. She is from the Indianapolis area but has lived all over the United States and in Scotland. Jump lives full-time in Southwest Florida except for visits up north several times a year to see her grandchildren. She first vacationed on Sanibel in 1988 after reading about it in a Conde Nast Traveler magazine. “I fell in love with the beach and the quaintness of the island,” Jump said, “so I vacationed here often until I finally bought a condo and eventually moved in full-time.” In addition to volunteering at the village; Connie also makes silverware wind chimes that are sold in the museum store and helps with graphic design projects. Jump named the Morning Glories cottage as her favorite building. “It’s a darling historic Sears kit house that would be as comfortable and welcoming to live in today as it was in 1926 – except I’d need air conditioning,” Jump said. She explained that the historical village satisfies her fix for history, antiques, preservation, and fun volunteers and staff.
The Sanibel Historical Village is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Full guided tours take place at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at no additional charge, depending on docent availability. The village is located at 950 Dunlop Road (next to BIG ARTS) and there is handicap access to the buildings. Admission is $10 for adults over 18. Members and children are free. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.sanibelmuseum.org or call (239) 472-4648.