Mike Rohlin is a former Board Member for several years. I first worked with him on the Saints and Sinners Tours. I asked if I could shadow him to see how it was done. Amazing, it was like following an encyclopedia of Lake View cemetery. Mike has since stepped back from his role as a board member. However, we can still count on him to help out with the Saints and Sinners Tours. He recently met with my husband and I to share his expertise on conducting tours and he himself will be conducting tours. If you are lucky enough to be on his tour, you are indeed luck. And now Mike’s story in his own words.
I was raised in Russell, PA and attended Eisenhower High School. I then went to Penn State University and received a degree in history. Several years later I earned my teaching credentials at Slippery Rock University. I started teaching in Chautauqua County in 1998 and at my current position at Chautauqua Lake Central School in 2001. I moved to Jamestown in 2000 and since I had been involved in the historical society in Warren County PA, I decided to join the Fenton History Center. I became a member of the board of trustees in 2004, I think. I have served as a trustee for 16 years. I was president of the board for 6 years. During this time, we purchased the Hall house and began the moving of the library and remodeling the entrance and gift shop at the Fenton Mansion. We also opened the Underground Railroad exhibit. I have also served as vice president for 3 years and as the secretary.
I have volunteered at almost all the fundraising events that have been conducted over these years. I have done work on remodeling both houses and carried a lot of stuff in the move. My primary role on the board has been in giving tours. I have given Saints and Sinners tours in every year, except the first year. I think that is 15 years of tours. I also did Lucy Fest tours of the cemetery, as well as tours when we were involved in the Spoon River Anthology production. I have conducted walking tours of the downtown area, southside, and alleys, and many tours of the mansion. My older daughters grew up working with Fenton events. What I like to do is work, workout at the gym and read. I love teaching history, especially American history. I find many things in the nation’s story that have direct ties to our area, and I bring this into my teaching so often. We have a very rich history with many ties to national and world events. People need to know that.
During my time on the Fenton board, I have also served on the education committee at the Jackson Center. I am the varsity boys’ track and field coach at my school and serve on several committees at school. I have three daughters Lilyan 23, Meridith 18, and Ella 9. They keep me busy as well.