Please click "Log On" above to access your docent account where you can keep your contact information and availability up to date. If you don’t have an account, follow the steps to create one after you have clicked "Log On".

NOTE! Signing up here to docent at an upcoming home tour is for individuals that are NOT members of a docent group. If you ARE a member of a group check with your group leader to confirm that you are not already committed before signing up here.

Welcome to Docent Central

Docent Signup

Prior to each tour we will list docent requirements by house and shift at the top of this page. We intend to do that about ten days prior to each month's tour. We will also send an email letting you know that the requirements have been posted. To get a notice you must have an account here which includes a current email address.

Thank you for being an OIRF docent volunteer!


More than fifty years ago Old Island Restoration Foundation was organized by volunteers to promote the preservation and restoration of the island’s historic buildings.   Then and now, volunteers play an  important role guiding tours at the Oldest House, staffing the homes on our annual house tours or working behind the scenes.

Early settlers dubbed any gathering of gossiping ladies wearing red shawls as “red shawling it”  and today, we still have a lot to talk about, especially the importance of our volunteers.   As a docent, you continue the work to preserve Key West by sharing the history of Captain Watlington’s home on Duval and OIRF’s long and successful presence in Key West. 

On behalf of the Board, we would like to thank you for generously donating your time and talents.  Without your efforts our mission could not be accomplished.   

Docent Tips

The Red Shawl for women was adopted in 1960 as the symbol of our organization, we ask that you continue this tradition during the annual Home Tours and while you are working at the Oldest House.  Shawls will be provided if you do not have your own. Alternately, women are welcome to wear a red "top" and white "bottom".  Men are asked to wear a red shirt.

Docents are the ambassadors of OIRF. Conduct yourself with respect to others and their property.

No prior experience or knowledge of Key West history is necessary, but a zeal for learning and sharing information with all visitors is a must.

  • Scripts are provided at home tours that highlight important architectural and historic facts regarding each residence.  While we ask that you keep to the script, documented facts can be added.  Focus on history, architecture, design and style.
  • Protect the owner:  The owners have turned over their homes under the condition their names are not revealed.  While the owners are often used in newsprint, do not reveal their names or personal information about the owners.  Do not speculate on the value of the property, its contents or wealth of the owners.
  • Protect the owner’s property.  Remind visitors about refraining from touching or handling of art objects. No photos, no pets and no smoking allowed inside the tour homes.  Children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Protect our guests.  While every effort to remove hazards are made, always remind and point out steps, level changes and safety hazards.

Docents: A big thank you for a successful 2017-18 season!

2018-19 Season Tour Dates

  • December 28 and 29, 2018 - 3 pm to 6 pm
  • January 18 and 19, 2019 - 3 pm to 6 pm
  • February 15 and 16, 2019 - 10 am to 4 pm
  • March 15 and 16, 2019 - 10 am to 4 pm

December Tour Scripts

Will be found here ...

Docent Tour Tickets

You will receive one docent ticket for each shift you work. Tickets may be picked up at your assigned house during tour hours on either tour day. Unused tickets for previous tours in the same season may be exchanged for a later tour. Docent tickets do not include Conch Train seating during the January tour.

For Sale?

If patrons ask if the house is for sale please say you have no information and suggest they search online or contact a real estate agent. Thanks for your cooperation!