PORTLAND — The Portland History Docents consists of eight nonprofit history-oriented organizations in the Portland area. They are Maine Historical Society, Greater Portland Landmarks, Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum, Spirits Alive at Eastern Cemetery, Victoria Mansion, Tate House Museum, Friends of Evergreen Cemetery and the Fifth Maine Regiment Museum on Peaks Island.

According to a press release, the PHD consortium offers a 13-week course that is designed to train volunteer guides to inform tourists about various local places of interest. The first three classes consists of brief studies in history, art and architecture; the next eight weeks are spent visiting the eight establishments that need tour guides.

Participants can choose a site they would like to volunteer. The last three sessions are spent in the classroom where they will receive training that is dedicated specific to the specifically chosen area.

When the guide information is not already written, participants learn to compose and deliver informational, historical speeches containing facts relating to these sites. They also learn to conduct informational and walking tours and how to adapt the environment and sequence for folk with disabilities.

The guiding season usually runs from Memorial Day through Columbus Day.

Lecturers for the course include Earle Shettleworth, director of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission; Dana Baldwin, director of Education at the Portland Museum of Art; Libby Bischof, assistant professor of history at the University of Southern Maine and others who are renowned in expertise in their respective fields.

Program manager is Marjorie Getz. If interested in participating in this program, call Greater Portland Landmarks at 774-5561, ext. 120. Leave a message, as someone checks the messages daily or email [email protected]

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