Chapin Mansion.
Chapin Mansion.

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Applications accepted for Chapin Mansion docent training

Published 2:56pm Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Fort St. Joseph Museum Director Carol Bainbridge said she hopes to open the Chapin Mansion for tours on May 11.

She said she is awaiting approval from the Niles City Council on certain details such as the mansion’s opening date, hours of operation and the cost for public tours. The council could discuss those details as soon as Monday’s regular meeting.

The mansion will not be fully restored by the time it opens.

“If we wait until we are done with furniture and paint analysis and it could be two or three years — that’s why we are choosing to move forward,” she said.

Bainbridge is taking applications for the Chapin Mansion docent training program, which will prepare people to give tours of the historic mansion.

Training will be held in four sessions on April 29, May 2, 6 and 9 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the mansion, 508 E. Main St., Niles.

All docents-in-training will be expected to complete each session along with the required brief reading assignments. During training, docents will shadow tours and give practice tours. Upon completion of training, docents-in-training will be evaluated with a written test and an oral presentation in the form of a tour.

Docents will work on a volunteer basis. Bainbridge said she could use more than a dozen docents.

Individuals interested in applying for the Chapin Mansion docent training program may contact Carol Bainbridge, Director Fort St. Joseph Museum by phone at (269) 683-4700, ext. 4010 or by email

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