“One of my favorite moments is when we have concerts…I'm working so I don't have the chance to sit and really enjoy it, but if I’m just walking through the house... you can hear the music wafting through the halls. It’s so deeply engrained in the house it’s just absorbing it and vibrating.”
The Real MVPs- Starting out as a Hyde Hall tour guide 4 years ago, John Henry Aborn’s fondness for education led him to pursue a master’s degree in museum studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program nearly one year ago. Now, he’s soon approaching his 1-year anniversary as Hyde Hall’s Marketing Manager.
During the interview with John, we walked through the house as he regaled in stories of the past and passed through rooms still being restored. We discussed the home’s original inhabitants, the Clarke family, and though his animated tales, I felt as though I was transported back to the early 19th century. We made stops along the way as John pointed out details in the interior and structure. Color palettes and clashing patterns that may look bizarre in the daylight transform as the home lights up in the evening by candles and lanterns. Ceilings from renovations long past stand out from the rest of the home, and John lit a vapor lamp in the dining room to demonstrate how they worked – an entirely foreign concept for those of us accustomed to light switches and electricity. He shared stories of his own personal run-ins with some of the spirits that still lurk their old home, and we took a peek at some of the meticulous records of receipts kept by George Clarke, who commissioned the Hall to be built in the very early 1800’s.
This notoriously haunted home, and National Historic Landmark, hosts an array of experiential events. John, as Marketing Manager, continues to expand on creative ways to reach visitors and share the story of Hyde Hall. From concerts to ghost tours, or even an authentic 1830’s dinners, the presence of the Clarke family that once roamed these halls can be felt. Sometimes, quite literally.