‘Rally for Norlands’: Battles will be waged on hayfields of living history center in Livermore in early June

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LIVERMORE — The Third “Rally for Norlands” Civil War Re-enactment Weekend at the Washburn-Norlands Living History Center will take place on June 4-5.

Living historians interpreting Confederate and Union infantry will scrimmage with replica weaponry on the grounds of the 19th century historic settlement. The 6th Maine Battery will be on hand to fire its Parrott Rifle (cannon). A battle will be staged each day on the center’s hayfields. Calvary units are also planning to attend.

The two-day event will include encampments the public can visit; farm-life living history in the Norlands farmer’s cottage and one-room schoolhouse; exhibits by by historical societies, the Fifth Maine Museum, J.R. Robinson Merchantile and TopHats Sutlery (which will offer reproduction wares for sale); demonstrations and vendors.

Historian Kerck Kelsey will give a talk on the roles of the Washburn brothers in the Civil War. Re-enactment units will be recruiting so visitors can join drills and musket safety lessons. The Washburn’s 1867 Italianate-style mansion will be open for guided tours.

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Kovaishuvik Local Living School will be on hand with a basket-weaving demonstration. Throughout the day, there will be skits portraying the Temperance Movement, skirmishes, post-battle care at the surgeon’s tent, field musicians and more.

GrantLee’s, a family restaurant in Farmington with a Civil War theme, will offer a historic sandwich menu. Nineteenth century treats such as homemade soup, ice cream, lemonade and other refreshments will also be available. A Saturday supper of smoked, slow-cooked beef brisket and pork will be served at 5 p.m. with all the fixin’s. Tickets for the supper, which sell fast, will be available at the front gate only.

This year the 19th century fashion show will feature a peek at vintage undergarments. Children can also visit the “dress-up” tent to don vintage clothing and have a photo taken. There will be large tents for lunch and historic games.

Visitors can take a self-guided walk to the Waters Hill cemetery where local Civil War veterans are buried and honored.

Beginning at 7 p.m. on Saturday night, there will be a contra dance, with music provided by The Racket Factory, a local group that performs reels, jigs, waltzes, hambos and polkas for the people of New Sharon, Vienna and Central Maine.

Band members Hank Washburn, Eric Johnson, Margaret Cox, Mark Rains and Cynthia Phinney play fiddles, guitar, banjo, bass and a five-string racket. Admission to the dance is $5. Dancers of all abilities are welcome join Civil War re-enactors and Norlands’ historians dressed in hoop skirts and Civil War military uniforms.

The event is organized by the 3rd Maine Company A and 15th Alabama Company G to benefit the Washburn-Norlands Living History Center, Maine’s oldest living history farm and museum.

“Rally for Norlands” will run from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for children under 12. Discounted weekend passes are available at $14 adults/$8. Washburn-Norlands Living History Center is at 290 Norlands Road. For more information, call 897-4366 or visit www.norlands.org.

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