Homestead House Headlines

Saving the Schuerman Homestead House, Ca. 1906

Ways to help:

Time – Volunteer Opportunity
We have a carpenter, Brian B, re-building the badly deteriorated kitchen and a small ‘bedroom’. Brian could use help any/every day. If you would enjoy getting your hands dirty and doing some work with construction tools, you can just show up Mon-Fri between 9am-5pm or so at the house—introduce yourself to Brian – and pitch in. If you want to let me know the first day you go out, I’ll be happy to give you Brian’s # or text him for you to confirm he is on-site at 120 Loy Lane.

Treasure – Fund-raising & Resources
GOAL: $200,000 for repair, restoration, landscaping & reserve fund *CHALLENGE GIFT: Millie Leenhouts is asking others to match her donation of $1000 until we reach $20,000! Contact Janeen if you have questions about this challenge fund that will be used for emergency repair and preservation work. Thank you, Millie! Make your donation before April 30 and get a gift!


TNT – Thanks, Needs & a Treasure Trove!

  1. THANKS to Bob Michael for trash removal from our March 2nd Work Day!
  2. THANKS to Michele Zahner for becoming our “liaison” with the Red Rock
    Ditch Assn!
  3. NEED: Someone to clean (inside & out) the 1950s upholstered sofa & chair.
  4. NEED: Assistance with first public open house in early May.
  5. NEED: Someone to do the research to find replica replacement linoleum.
    Treasure Trove of found objects:
    Unearthed from under the house are hand-made wooden boats, a child’s scooter,
    an ornate mantel clock, bottles, very old bicycle parts and more. If you would like
    to volunteer to clean some of these items, please contact us. Thank you.

Volunteer test notice #1

We love our volunteers. We want to get to know you more! Fill out this form so we can get started on the same page and so we can easily pair you with opportunities that will match your skill set

For the Love of Volunteering

Guest Post by Sandra Kowalski

My mother always said, “Give what you possess.” When is the last time you offered your time and talents without pay?

As a new volunteer docent at the Sedona Heritage Museum and someone who has the gift of gab (I’ve been told), I have come to believe that the pleasure is all mine.

Here are my six top reasons for feeling this way:

  1. The Museum attracts visitors from all over the world, and while on duty I have met folks from Russia, South Korea, France, Singapore, and throughout the USA. It’s fun seeing the close attention these visitors pay to our local history, and answering their questions about how the pioneer families lived. There’s something special about representing Sedona in this way.
  2. I get to experience visitors’ joy when they are reminded of childhood experiences. Comments like, “This is just like my grandparent’s house!” or “My grandfather owned a tractor like that one,” are common and are usually followed by a smile brought on by good memories. Priceless!
  3. I spend time applying content learned in the American History classes of my youth. Lessons on “The Homestead Act,” “proving up,” “Civilian Conservation Corps,” “cattle drives,” “cow punching,” and “self-sufficiency” are useful to me now. Sister Marietta would be proud.
  4. I have fun learning about practical items and terms which I can explain to visitors (not to mention family and friends), like “smudge pot” (not the eye shadow!), “cooling cabinet,” “tent cabin,” “apple sorter,” and “waterwheel.” Did I mention “docent?”
  5. Opportunities for me to participate in fun events abound: interviewing artist Claudia Cooke at the annual Arts & Crafts Fair, “Mondays at the Museum” workshops and demos, Mike Peach’s cowboy humor shows, and the wildly popular tours of pioneer homesteads in Oak Creek Canyon and Red Rock seem to bring out the best in me.
  6. Last, but certainly not least, I enjoy working with the other volunteers and staff who all contribute to making the Sedona Heritage Museum one of the “top things to do” in Sedona. Docents with whom I’ve worked, like Kate, Joan, Susan, Terry, Loretta, Clancy, Valerie, and Linda, and others who foster projects and events, like Janeen, Lisa, Nicole, Ron, and Paul-to name a few- all give of themselves and have assisted in training me so that everyone who visits has the best experience possible. They are a bunch of fun people, and we enjoy lots of food and laughs together. They can become your friends too!

If you would like to volunteer and have fun at the same time, stop by and visit us. Learn about the range of opportunities that exist for someone with talents like yours.

See my interview below with local artist, Claudia Cooke:

Fellow volunteers, what are some of your top reasons for volunteering?

The Day I Ruined Christmas

Guest Post by Ginger
We all have special memories of Christmas past; some good, some not so good.  Sitting around the kitchen table at the Museum last week, this topic came up as it is nearing Christmas.  I will share one of my not so good memories… the day I ruined Christmas for my brother John and myself.

I was probably about twelve and John, being five years younger, was probably about seven.  I remember this pre-Christmas day vividly because it was my brilliant idea to discover where our mother was hiding our presents. John, of course, went along and thought this was the best idea he had ever heard; and we both just couldn’t wait for the big day to know what we were getting.

Our chance came one day when mother announced she had errands to run and we two were to stay inside and entertain ourselves while she was out.  We, looked at each other, and said “no problem”.  As soon as mother was out of sight we started searching the house for the presents we were sure were  hidden somewhere.  We looked in the kitchen cabinets, got the step ladder and looked in the upper cabinets; behind all the furniture and even tackled the basement.  This was no small job because our basement was stuffed with all kinds of things, including cardboard boxes that mother saved “just in case she might need one to mail something”. No luck anywhere downstairs we could think of.  So upstairs we went, looked under all the beds; in all the bathroom cabinets; opened every single drawer in each bedroom – no luck.  Then we tried the closets, which were also stuffed full of clothing and loads and piles of other things.  We even dumped out the dirty clothes bin, but no luck.

Lastly we tried our mother’s closet, but there were a couple of high shelves we could not reach, so downstairs I went and came up with the stepladder which I wedged inside the closet.  All this while my brother was keeping a look out the front upstairs windows in case our mother was returning.  I climbed up and shouted ” Hooray!” – pushed way to the back were wrapped presents which I handed down to John. We began to carefully remove the bows and ribbons and scotch tape to take a peek inside.  We knew we should not be doing this, but it was sooooo  exciting!

Eventually John and I opened each and every package with our names on, looked at the gift, and then carefully rewrapped, re-bowed and returned the boxes exactly where they had been hidden.  Smug is how we felt!  Mother never knew.

Christmas Day arrived and we saw all those familiar boxes under the Christmas tree, ready to unwrap.  John and I just looked at each other with guilt as the unwrapping began.  That Christmasmorning I was feeling a strange sadness, knowing exactly what was in each gaily wrapped package with my name on….but I didn’t let on.  The JOY of discovering what was inside our presents just wasn’t there that year.

I ruined our Christmas that year by being sneaky.

Never, ever, again have I been tempted to look inside a wrapped present before the proper time.  I do not even shake a gift to try to figure out what is inside the wrapping, because I want to be surprised and joyful.

Have you ever “taken a peek” at your Christmas presents?