Park Interpreter John White

Park Service Profiles

John White knows a thing or two about the payoff of hard work and determination. White serves as both the Park Manager and Interpreter for Rivers Bridge State Historic Site in Ehrhardt, SC, where he maintains the park and also teaches visitors about the site’s place in Civil War History. White says his current job is the most rewarding one yet, but it wasn’t until after working maintenance jobs at Lake Wateree State Park for 18 and a half years that he landed his current position.

White, who grew up in Winnsboro, S.C. received a bachelor’s degree in history and anthropology from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in Archaeology from the University of Arkansas. While he has always had a love of the outdoors and learning about the past, it wasn’t until he was 35 years old that White knew he wanted to become a park ranger.

In 1992, White landed a job as an assistant ranger Lake Wateree State Park. During his 18 years at Wateree, he helped with camper registration, day-to-day maintenance and end-of-the-day paperwork. In 2010, White finally got to put his history and anthropology degrees to use when he received the position of Park Interpreter at Rivers Bridge.

The transition from Lake Wateree to Rivers Bridge was an easy one, as he was already trained in maintenance and paperwork procedure and had an extensive knowledge of Civil War history. After learning more details about the battle that was fought at the site, White says he felt right at home.

For White, there’s no better feeling than preparing for his tours and Living History programs and seeing how much the visitor’s enjoy them afterwards, despite his worries and anxiety beforehand.