LIVERMORE — The Washburn-Norlands Living History Center, 290 Norlands Road, invites the public to go back to the days of old on Saturday, Dec. 8, for a 19th-century holiday celebration. The historic site will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. when visitors can tour the elegantly decorated Washburn mansion that dates to 1867.

Other activities will include horse-drawn sleigh rides, 19th-century parlor games, stories, craft activities in the cozy Washburn kitchen, lessons of the past in the one-room schoolhouse and Norlands’ renowned wassail (mulled cider) and molasses cookies made on the wood stove. Soup will be available for purchase while supplies last.

The new barn is open to visitors. The interior was just completed this year and visitors can visit Mary, Martha and Caroline — the pig and sheep named after the Washburn sisters.

Jan Gill of Livermore will lead “pop-up” caroling throughout the day, with periodic special visits from the Spruce Mountain second grade carolers and fiddler Don LeBlanc. Kids and adults can participate in a special Washburn-inspired Christmas Stocking Scavenger Hunt and search for the 12 stockings hidden around the grounds. Match all 12 stockings with the correct Washburn family members for a chance to win a treat.

A Cookie Walk fundraiser benefits the new barn fund. For only $5, fill a bag with homemade cookies to take home. Come early as this special fundraiser often sells out.

The gift shop will be open for holiday shoppers. Shaky Barn Farm Gardens will have wreath for sales. There will also be handmade pottery and soaps from local businesses, old-time toys, books, prints, hats, stick candy, Norlands’ maple syrup and pancake mix and more.


Admission is $10 for adults, $6 for kids ages 6-12, and kids 5 and under get in free. Cost is $25 for families (two adults with two to three children). Norlands’ members get a 20 percent discount on admission.

In case of bad weather, this event will be canceled by 9 a.m. the day of the event. Call 207-897-4366 and listen to the outgoing message or visit for updates.

Ray Fleury, Norlands’ farm manager who portrays Washburn’s hired hand Israel Martel, drives the sleigh. (Photo by Ryan Burnham of Leeds)

Norlands volunteer Sarah Delaney, right, and Bonnie Brown, owner of Shaky Barn Farm Gardens in Livermore, transform Norlands in preparation for Christmas at Norlands: A 19th-Century Holiday Celebration on Dec. 8. The greenery was made by Brown. 

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