Tag Archives: Tour Scripts and Stories

Playing around in camp and with tours…

By Savannah Lore

As I write this, we have finished our second day of the last session of the Wornall-Majors Summer camp. The theme of day two was Western Expansion and we talked to the kids about people in the 19th century traveling to the western United States. This was a great theme for the Alexander Majors House Museum as Majors’ history is so ingrained in this topic. We did activities that explained how people traveled and why. We also had presentations about how people lived in this period and how certain things were made. One of the favorites was the 19th century toy presentation, which offered the kids a chance to play with replicas of period toys.

toypresentation (Pictured is the toys brought by Jay Clasen of Friends of Missouri Town, who is demonstrating a toy in the right hand corner.)

This was a great way to get them to understand what toys looked like and how much of toys in this period was easily made, but still fun. This allowed us to go into an activity about making your own toys if you had to move west and left your toys behind (If you were lucky enough to have these kinds of toys or a lot of toys.) We made corn husk dolls and dressed them in period clothing.

Also as I write this, I have finished the first draft of my tour script. I wanted to talk a little about what I did with the content of the script in this post. The script for me was a challenge. I decided that I would create a master guide. A script that could be the go-to for a guide if they needed to know anything about the house. It was written in a narrative style to help guides talk about the information even if they could not include everything in the hour long (or half hour in some cases) tours. (Every tour is different.) I focused on two majors things: how the Majors lived in the house and how Majors could have the house built. This is to have multiple ideas without it seeming disjointed. The family history, Majors’ history and 19th century history is throughout the script to help form connections to the information without being repetitive. This means using the Majors and the enslaved African Americans as the focus to direct the content and tell a great story to engage the visitors.

I still have a few days of camp and more edits to make on the script. What I have so far informs what I know of public history. I hope I am explaining history, which is complex and varied, to people and to children in a easy way, either quickly for tours or clearly for children.

StoryTelling with Wornall-Majors House Museums

By Savannah Lore

My name is Savannah Lore, and I am a graduate student in the Public History program. During the summer semester, I will be doing my internship with the Wornall-Majors House Museums. My time will be spent conducting the weekend tours at the home and building a tour script for the Alexander Majors House. For a little historical background on Majors, he was nationally known for his part in the large freighting firm of Russell, Majors and Waddell in the 1850s and 1860s. His other main contribution to history was starting the Pony Express in 1860. With this history in mind, I am trying to create a script that can tell this story but not leave out the story of his life in this home.

Majors’ story is obviously a national story that deals with Westward Expansion, but we also have a house that tells a great story about life in Missouri during the 1850s and 1860s. I know that one of the issues I will have to take into account and wrestle with in my tour script is trying to balance out the stories to create a solid narrative. One of the reasons I wanted to do this project was to understand and experience writing in this way. Also, I wanted to dig up some great stories and answer questions I already have about Majors and this house. For the next few weeks, I will also try to find the balance in my posts to discuss not only my progress with my tour script but also my experiences working with the public at the Majors House. Trust me, giving tours are an experience. I do not want to deprive you of the stories I have about tours and the things I have learned giving them. I experience a new question, a new perspective or a new challenge from visitors every time I open those doors.