Sharpsburg, MD – After more than a year of restricted access due to the pandemic, the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area is reopening the interior of its Visitor and Exhibit Center to the public beginning August 1. The Heritage Area seeks volunteers for the remainder of the 2021 season at the historic Newcomer House, the Heritage Area’s Exhibit and Visitor Center at Antietam National Battlefield. Volunteers handle daily operations at the house, including orienting visitors to the three-county Heritage Area and providing information about heritage tourism opportunities in the region. No specific knowledge or skills are required, though an interest in Civil War history and comfort interacting with visitors is encouraged. Volunteers will receive orientation training followed by mentor training during regular visitor hours. Volunteers are part of the National Park Service’s Volunteers In Parks program, which offers participants many opportunities for behind-the-scenes access and special training classes or outings.
This season, the Newcomer House is open 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. daily August-September, and weekends in October and November. During the summer season, volunteers are asked to work a minimum of six hours per month. Volunteers during the fall have no minimum hour expectation.
The Newcomer House, located at 18422 Shepherdstown Pike in Keedysville, is one of only two historic homes on the battlefield open to the public. Located along the Antietam Creek and astride the Boonsboro Pike, the house was part of a thriving mill complex in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Joshua Newcomer owned the property during the Battle of Antietam in September 1862, the bloodiest one-day battle in American history. It has been restored to its Civil War era appearance following the Secretary of Interior’s standards. Visitors are able tp watch a 10-minute video highlighting places of interest throughout the Heritage Area, read exhibit panels, and browse brochures from the Heritage Area’s three counties. A cooperative agreement between the Antietam National Battlefield and the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area allows for programming, management, and maintenance of the Newcomer House. It is the official Visitor Center for the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area, which encompasses portions of Washington, Frederick, and Carroll Counties.
Those interested in volunteering should contact Newcomer House coordinator Rachel Nichols: 240-308-1740, [email protected]