On Saturday, April 23, 2013, three Antietam Battlefield Guides sat for the first ever Harpers Ferry guide test for the 1862 Maryland Campaign certification. In a move to establish a credible guide program, National Park Historian Dennis Frye developed a process and written test especially designed to attract qualified personnel to guide visitors desiring private tours. Antietam Guides Jim Rosebrock, Justin Mayhue, and Gary Rohrer successfully completed the 2 ½ hour test which consisted of 16 essay questions.
The threesome finished the test within minutes of the time limit. Justin observed that “there were often several questions within a question, which made it more like 40 essay questions.” Essay booklets were provided and nearly filled by the applicants. Gary remembered having writer’s cramps from writing so much in response. Gary took the test to further expand his versatility. “I wanted to be able to give the entire 1862 Maryland Campaign tour and passing this test makes that possible.” Jim Rosebrock welcomed the opportunity to become certified by Harpers Ferry. “Formal National Park Service certification really adds credibility to our program and allows Gary, Justin and I to provide historically accurately interpretation of another major Maryland Campaign battlefield. I encourage other Antietam guides to pursue this certification in the future.”
Dennis Frye said “we are very excited to have [Jim], Gary, and Justin certified Harpers Ferry Battlefield Guides.” He continued by offering “congratulations on passing the test, and for making history at Harpers Ferry as the park’s first certified guides.”
The three guides may be booked by either WMIA or the Harpers Ferry Historical Association.
Welcome to Antietam Battlefield Guides, the official blog for the Antietam Battlefield Guide Association.
Who are we? Antietam Battlefield Guides are a component of the Western Maryland Interpretive Association, a cooperating association of the Antietam and Monocacy National Battlefields. We provide historically accurate and compelling interpretation of the events, personalities, and major themes of the Maryland Campaign of 1862 in a friendly and casual learning environment that meets the needs of clients of all ages, backgrounds, and interests. We strongly support the historical preservation goals of the Western Maryland Interpretive Association, and work in partnership with the rangers and volunteers of Antietam National Battlefield to provide accurate historic interpretation and education programs. We support all efforts to preserve and protect the landscape, historic structures, archeological sites and monuments at the battlefield sites of the Maryland Campaign.
Our guides are eager to share our knowledge, perspective and passion on this decisive moment in the American Civil War with you. Our ranks include people from many different walks of life. Among them are eminent Civil War scholars and authors, National Park Service rangers and volunteers, retired military officers, clergymen, public servants business professionals and community leaders. All share a common avocation for the Maryland Campaign. All of our guides complete a rigorous examination and mentoring process before they are certified by the National Park Service to provide formal interpretive programs. Check out the backgrounds of our guides here at this blog. We also offer links here to a number of Maryland Campaign blogs that are maintained by our guides.
This site will serve as a platform for you to learn more about the interpretive services offered by Antietam Battlefield Guides. Our programs range from a 2½ private tour of Antietam National Battlefield for your family to specialized programs that could focus on one part of the battlefield, or to multi day tours of the Maryland Campaign that include the Battles at South Mountain, Harpers Ferry, and Shepherdstown. Whether by car, bus, bike, horseback or Segway, let us develop a program that fits your particular interests and needs.
With the observance of the 150th anniversary of the Maryland Campaign in 2012, we will be offering a number of specialized programs that should satisfy a wide range of interests. Check back at this site often to learn more and “Like” our Facebook page as well to get updates.
We look forward to seeing you on the battlefield!