Rockwood Can No Longer Function With Small Intimate Groups of Visitors
County Executive Tom Gordon says he’ll need to create programs in order to keep museum afloat.
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No sooner had the tour begun than the Rockwood phone rang, and the tour guide asked Hess to answer it. She ran through the downstairs, following the ring until she found the phone, took down a message and returned to the tour group, which by now had moved upstairs. The phone rang a second time; again the guide asked Hess to take a message. When a third call came in, Hess headed downstairs once more, took the message and heard a knock on the door. It was Degas, with another group of visitors, eager to take a tour. Since the guide was still upstairs with her group, Degas asked Hess to show the visitors around.
“I gave a tour by looking at the furniture, not even knowing who had lived here,” Hess recalls. “It was pure B.S. for an hour in a house that I really didn’t even know.”
But Hess would soon learn much of the house’s history. “It was fascinating,” she says. “It was an incredible place, but it was dusty, dirty and in need of great help—and it didn’t have any volunteers.”