Welcome to the Team, Keli!

  • February 23, 2024
  • Posted By: Pennsbury Manor

Keli Welcome

Meet Keli, Pennsbury Manor’s new Lead Interpreter. Keli is a former Pennsbury Manor intern who recently graduated from Messiah University with a degree in Public History.

The difference between public history and history, according to Keli, is that public history focuses on taking research that can be overly-academic and making it understandable for a general audience.
Keli reconnected with Pennsbury Manor when researching for a school project. She later switched topics to an archaeological expedition of a lost colony in Greece called Washingtonia.
Washingtonia was founded in 1829 as a community for Greek refugees by an American philanthropist named Samuel Gridley Howe. Howe was a Son of the American Revolution, and Greece’s own revolutionary aspirations inspired him to provide humanitarian aid.
The colony existed for just about 50 years and was not rediscovered until now. Keli is a talented videographer and is currently finishing a documentary about her expedition.
As she returns to Pennsbury Manor as a full-time employee, Keli is excited to get back to giving tours. She loves when visitors ask questions and thinks people should approach historic sites with a healthy amount of curiosity. She says that being a tour guide can be difficult when some visitors want to hear an uncomplicated history while the truth is more nuanced.
“I think the truth is hard. And I think it’s really hard for people to accept the truth, which is why I think it makes it so much more important to tell people the truth,” Keli says. “When you want to know about the site, you have to know the good, bad and the ugly.”
Her reverence for truth as a historian carries over into how she tries to live her life.
“Whether I like the truth or not is out of the question. I need to hear it if it makes me either a better person or it educates me.”
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