FREMONT – When Josh Dubbert was a fourth-grader at Danbury Elementary School in Marblehead, his class toured the Hayes Home on a field trip. That was the beginning of a life-long interest in presidential history and President Rutherford B. Hayes’ time period.
“I became obsessed with presidents,” Dubbert said. “And I became really interested in Victorian history.”
As a master’s student in history at Bowling Green State University, he again toured the home, and it captivated him as much as it did the first time.
“I always thought, “Wow, if I could ever get a job at that place, I would be on the right track,” Dubbert said. “That was always sort of the ultimate goal for me. This to me, it is the goal, the peak.”
Dubbert attained that goal when he was named the new historian at the Hayes Presidential Library & Museums. He began working at Hayes Presidential as a guide in the Hayes Home and was promoted to historian on Dec. 1 after the institution’s former historian, Dustin McLochlin, left in late August to pursue a career in teaching.
“It’s incredible to have this position,” Dubbert said. “I’m just really thrilled to be here and to join this team. I just feel this is a real honor. I’m looking forward to just continuing to expand the interpretation and learning the story and how we can best deliver that to the public through programming, lectures and great, fun events.”
In his position as historian, Dubbert will lead the Presidential History Book Club, develop tours and content for other events, lead the Hayes Home guides and research President Hayes and his family, among other duties.
Dubbert has a diverse background and brings several talents and areas of expertise to his job at Hayes Presidential. An Ohio native, he has split time over the years between living and working New England and Ohio.
He has a culinary degree from Johnson & Whales University in Providence, R.I., a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in history with focus on Victorian America and under specialization in public history.
His past jobs in the museum field include museum assistant at the Rhode Island Historical Society, where he wrote tours and interpretation and coordinated the walking tour program for the historical society and the John Brown House Museum in Providence, Rhode Island. The John Brown House Museum was the 18th-century, Federal-style home of a prominent business figure in Rhode Island.
During his career, he has run a Thai restaurant in Cleveland and was luthier of string instruments, which means he repaired and helped build viol-family instruments, such as violins, cello and double basses, as well as their bows.
He worked as a fine artist. In Cleveland, painting scenes with a realism theme and portraits, and has written and published seven books of speculative fiction, some of which are historical fiction from the 1700s and the Victorian era in the 1800s.
As a master’s degree student at Bowling Green State University, Dubbert worked as a teaching assistant for McLochlin at the university. The pair worked together well and have a similar philosophy on history and teaching, Dubbert said.
“I feel that it’s an honor to walk through this door,” Dubbert said. “It’s the president’s house. It’s a privilege that we get to come here and do this work.”
The Hayes Presidential Library & Museums is America’s first presidential library and the forerunner for the federal presidential library system. It is partially funded by the state of Ohio and affiliated with the Ohio History Connection. The Hayes Presidential Library & Museums is located at Spiegel Grove at the corner of Hayes and Buckland avenues.
For information, call 419-332-2081, or visit rbhayes.org.