My First Day at My Second Job

Last Tuesday I was offered a part-time position as a docent at the Decatur House. Commodore Stephen Decatur was a naval hero who made his fortune commandeering enemy ships during the Barbary wars. Upon his return to the United States, he was stationed in Norfolk, Virginia where he was introduced and fell in love with Susan Wheelwright. Although Decatur was engaged to a Philadelphia woman, he broke his engagement to marry Susan.
Stephen Decatur commissioned Benjamin Henry Latrobe, often considered the father of American architecture, to design his Federal-style home. The Decatur House was constructed on the northwest corner of President's Park, renamed Lafayette Park in the 1820's. The Decatur's lived in their home, where they hosted lavish parties, for fourteen months.
Keeping with the Decatur's traditions the Decatur House is used for social functions today. It was my pleasure during the afternoon of my first day, to watch the caterers and wedding planners prepare the carriage house for a wedding reception scheduled for this evening. Given its proximity to the White House, and the history, rental fees for parties and receptions are quite expensive. It will be nice to observe lavish parties and receptions even if, I will never host one of my own.
In addition to its function as a special events venue, the Decatur House is a house museum, owned and operated by The National Trust for Historic Preservation. As a docent, I will be responsible for guiding tours throughout the house. Today, I shadowed three tours and learned so much information regarding the house and its inhabitants, I can't wait to learn more and subsequently share that information with guests. If you have yet to visit the Decatur House make a point to do so. Every Washingtonian should be familiar with Lafayette Park and it's history, especially that of Stephen Decatur and his mansion.








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5 comments:

Rae said...

Wow Boo! This just came across my bloglines. How cool for you! Yay!

Boo said...

Thanks, Rae Rae. So far, so good. Perhaps you and Kate Kate can come down on a Saturday for a tour.

Sherpa said...

Very awesome! I go by there and think...I need to go check it out, and now I have another reason to do it!

Boo said...

Make sure, if you do decide to stop by, that it's on a Tuesday or a Saturday. I work three Saturdays a month and every Tuesday.
Hope to see you soon! Tours begin every hour on the 15.

Sherpa said...

What time do you close on Tuesdays?

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