Creating advocates for history through the stories of greater Los Angeles.
Marie Wang has been an active volunteer at the Homestead Museum for eighteen months. During this period, she has given about four and one-half hours per month. Marie is an outgoing person, which is why she has been successful working in the reception office greeting visitors and handling incoming calls. She has also assisted during our special tour weekends, and determined that that activity definitely suited her taste.
Marie is not afraid to pitch in whenever and wherever needed, and has participated in multiple festivals, a holiday workshop, and the annual Industry Hills rodeo. Her warm and friendly personality endears her to both the staff and museum visitors.
Please tell us about our first visit to the Homestead.
I found Homestead on a volunteer matching website. I was looking for somewhere where I don’t need to drive far. I was surprised when I saw Homestead’s address, for it is near where I live, and I drove on Don Julian Road before, yet I did not remember seeing it. When I first visited the property, I was happy to see it has a beautiful little glorieta, a beautiful lawn, and a pond to come with it. It is a beautiful and serene environment.
What caused you to begin volunteering here?
I have always wondered where all those city and street names came from: Temple street (I was driving up and down the street several years ago trying to find out what temple was on this street), Workman Street, Temple City, Baldwin, Rowland, La Puente. It is amazing to learn what change in weather, politics, and migration have influenced and help shaped the area.
What are your favorite programs at the Homestead, and why?
I like the Ticket to the Twenties festival, it is nice to see people sit around on the lawn enjoying the music and dancing. I like the Christmas decorations, which I did not help with, but did enjoy. I like being a tour assistant during special tours, which while helping, I also learn from the docent. I like the Behind-the-Scenes Tours—it is nice to see visitors’ excitement in seeing the grand big safe being opened; the curiosity and/or the hesitation to go down that old dusty stairs leading to the basement.
What keeps you volunteering at the Homestead?
I like to help out in office answering the phones or helping out in the store. I like to be able to help in small projects. They make me feel involved. The paid staff are knowledgeable and helpful, which take out the anxiety of working in areas I am not familiar with.
Thanks to Public Programs Assistant Craig Chyrchel for putting together this interview!