The descendants of Israel and Martha Washburn deeded the property, including the farm buildings and 150 acres of land, to the Washburn-Norlands Foundation in 1973.

It includes the 1867 two-story Italianate style mansion with 17 rooms, the 1828 Meeting House, the 1883 library, the School House and the carriage house.

Since then, donations have increased the land holdings to 443 acres, and an 18th century cape-style house and the 1828 Norlands Universalist Church have been added to the property on Norlands Road.

The seven sons of Israel and Martha Washburn rose to serve as governors, congressmen, a U.S. senator, secretary of state, foreign ministers, a Civil War general and a Navy captain.

As industrialists, the brothers’ achievements included founding the Washburn-Crosby Gold Medal Flour Co., inventing a typewriter, and serving as president of a railroad.

Norlands has been operated as a nonprofit “multi-faceted museum” and “living history center.” Buildings have been preserved or restored to near their original state. They are used to show visitors the working life on a rural farm during the 1800s.

FMI: [email protected]; Washburn-Norlands Living History Center, 290 Norlands Road, Livermore 04253, or call 897-4366.