LIVERMORE — The Washburn‐Norlands Living History Center will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p..m. Saturday, Dec. 14, for a family‐friendly, interactive Christmas celebration. Experience a rural Christmas in the 19th century and participate in living history activities around the beautiful and tranquil estate. Journey back to a time when celebrations were much simpler than they would become in the 20th century.

Ongoing activities throughout the day include horse‐drawn sleigh or wagon rides, depending on snow conditions, children’s craft activities, storytelling, parlor games, the one‐room schoolhouse and tours of the simply yet elegantly decorated 1867 Washburn family mansion.  Old-fashioned spelling bees will take place in the schoolhouse at noon, 2 and 3:30 p.m.

Musicians Julia Lane and Fred Gosbee of Castlebay, Round Pound, will weave together seasonal tunes on the Celtic harp, guitar, fiddle and tin whistle. They blend history, legend and experience into their personable performance style and treat audience members to a musical journey through time and across the Atlantic. They will perform in the Washburn mansion throughout most of the day during Christmas at Norlands.

The Rangeley Ringers Hand Bell Choir will perform at 1:30 p.m. Led by Sue Downes-Borko, this talented group from the Rangeley Congregational Church performs throughout the greater Rangeley community. With three octaves of hand bells and tone chimes, they pour their hearts into making beautiful music.

A historical church service will be held in the 1828 Universalist meeting house at 12:30 and 3 p.m. with the Rev. David Thurston Stevens (b.1812-d.1897), portrayed by Norlands historical interpreter Ignacio Valdes, will lead a short service complete with a Christmas message, readings and hymns.

A Cookie Walk fundraiser will benefit the Norlands building fund. For $5, fill a bag with homemade cookies to take home. Arrive early as the fundraiser sells out early.

Visitors may warm up with a cup of soup, a mug of mulled cider or hot chocolate and a sweat treat in the farmer’s cottage while supplies last. The gift shop will be open and filled with unique treasures. Norlands maple syrup, stick candy and old‐time toys and games are a few of the items showcased in the shop.

Tickets will only be sold the day of the event and guests may purchase tickets inside the white church. General admission is $10 a person; $8, members of Norlands; $6 ($4), ages 12 and under; free, age 5 and under; $25 ($20), family rate for two adults with up to three children under the age of 18.

The Washburn-Norlands Living History Center is at 290 Norlands Road. For more information, call 207-897-4366 or visit

Ray Fleury, Norlands historic farm manager, drives the sleigh during a past Christmas at Norlands event. Submitted photo

The 1867 Washburn mansion will be decorated inside and out during Christmas at Norlands. Submitted photo

Castlebay Duo, Julia Lane and Fred Gosbee, will play seasonal tunes in the Washburn mansion during Christmas at Norlands. Submitted photo

The Rangeley Ringers Hand Bell Choir will perform at 1:30 p.m. during Christmas at Norlands. Submitted photo

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