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P.O. Box 458
Livermore Falls, ME

Copyright 2013, Jay Livermore Livermore Falls Chamber of Commerce   207-500-2464     
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Fall Festival at Washburn Norlands Living History Center

  • 11 Oct 2014
  • 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • 290 Norlands Rd., Livermore




LIVERMORE, Maine - The Washburn-Norlands Living History Center in Livermore is hosting a Fall Festival on Saturday, October 11th from 11am to 4pm. Admission is $6 adults, $3 ages 12 and under, and a $15 family rate (2 adults with 2-3 children).


Step back in time and enjoy “old-fashioned” activities that make a memorable day for all ages at Maine’s oldest living history farm and museum. Special presentations include a display of early tools and a talk by tool expert HG “Skip” Brack, a concert of Maritime Songs of the Civil War Era by music historian Dr. Stephen Sanfilippo, and a special living history presentation on Livermore’s own Civil War Sailor Sam Washburn. Other activities include blacksmithing demonstrations by Richard Tessier of Malbons Mills, guided nature walks, tours of the elegant 1867 Washburn family Victorian mansion, apple pressing, games, and old-time scholarly, but fun, activities in the one-room schoolhouse. Children can visit “Caroline’s Closet” and dress up as a character from the past.  Parents should definitely bring their camera along.  Visitors can participate in living history in the farmer’s cottage as the Bradford family cooks up biscuits with apple butter on the woodstove, string apples, and discuss the latest “gossip” of the neighborhood.  Homemade donuts will be cooking in the Big Kitchen. On the grounds (and weather permitting), there may be a demonstration with Norlands’ team of oxen – Fred and Jake.   


Special events taking place include:


At 11:30am in the Library watch a living history presentation on Sailor Samuel Washburn (1824-1890). The program, presented by Norlands’ interpretive staff, features the seventh child of Israel and Martha Washburn.  Samuel was the only seafaring son who shipped out at the age of 18 and later became master of his own vessel.  During the Civil War, Samuel was Acting Master in the U.S. Navy and served as an officer on the gunboat USS Galena, an ironclad steamer.  During a battle at Fort Darling on the James River near Richmond, Virginia, he was wounded in the hip, which left him lame for the rest of his life.  Samuel returned home to Livermore to care for his aging father.  Readings from his Civil War Journal, covering the years 1860 to 1863, will be shared during the program. 


At 12pm noon and again at 2pm take a guided nature walk to the Pools of Simeon.  To experience more of Norlands’ magnificent 445 acres in full autumn colors, take a guided walk to two peaceful reflecting pools and to the overlook, where you can see Mt. Washington on a clear day.  Learn about the Maine woods and more about the youngest Washburn brother, William Drew. Wear sturdy shoes and be prepared for a slight incline on the way back.  Tours begin in front of the schoolhouse.


At 12:30pm in the meetinghouse, enjoy a talk and exhibit on early tools by HG “Skip” Brack.  Skip is the founder/curator of the Davistown Museum in Liberty, Maine, in which he takes great pleasure sharing his collections and knowledge of tools, art, and history. The museum grew out of his highly successful Jonesport Wood Company, which includes the Liberty Tool CompanyHulls Cove Tool Barn, and Captain Tinkham’s Emporium. His knowledge of early tools and Maine/New England maritime history makes him a sought after lecturer and consultant. Skip has done extensive research and writing on the history of tools and the science of iron and steel production.  His many publications include a six-volume museum publication series Hand Tools in HistoryRegistry of Maine Toolmakers.   Skip holds a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts and an M.A. from the University of Colorado. He enjoys traveling extensively in the United States and Europe, visiting tool museums and historical sites to research his interests.


At 2:30pm in the meetinghouse, enjoy a concert by Dr. Stephen N. Sanfilippo, “America’s Easternmost Chanteyman” as he presents “Ironclads: Naval Ballads of Iron Warships of the Civil War.” Enjoy several songs with banjo or guitar accompaniment as well as several songs without accompaniment.  Songs will be introduced in historical context and most have easily learned choruses and the audience will be encouraged to sing along. A native of Long Island, New York and Pembroke, Maine, Dr. Sanfilippo is a leading researcher and performer of historic and traditional American songs of the sea. He received his Ph.D. in History from Stony Brook University, working in gender analysis of whalemen’s songs of the 1840s, and has performed and lectured at maritime, cultural and educational venues from St. Vincent & the Grenadines to Prince Edward Island, including numerous appearances at Mystic Seaport, at major maritime museums, and at academic conferences. Stephen currently teaches a course on Mariners’ Songs & the Maritime Experience at Maine Maritime Academy, organizes the monthly Chantey Sing at the Pembroke Library and performs with “From Away Downeast,” America’s Easternmost Chantey Group. He has recorded a compact disc of traditional songs of the sea titled “As Long As the Seas Do Roll.”


The Washburn-Norlands Living History Center is located at 290 Norlands Road, Livermore, Maine.  FMI: call 207-897-4366, email, or visit

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