Historic Ramsey House(865) 546-0745

Historic Ramsey House Volunteers

Ramsey House would not be the well-established organization it is today without the hard work of the many talented and dedicated volunteers. Ramsey House volunteers offer their time and service for any number of activities and for any given length of time. While docents are the most visible volunteers, Ramsey House has a wide range of volunteer opportunities.

If you are interested in volunteering at Ramsey House, please call 865-546-0745 or email info@ramseyhouse.org.

Volunteer Opportunities


  • Docents: Docents give tours of the historic house for school groups, group tours and special events. Docents present tours in third person and either conduct full house tours or are stationed in a single room. Period costumes are often donned for special occasions and offer an added atmosphere. A complete docent guide is available at the Ramsey House office. The Education Committee conducts docent trainings periodically for new tour guide volunteers.
  • “Hands-on-History”: Education programs are offered to school groups to supplement the historic house tour. Activities, including candle dipping and butter churning, are based on the Tennessee Curriculum guidelines for first through fifth grades. No prior experience with the programs is necessary as most activities are easily mastered with simple instruction. Several programs, such as land surveying, will be introduced to volunteers at several volunteer training programs. Refer to the School Tours page for a complete listing of the programs.

Community Outreach
It is important to the A.P.T.A., Knoxville Chapter that Ramsey House members be involved with the community. Many organizations, including Wedding Shows or Garden Clubs, will request a Ramsey House representative to present a program at a meeting. It could be as short as a 15-20 minute talk about the Ramsey House or manning a booth at an all day event. Promotional material, props and slides are available at the office.

With over 100 acres there is always an opportunity to work in the Ramsey House gardens. The flowerbeds and an herb garden are in constant need of weeding, thinning or transplanting. The Ramsey House would love to restart our heirloom seed program and include a community garden program. While gardening can be a time consuming job, it is much more flexible and may be completed at a volunteer’s convenience.

Museum Shop
Swan Gift Shop is an exciting way to greet the public if leading tours is not desirable. Volunteers are needed to organize and price supplies as new merchandise arrives. During special events and large school group tours several volunteers collect money from gift shop sales. A register records the purchases, and simple instructions are posted at the counter to facilitate transactions.

Research is an important aspect of the mission of a historic house. Many subjects offer a wide range of volunteer opportunities.

  • Ramsey Family Genealogy: Several Ramsey family members have compiled information on the Ramsey genealogy, and this information is a valuable resource for descendents who visit the historic house. Many subjects have not been thoroughly studied, including family correspondence. Volunteer opportunities include reading family papers at the University of Tennessee Special Collections Library and the McClung Collections Public Library and entering the Ramsey family genealogy into a Ramsey House database for easy reference.
  • Library Upkeep: Volunteer opportunities include organizing and compiling a complete inventory of the small collection of the books and articles at Ramsey House.
  • Catalogue Archives: Over the years Ramsey House has accumulated an extensive collection of material that showcases the many programs and activities undertaken by the A.P.T.A., Knoxville Chapter. These pictures, newsletters, and newspaper articles that illustrate the rich history of Ramsey House need to be organized so that future generation may appreciate and research the many people who have been a part of the organization. Volunteer opportunities include creating scrapbooks, filing articles, and taking inventory of artifacts.

General Volunteer Opportunities
Many volunteer opportunities also include, but are not limited to:

  • Historic house decorations
  • Arts & crafts, sewing, clothing/textile, baking/cooking, pottery
  • Drama, games, storytelling
  • Grant writing, computer skills, writing/editing