LIVERMORE — The Washburn-Norlands Living History Center in Livermore will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, to journey into the past and celebrate President’s Day in 1870. Activities are provided by interpreters in period clothing portraying people of the 1800s Norlands neighborhood or Livermore’s Washburn family.

This annual event is a belated celebration of Presidents Day, 1870-style. A special tribute to America’s first president, George Washington, takes place at 1 p.m. Norlands’ interpreters Willi Irish, Beth Chamberlain and Faith Dexter, portraying the Washburn’s 19th-century neighbors, will bake a version of Martha Washington’s cake and pay tribute to President Washington with poems and songs.

There will also be a special program on Lt. Samuel Benjamin, father of Patty Benjamin Washburn. His story will be told by Clara Howard, portrayed by Willi Irish, Norlands director of

Willi Irish, Norlands’ director of Interpretation and Training, portraying Clara Howard.

Interpretation and Training. At noon, Clara will share excerpts from Lt. Benjamin’s diary that he kept during the Revolutionary War. Samuel Benjamin (1753-1824) was one of the first to respond to the call to fight. He fought at the Battle of Lexington in 1775. He served as a sergeant at the Battle of Bunker Hill. After the British evacuated Boston, Samuel Benjamin was then at Fort Ticonderoga in New York. Eventually he was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Massachusetts Continental Line and went on to serve at Valley Forge, Saratoga, Monmouth and Yorktown. Samuel Benjamin was an early settler in Livermore during the time when it was called Port Royal and is still a part of Oxford County.

Throughout the day, visitors to the Norlands can take a horse-drawn sleigh ride, make a period craft in the Washburn kitchen, and visit the one-room schoolhouse where the schoolmaster will be ready to greet his scholars. Guided tours of the 1867 Washburn family home will be offered every hour. Traditional ice cutting demonstrations take place on Bartlett Pond, just down the hill from the Norlands. Visitors can stop by the pond on their way to or from the Norlands.

Bring snowshoes and walk the historic carriage trail to the Pools of Simeon, reflecting pools designed in 1903 by the youngest Washburn brother, William Drew. Hot chocolate and other goodies will be available in the farmer’s cottage, while supplies last. Folks are welcome to bring a lunch and stay all day.

General admission is $10 adults, $6 ages 12 and under. Upon arrival, park by the church and walk up to towards the mansion. Purchase admission tickets in the gift shop.

In case of bad weather, this event will be canceled by 9 a.m. the day of the event. Call the Norlands and listen to the outgoing message or check the Norlands’ website or Facebook page for updates.

For more information, call 207-897-4366 or visit www.norlands.org.

Larry Whittington portrays schoolmaster Hiram Biggs in the one-room schoolhouse at Norlands.

 

filed under: