In this column, we are featuring one of the invaluable volunteers who supplement and complement the work of our paid staff in so many ways. Ethan Guo is currently a student at Loomis Chaffee School.
How long have you volunteered for WHS, and what inspired you to become a volunteer?
I started volunteering at WHS the spring of my sophomore year in 2021 and have had the pleasure of working on various projects with the Historical Society for a little over a year as of now. Attending Loomis, one of the things that never fails to amaze me is just how old the Loomis homestead is—supposedly dating all the way back to 1640. I’ve always held a soft spot for history in my heart and with learning more about the history of Loomis, I became interested in the history of Windsor.
What do you like most about volunteering here?
To me, volunteering at WHS is like filling out the New York Times crossword. While not necessarily the hardest, each new project provides a sense of discovery and problem solving, which I enjoy immensely. Working on the historic houses project, for example, was like piecing together bits of Windsor history through studying the history of houses and their owners.
What have you learned while volunteering here?
I’ve certainly learned a lot about Windsor history, from its religious history to its role in the Pequot War. More importantly, however, in almost every project that I’ve been a part of at WHS, I’ve learned that there is a lot more to a topic than what initially meets the eye. My experience with the Society has, more than anything, taught me to keep an open mind towards everything.
What influenced you to develop an interest in history?
Growing up in Bedford, MA (sandwiched on either side by Lexington and Concord) I was surrounded by stories of colonial history, which definitely played a role in my initial interest. However, I believe the reason I continued to enjoy history even after moving to Connecticut is because of all the stories that I could find throughout its pages.
Do you have any advice for someone interested in volunteering but might be hesitant about getting started?
Many volunteers have already said this but the staff at WHS are incredibly nice and supportive and will never leave you hanging. Moreover, WHS stays fairly active around town so there are always projects that you can help with.