Getting Oriented with My New Internship at Mahaffie Stagecoach and Farmstead

Kathrine Miller

From my previous introduction posting I would like to expand on why I chose to intern at the Mahaffie Stagecoach, explain the organization’s mission/history for those who are not familiar with it and let my journey expand from there.

As an undergraduate, I quickly decided I needed to have an opportunity to apply the hard earned skills and knowledge outside the classroom. I am a non-traditional student who has attended part-time for nearly five years straight, so I felt it necessary to test my knowledge near to graduation and the HistoryMakers Summer Internship Program fit into my schedule perfectly. Without hesitation, the staff at the Mahaffie Stagecoach and Farmstead were gracious enough to take on me as their intern for the summer. I found them through the UMKC HistoryMaker Program Site. I wanted to do something totally out of my element and area of knowledge. I have picked the perfect place to intern then. I have slowly found my way though.

A little historical background and organization information

James and Lucinda Mahaffie built the original farmstead in 1858, ran their farm until 1870, then remained on the grounds until 1886. Today, the Mahaffie StageCoach and Farmstead stands as one of the few Santa Fe Trail stagecoach stops remaining. It is the only stagecoach stop which is preserved as a public historic site. The staff of the Mahaffie StageCoach and Farmstead offer their guests a ‘hands on-history’ learning experience. The site focuses on the 1860s farming, frontier life, and stagecoach living while preserving the significance of the owners.

My first day

IMG_0793My very first day was full of a meet and greet of the Mahaffie staff, absorbing the grounds, and my very first task- helping with ‘Fabric Day’ which consisted of shearing a sheep. I had no experience or knowledge but I offered my extended hand-and that went a long way! Here is photo of the end result of shearing the sheep and trying to clean it-taking us more than 4 hrs or so with hot water soak and draining, attempting to dry..progress was very slow but obtained heaps of info



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