Volunteer Paula poses in the Wright Museum gift shop

Wright Museum Inspiring More Than Just Visitors

When the Wright Museum of World War II opens for its 2020 season–date yet to be announced–volunteers may be even more excited than staff and visitors.

“I was born in Wolfeboro, attended Carpenter Elementary School during the WWII years and can relate to the Wright Museum in many ways,” said Volunteer Paula Garvey, who works in the gift shop. “The Home Front exhibit and Time Tunnel at the museum are especially meaningful to me.”

Volunteering at the museum since 2014 when incoming and still current Executive Director Mike Culver put out a call for help, Garvey said she tries to add value to the visitor experience by sharing personal stories.

“I can talk to visitors about growing up in Wolfeboro during WWII, complying with air raids, rationing, pasting stamps in savings bond booklets and other ways of life at that time,” she explained.

Garvey said some of her own life is also captured in the museum, as she is pictured in a photo in the museum’s Home Front exhibit.

“I am one of the many students in the photo in front of Carpenter School that shows when we raised money to buy the US Army a jeep,” she said.

Garvey said one of her husband’s models of a ship on which he served during WWII is also on display in the museum’s Military Gallery.

“The museum also has a display of the first military person from Wolfeboro to die in the war–Clayton Hale,” she added. “I knew and still know his family well.”

According to Culver, Garvey’s commitment to the museum and general knowledge of WWII will prove especially valuable when the museum opens for the 2020 season.

“What is happening right now with COVID-19 underscores the importance that Americans rally together in times of crisis,” he said. “History teaches us this lesson, and Paula and several of our other volunteers can help put this into perspective for visitors.”

Garvey agreed and added, “The museum’s theme of how all Americans, all ages, made do in times of uncertainty is relevant to understanding COVID-19. Today is no different, because we are facing a virus that has changed the way we had been living.”

The region’s leading resource for educators and learners of all ages on World War II, the Wright Museum will follow all CDC guidelines in determining when it will open for the 2020 season.