Eastern States Exposition is pleased to introduce Jessica K. Fontaine, of Chicopee, Mass., as the new Director of Storrowton Village Museum. Fontaine has been an integral volunteer in the Village for nearly 20 years. She comes to Eastern States Exposition from her position as director of Student Conduct, Rights and Responsibilities at Hampshire College.
Fontaine’s history in the Village dates back to the time when her grandmother, Betty Kaeding, began volunteering in the early 1990s. Kaeding would dress her granddaughter in period-costume and bring her to Village events. This evolved into Fontaine attending the Early American Summer Days program, becoming a counselor at age 14 and eventually assuming the duties of Program Supervisor for a few summers.
As an instrumental member of the volunteer force, Fontaine has been involved in nearly every program offered in the Village. She has experience in demonstrating many 19th century trades – fireplace cooking, crafts, blacksmithing, quilting, weaving, and her specialty, loom knitting. Fontaine even sews her own costumes, and wears an uncommon period-outfit with pants – a bloomer suit.
Fontaine, who has an interest in education in a non-traditional way, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Westfield State University and a Master of Education in Psychology from Springfield College.
She began her career in residence life, working at the University of Tampa, College of Saint Rose and Mt. Holyoke College. In her most recent position at Hampshire College, Fontaine was responsible for the overall operation, programming and supervision of the Office of Student Conduct.
While pursuing her education and during her early career, Fontaine continued to be involved in the Village. She even took time off while living in Tampa, Florida, to fly back and volunteer during The Big E – a popular trend we see with many of our fairtime volunteers and staff. This upcoming Fair will mark 20 years.
As director of Storrowton Village Museum, Jessica has aspirations of growing and enhancing the programming by introducing new ideas, reviving previous projects, and ultimately, allowing Storrowton to adapt to the 21st century.
Storrowton Village Museum, located at Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Mass., opens for the summer season June 17, with free tours of its historic buildings, demonstrations and family activities from 11am to 3pm. Weekly guided tours with costumed interpreters continue Tuesday to Saturday through August 25 and special programs take place all year. Learn more about the Village and find a full schedule of events at StorrowtonVillage.com.