Bonnie Roan

Job Title

Apprentice Cooper, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Job Description

Coopers make round wooden containers such as buckets, tubs, and casks of various sizes. I work in costume, learning to use 18th-century hand tools to shape the component pieces of all kinds of cooperage and helping to educate the public about the history of the trade. 

Favorite thing about the job

I love the everyday nature of the objects we make. Our containers would have been used to do chores or to ship goods. In the 18th century, these containers affected everybody's daily lives. There's a disconnect today for most people from our trade. These objects are no longer commonplace since mechanization has changed the way we interact with the world around us. I love helping guests to make the connection between past and present. 

Advice for future students

Internships can be a very helpful way to get your foot in the door at historic sites!