Day in the Life: Cultural History Seasonal

Katie McDaniel leading a tour

As a cultural history seasonal for Boulder County Parks and Open Space, each day and week is very different. Home base is usually the Agricultural Heritage Center off of Highway 66 in Longmont. However, special events and errands take me from Longmont to the Nederland Mining Museum and everywhere in between.

I devoted a large part of my time this year creating an exhibit about cows and milk products because the department has a large milkable plastic cow at the Agricultural Heritage Center. My educational background is in history and museum studies, so this was an exciting opportunity to use those skills. I also helped feed the critters on the farm, write newsletter articles, greet visitors, and give tours. Leading tours for school groups was one of the most interesting parts of my job because the students, mostly in elementary school, always had great questions. Sometime I knew the answers, and sometimes I did not; so I always was researching before the next tour. I have learned so much about the families that lived here and different types of agriculture in Boulder County, but I am still no expert.

Whether I’m greeting people at the farm or working an event, teaching people about history is my favorite part of this job.”

I also spent time helping with special events at the Agricultural Heritage Center in Longmont and Walker Ranch Homestead, west of Boulder. At the Agricultural Heritage Center, I manned different stations demonstrating historical activities and leading tours of the farm house. Up at Walker Ranch Homestead, all of the staff and volunteers dress in period clothing and work stations performing chores from the late 1800s like butter churning, blacksmithing, and laundry. Getting to show our visitors how Coloradans lived over a century ago is one of the best parts of our events.