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Stagecoach Inn to Train Volunteers

September 05, 2000|CHARLES RICH

Memories of the past are kept alive at the Stagecoach Inn Museum, nestled in a small valley off the Ventura Freeway in Newbury Park.

But the museum and its staff will need some help if it's to remain a teaching source on local historical facts.

The museum, at 51 S. Ventu Park Road, is recruiting volunteers to become tour guides and will hold a training session from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday. The sessions will run Thursdays through Oct. 19, enough time for the prospective volunteers to learn the essential dates, people and events that have shaped the Conejo Valley.

Marilyn Matthews, who began as a volunteer nearly eight years ago and now serves as training coordinator, said volunteers will learn about the Chumash Indians; the pioneer era in the late 1800s, when people began moving West and buying land; and the Spanish-Mexican era of nearly 200 years ago.

The training will prepare volunteers, who are expected to work at least two three-hour shifts a month, to conduct tours.

The volunteers will learn about the area with the help of lecturers and a $15 handbook they must buy during training. Volunteers must also join the Conejo Valley Historical Society, the nonprofit group that runs the inn, and pay an annual fee, which ranges between $15 and $20.

Matthews said the museum, which became an official California landmark in 1965, has about 150 volunteers who work as tour guides, researchers and help out in the museum's gift shop and surrounding gardens.

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