Museum hostess loves studying vintage historical fashions

A seventeen-year-old Bentley teen has found summer employment that fits in with her passion.

Bentley Museum summer hostess Heather McLaren enjoys studying vintage dresses.

A seventeen-year-old Bentley teen has found summer employment that fits in with her passion.

She has been looking forward to getting this job for over a year.

Heather McLaren is this summer’s Bentley Museum hostess.

She says she loves history, tends to be a bookworm, and especially likes studying fashions of the past so this job is a good fit for her.

“I like to read and study historical costuming,” she says.  “I tend to be a homebody and not a social butterfly (so the quiet time at the museum doesn’t bother her).”

She admits she has a bit of her own historical collection with a complete set of children’s encyclopedias from the 1800’s.

Her job entails a variety of work including doing the upkeep outside in the yard, dusting, cleaning, and general upkeep, as well as greeting visitors and supplying tourist information.  She expects to help with the fair and rodeo parade float the museum annually enters and to help to dress some of the new mannequins the museum just got delivered.

Her favorite area of the museum is the old wedding and other vintage dresses.  The museum now has a large glassed in display area with a number of well-dressed mannequins, both male and female.

“I have had nothing but positive feedback about the museum so far,” she says.  “Some people are surprised at how much such a small-town museum has.”

McLaren will be at the museum to answer questions and guide visitors on tours around the facility until after the September Labor Day weekend when she returns to Bentley school to attend Grade 12.

“I have always been fascinated by the human mind,” she says so after completing Grade 12 she says she may go on into psychology or social work related studies.

The Bentley Museum is housed in three separate buildings: the 1924 Pico farmhouse, the Agriculture Building, and their new largest building that has climate control.  All are open to the public during their regular hours.  It is located at 4929-51 Avenue with an antique windmill marking the spot.

The museum’s volunteer board holds work bees each Wednesday morning to try to keep up with donations.

Summer museum hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until the Labor Day weekend and admission is free.