Tradesman and tour guide for historic site

Wade House Historic Site, Wisconsin Historical Society

The Wade House Historic Site is a 240-acre outdoor living history museum located in Greenbush, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin. Guests experience the era of stagecoach travel at the Wade House Hotel and discover what an 1850s town was like at the Dockstader Blacksmith shop and the Herrling Sawmill. Our beautiful Visitor’s Center includes the Wesley J. Jung Carriage Museum with over 40 carriages on display. Horse drawn carriage rides transport guests throughout the site as part of the daily experience and sheep and chickens roam the grounds. Wade House connects people to the past through unparalleled storytelling and historic experiences to create lasting memories. Staff work in historic indoor and outdoor spaces with fellow team members across the picturesque site to create an exceptional experience for our guests.

Specific duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Sawmill Interpretation

As outlined in sawmill interpretive plans, accurately interpret the sawmill’s historical context, the Herrling family, and other desired learner outcomes to visitors and groups of visitors.
Utilize research content, desired learner outcomes, and suggested activities, stories and queries as presented in sawmill interpreter plans to present an authentic interpretation of life as a German immigrant sawyer in 1850s Greenbush.
Accurately represent to visitors the manner, appearance, and activities of a mid 19th century sawyer in Wisconsin.  Explain to visitors the inherent dangers of sawmill work.
Responds to and answers visitor questions in the most accurate and direct manner possible.
Sawmill Operations

Perform daily star-up, shut down, maintenance and operation of the muley saw and other tools and equipment within the mill, lubricating equipment as directed to ensure the safe and reliable operation of the mill
Perform in skilled fashion the typical activities of a historic sawmill, such as conveying logs to the mill, positioning logs on the carriage for sawing, opening water gate(s), and operating the muley saw and carriage.
Maintain professional quality control over sawmill operations as directed, sawing boards to specific thickness, lubricating machinery.
Assist with movement of logs and sawed lumber as necessary.
Immediately notify Maintenance as mechanical problems arise which require adjustment, repair, maintenance, or replacement.
Maintain accurate records of log consumption, lumber production, tool and equipment inventory, damage, or need for replacement.
Assist Lead Interpreter in providing training to new staff members.
Assist other staff and the site within the sawmill area or otherwise as directed.
Blacksmith Shop Interpretation

Interpret the Blacksmith Shop according to approved materials.
Learn how to manage and relate to various groups who visit the site during the season.
Understand correct procedures for handling and care of artifacts including accessioned and reproduction items.
Be able to discuss the history and development of the Wade House site and Greenbush, as well as the site’s programs and exhibits.
Take on additional project responsibilities as assigned, including making items for sale in the site’s gift shop.
Blacksmith Shop Operations

Perform in skilled fashion the typical activities of a historic blacksmith, including preparing fire in the forge, using tongs and other tools to shape hot metal, using the bellows to augment the fire, using sand and water to quench the heat of the iron.
Maintain professional quality control over blacksmith operations as directed by the Lead Interpreter, making only approved objects in the shop.
Immediately notify Maintenance as mechanical problems arise which require adjustment, repair, maintenance, or replacement.
Replace all tools to proper storage locations and keep shop in organized condition for next blacksmith.
Maintain accurate records of tool and equipment inventory, damage, or need for replacement.  Inform the Lead Interpreter of materials needs such as tools, iron, and coal.
Assist Lead Interpreter in providing training to new staff members.
Assist other staff and the site within the blacksmith shop or otherwise as directed.
Special Events

Treat all visitors, staff and volunteers with a high level of respect, hospitality and friendliness.
Listen carefully to visitors and observe their reactions in order to provide regular feedback on program effectiveness.
Assist as directed with special workshops, programs, exhibits, and tours.
Read and understand any special materials that are circulated for special events.  Learn how to relate this information to site visitors.  Assimilate special programming materials provided by the Site Director or Curatorial staff into sawmill interpretation to effectively enhance visitor experience.  Assist Curator with special programming needs and concerns.  Participate in post-event evaluation discussions to help improve program effectiveness and meet desired learner outcomes.
Site Operations

Learn correct procedures for maintaining a clean and safe work environment.  Follow cleaning schedules and procedures established in sawmill operations manual and as directed.  Help protect visitors, staff and volunteers by maintaining a safe and orderly learning environment.
Observe site safety and emergency procedures.  Read through the Wade House disaster plan and be prepared to take emergency action if necessary and as directed.
Report immediately any potential hazards or necessary repairs to the Curator or Site Director, and respond appropriately to health and safety issues as they may arise.
Understand the differences between documentary and educational artifacts.  Observe policies and procedures which govern the handling, use and care of each class of artifact.
Salary Information
Pay is $14.00 per hour. This classification is in schedule and class 18-00

Please note this is a Limited Term Employment position so it does not include paid time off or benefits upon hire
Job Details
Work schedule:15-25 hours per week during the season; between the hours of 9:30 a.m.  – 5:30 p.m., some weekend hours required.  Evening hours may be needed for special events.

A criminal background check will be conducted by WHS prior to an offer of employment to determine if the circumstances of any conviction may be related to the job.

This is a Limited Term Employment (LTE) position and limited to 1,039 hours. This position will be part time.

Wisconsin residency is required for Limited Term Employment positions.

Limited Term Employment (LTE) positions are not civil service classified positions, do not give any rights to permanent civil service classified positions and do not lead to permanent status.

WHS does not sponsor work visas.  Any appointment made will be contingent on the applicant being able to prove valid status to work in the United States.

All state employees are required to report their COVID vaccination status, whether vaccinated or not, and must provide supporting documentation if vaccinated. Newly hired employees will be required to submit this information within their first two weeks of employment. At this time, those who are unvaccinated are subject to weekly COVID-19 testing protocols.
Knowledge of (or willingness to learn) interpretive methodologies, including guided tours.
Knowledge of (or willingness to learn) site specific history.
Knowledge of (or willingness to learn) professionally-recognized collection care principles and practices.
Knowledge of material culture, its connection to cultural history, and the ability to build these elements into interpretation (or willingness to learn).
Excellent oral communication skills with staff and the public. Ability to give presentations to the public
Ability to use email and enter work hours using computer technology
Ability to work independently with minimal supervision
Ability to use email and enter time using computer technology.
Ability to convey site interpretive programs in an effective way.
Excellent oral communication skills and customer service skills.
Ability to work in an environment which may be dusty, hot, humid, moldy and open to pollen, ragweed and other allergens at times, while in 1850s period clothing
How To Apply
Apply online! To apply, click “Apply for Job” to start the application process.  Then, you will access your existing account or to create a new account if you don’t have an account. Once you are logged in, click “Apply for Job.” Follow the steps outlined in the application process and submit your application.

Your letter of qualifications and resume/work experience are very important parts of your application and are used during our evaluation process to determine your qualifications as they relate to the job. For instructions on developing your resume and letter of qualifications for your application and what should be included in these materials, click here.

Submitted materials will be evaluated and the most qualified applicants will be invited to participate in the next step of the hiring process.

We are an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer seeking a diverse and talented workforce.

Questions can be directed to
Deadline to Apply
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

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