Support us with Kachingle!
August 2, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
Cindy Mustard and Jolene Schulz might have quit their full-time jobs, but they didn’t lose their enthusiasm to work. The two MU alumnae soon turned to guiding tours through Columbia to occupy their time.
Mustard and Schulz have been involved in cultivating the community for many years. Mustard is the former executive director of the Voluntary Action Center, and Schulz worked with Columbia Public Schools. Now they’re sharing their knowledge and passion with people in a fun, personal way by leading group tours on Columbia’s only trolley.
Where: Call for location
When: By appointment
The touring business was once just a post-retirement idea. “It was a dream that I had a long time ago,” Schulz says. She shared that dream with Mustard, who also loved it.
Their first tour was not part of a business plan. Schulz was asked to give a tour of Columbia to a group of visiting Premier Bank executives in 2009. “I called Cindy and asked to borrow some books,” Schulz says. “I said, ‘Wait, you’ve lived here all your life. Why don’t you come and do it with me?’”
The pair enjoyed guiding the group so much that they decided to make it into a career. They’ve been working on building Tiger Trolley Tours since spring 2012. The business will be licensed, insured and up and running by Aug. 22.
Groups of 18 to 24 passengers will be able to board a trolley and cruise through town. Mustard and Schulz will offer four main tours this fall: Historical, Welcome to Columbia, Cultural Arts and College Town USA. However, these aren’t the only options; the pair will also offer custom trips to suit clients’ interests. They’re considering other possibilities for future choices such as a garden tour, but they haven’t yet finalized any specifics.
The Historical Tour gives passengers an overview of Columbia’s founders, why it’s the location of Thomas Jefferson’s tombstone and the background of the six columns on the Francis Quadrangle. Throughout each tour, Mustard and Schulz also share anecdotes about various attractions, such as little-known facts about Jesse Hall. “The third floor of Jesse was a rifle range in the 1900s,” Mustard says. “People would shoot right out onto the Quad.”
With Mustard and Schulz’s perspective, Tiger Trolley Tours will inform residents and visitors alike about history through multiple generations. Where the trolley with the tiger tail goes, Columbia’s stories are sure to follow.