LIVERMORE — The Washburn-Norlands Living History Center in Livermore will host a Fall Festival from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11.
Step back in time and enjoy “old-fashioned” activities that make a memorable day for all ages at Maine’s oldest, living history farm and museum. Special presentations will include a display of early tools and a talk by tool expert HG “Skip” Brack, a concert of “Maritime Songs of the Civil War Era” by music historian Dr. Stephen Sanfilippo, and a special living history presentation on Livermore’s own Civil War Sailor Sam Washburn.
Other activities include blacksmithing demonstrations by Richard Tessier of Malbons Mills, guided nature walks, tours of the elegant 1867 Washburn family Victorian mansion, apple pressing, games, and old-time scholarly, but fun, activities in the one-room schoolhouse.
Children can visit “Caroline’s Closet” and dress up as a character from the past. Parents should definitely bring their camera. Visitors can participate in living history in the farmer’s cottage as the Bradford family cooks up biscuits with apple butter on the woodstove, string apples, and discuss the latest “gossip” of the neighborhood.
Homemade donuts will be cooking in the Big Kitchen. On the grounds (and weather permitting), there may be a demonstration with Norlands’ team of oxen – Fred and Jake.
Special events taking place include:
At 11:30 a.m. in the Library watch a living history presentation on Sailor Samuel Washburn (1824-1890). The program, presented by Norlands’ interpretive staff, features the seventh child of Israel and Martha Washburn. Samuel was the only seafaring son who shipped out at the age of 18 and later became master of his own vessel. During the Civil War, Samuel was Acting Master in the U.S. Navy and served as an officer on the gunboat U.S.S. Galena, an ironclad steamer. During a battle at Fort Darling on the James River near Richmond, Virginia, he was wounded in the hip, which left him lame for the rest of his life. Samuel returned home to Livermore to care for his aging father. Readings from his Civil War Journal, covering the years 1860 to 1863, will be shared during the program.
At noon and again at 2 p.m. take a guided nature walk to the Pools of Simeon, two peaceful reflecting pools and to the overlook, where you can see Mt. Washington on a clear day. Learn about the Maine woods and more about the youngest Washburn brother, William Drew. Wear sturdy shoes and be prepared for a slight incline on the way back. Tours begin in front of the schoolhouse.
At 12:30 p.m. in the meetinghouse, enjoy a talk and exhibit on early tools by HG “Skip” Brack. Skip is the founder/curator of the Davistown Museum in Liberty, Maine, in which he takes great pleasure sharing his collections and knowledge of tools, art, and history. The museum grew out of his highly successful Jonesport Wood Company, which includes the Liberty Tool Company, Hulls Cove Tool Barn, and Captain Tinkham’s Emporium. Skip has done extensive research and writing on the history of tools and the science of iron and steel production.
Enjoy several songs with banjo or guitar accompaniment as well as several songs without accompaniment. Songs will be introduced in historical context and most have easily learned choruses and the audience will be encouraged to sing along. A native of Long Island, New York and Pembroke, Maine, Sanfilippo is a leading researcher and performer of historic and traditional American songs of the sea.
Admission is $6 adults, $3 ages 12 and under, and a $15 family rate (two adults with two-three children). The Washburn-Norlands Living History Center is at 290 Norlands Road. For more information, call 207-897-4366, email [email protected], or visit www.norlands.org.