Staff & Volunteer Spotlight — Meet Wade Mullin
by Wade Mullin, Education Intern, University of Vermont
I recently enjoyed spending the 2022 summer working as the education intern here at Rokeby Museum. I am a senior at the University of Vermont seeking a bachelor’s and master’s degree in history. I am interested in pursuing a career in the field of museum studies and this summer internship was the perfect catalyst for some first hand experience.
During the summer, I was privileged to research the history of agriculture at Rokeby and its intimate connection to Rokeby’s Underground Railroad and abolitionist history. I spent many interesting days poring over Rokeby’s extensive historical record; learning about everything from the history of apple sales and the names of the Robinsons’ cows to the labor freedom seekers may have performed in Rokeby’s fields and farm buildings. I also learned and researched about Vermont’s transition from a sheep to a dairy state, the degree of security freedom seekers experienced at Rokeby, and larger historical agricultural trends that deeply affected life at Rokeby.
As a local Vermonter and resident of Vergennes, Vermont, one of my favorite experiences while interning at Rokeby was finding last names that I recognized from current Addison County families in the Robinsons’ collection of receipts, letters, diaries, ledgers, and farm documents. These names acted as a through line from the history to today.
I feel incredibly privileged to have been the summer education intern at Rokeby Museum this year. It has given me an up close and personal look into what goes into running a museum and a deeper and more personal understanding of a history that unfolded not just in my home state but right next to my hometown. More importantly, it has given me a greater appreciation for the importance of museums that accurately portray the history of freedom seekers and the quest for abolition by giving voices to the previously voiceless.
I would like to thank Tucker Foltz, Lindsay Varner, and all of those who make Rokeby possible for this wonderful experience.
— Wade Mullin
This position was funded through a grant from the Champlain Valley Heritage Partnership.