Volunteer opportunities at Riverview at Hobson Grove

Laurel Deppen

Located just a few miles outside of campus, the historic Riverview at Hobson Grove museum is searching for passionate volunteers.

The home that is Riverview at Hobson Grove is a picturesque Italian Villa styled house in western Bowling Green, overlooking the Barren River. The Hobson family played a crucial role in the development of Bowling Green and in Bowling Green’s position during the Civil War.

Construction began on the home in 1857, but, due to the war, it wasn’t finished until 1872. Union Colonel William Hobson, son of the builder, grew concerned with the safety of the property during wartime. He requested that the southern commanding officer Simon Bolivar Buckner not destroy the property. However, Buckner used the property as a confederate munition magazine. In spite of this, Atwood Hobson, a strong supporter of the Union, borrowed $30,000 to aide with Union causes.

Now, well over 100 years later, the museum is always looking for enthusiastic people to volunteer as docents.

Roma Tyrie, Hobson Grove’s weekend manager and a docent herself, calls for people with an interest in history or architecture to apply for jobs.

“Anyone who has a special place in their heart for older homes and historic architectures, Civil War history, and pretty much anything Victorian,” Tyrie said.

Docents begin their training by learning the history of the home, its furnishings, and its original owners. Docents lead tours sharing this knowledge with visitors and continue to preserve the vastness of its history. Throughout the year, the house hosts festivals related to the holiday seasons. Docents adorn the home with decorations related to the various holidays and lead visitors in Victorian holiday traditions.

Tyrie emphasized the importance of the museum and her own job as a docent.

“The mission is to kind of give people a step back in time … you know, getting people back in touch with their history.”

Now a site on the Civil War Discovery trail and listed as a landmark on the National Register, Riverview is open to the public as a nonprofit organization, and opportunities at Hobson Grove are not necessarily limited to history buffs.

“This is [a] really neat architecturally designed house for this region,” said Tyrie. “We’re just trying to get people to come out here and just enjoy history and historical things.”

Those interested in volunteering are welcomed to visit during office hours. The director of the museum at Hobson Grove is open to inquiries Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Laurel Deppen can be reached at (270)745-2655 and [email protected].