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Historical Jonesboro/Clayton County Inc. needs more volunteers, docents as tour demands increase

President says tour demands increasing

JONESBORO — Historical Jonesboro/Clayton County Inc. is expecting a big year for Stately Oaks tours in 2014, but the group’s president says that means more docents are needed.

Next year will mark the 75th anniversary of the film version of “Gone With The Wind” and the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Jonesborough. Historical Jonesborough President Barbara Emert told members in an email newsletter Tuesday that means a large number of visitors are expected to descend upon Jonesboro for the anniversaries.

That could mean more people visiting Stately Oaks Plantation next year to learn about Victorian-era life in Clayton County.

“Due to this urgent need, I am asking each member to consider if you could volunteer — if you are not currently doing so — or do you have a friend, family member or neighbor who might enjoy the opportunity to be involved?” Emert said.

The docents are the main public face of Historical Jonesboro at Stately Oaks. They dress in 19th-century attire and lead the tours of the two-story plantation house and its Native American village. However, they are not the only volunteers who represent the group in its dealings with the public. There are also volunteers who sell items at Stately Oaks’ Juddy’s Store.

One area where Historical Jonesboro has seen growth is its school tours, Emert said.

There are two tours offered by Historical Jonesboro. One leads students through the Native American village, and the other takes children through the plantation house.

Historical Jonesboro members Debbie Lundell and Arolue Flemmen wrote in the newsletter that there are 17 school tours from Clayton, Henry, Fayette and Spalding counties planned for property this fall. Many of them are scheduled for late October through November.

Emert told members she would like to see an expansion of the school tours program in 2014, but she added volunteers would be needed to accomplish that goal.

“After working for several years to promote our school tours, we have now reached the point that we have more requests than we can handle,” Emert said. “The tours have become a major part of our income. It is my sincere desire that by early spring when we start booking tours again, that we will have enough additional trained volunteers to have two ‘shifts.’”

Anyone interested in working at Stately Oaks as a docent or some other type of volunteer should call Stately Oaks at 770-473-0197.