The Historic Madison Inc. Volunteer and Docent Spring Tea, hosted by the organization's Board of Directors was held April 16 in Grogan Hall at St. Michael the Archangel. The annual event honors Historic Madison Inc.'s many volunteers as well as celebrates the beginning of a new tourism season.

Jill Wiest, docent liaison, took the opportunity to address more than 30 attending volunteers and thanked them for their continued service to the organization and the community.

Wiest encouraged them to recruit more volunteers, be advocates of the organization's museums and reminded them of programs this year.

Joan McFadden, newly elected president of the Docent Associates Board, introduced the Docents Board and welcomed new volunteers.

The Docent Association is a group of volunteers consisting of local men and women organized for the purpose of providing guided tours of HMI museum properties and volunteering for a variety of projects and program events.

The association began shortly after Historic Madison Inc. was founded when the Sullivan House was restored and opened to the public in the early 1960s. Two additional volunteer groups are the HMI Weavers' Guild and the HMI Garden Guild.

The Weavers' Guild is a guild of traditional craftspeople involved in the production of woven articles and household items such as candles and soap.

The Garden Guild contributes many hours of gardening to improve the appearance of the Talbott-Hyatt Garden and has introduced early varieties of plant material to the garden. The committee also aids in the maintenance of all the museum properties throughout the growing season.

Additionally, docents provide help in the HMI Office and assistance with research projects.

Historic Madison Inc. owns and operates 17 historic properties and volunteer positions are always available. For more information call (812) 265-2967 or visit