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Welcome to the Norlands


Join us for an exciting adventure into the past. At the Washburn-Norlands Living History Center, we offer a variety of inter-active programs to enable our guests to experience life as it truly was in 18th and 19th century Maine. 

Norlands is the family home of the Washburns, one of the great political and industrial dynasties of the 19th century. Of the ten children born to Israel and Martha Washburn, seven sons rose to serve as governors, congressmen, a United States senator, Secretary of State, foreign ministers, a Civil War general, and a Navy captain. 

As industrialists, the brothers' achievements included founding of the Washburn-Crosby Gold Medal Flour Company, invention of a typewriter, and serving as president of a railroad.

Today, Norlands is a multifaceted museum offering in-depth experiences in 18th and 19th century rural life. Here, the visitor is an active participant in daily and seasonal farming and housework, and becomes involved in the social, political and educational activities of the times.

"When the long dun wolds are ribb'd with snow,
And loud the Norland whirlwinds blow,"

From: THE BALLAD OF ORIANA,
by Lord Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892)


Martha Washburn & Sons

Upcoming Events

(for more info go to the events page

PANCAKE BREAKFAST & MAPLE SUGARING
March 22, 2015 | 9:30am – 2:00pm |
$5/$7 for pancakes and sausage; otherwise free

Come experience a late winter ritual done the old-fashioned way. In celebration of Maine Maple Sunday, the Norlands will serve up fresh, hot pancakes and sausage, with Norlands’ own maple syrup, in the historic farmer’s cottage. Sap boiling demonstrations take place in the Sugar House. Visitors can help tap trees and collect sap. Meet the school’marm in the one-room schoolhouse who will encourage you to practice your mental arithmetic and penmanship using a quill pen under her watchful eye. It’s all in fun! Bring snowshoes or sleds and enjoy the grounds. Stop by the gift shop to purchase Norlands’ own maple syrup and other maple treats to take home.  

 

COMMUNITY READ at the Norlands
Wednesday, March 25 | 6:30pm Book Discussion; 5:30pm Washburn Mansion Tour (optional)

The second in a series of free community reads is focused on For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War by James M. McPherson. Read the book and engage in a discussion facilitated by Patrick Rael, Ph.D., professor of history at Bowdoin College. Extra copies of the book are available to borrow from the Spruce Mountain High School Library in Jay, Treat Memorial Library in Livermore Falls, and the Jay-Niles Memorial Library. This activity is a part of the Local & Legendary: Maine in the Civil War project – a partnership between Norlands and Spruce Mountain High School – and sponsored by Maine Humanities Council and Maine Historical Society.


COMMUNITY READ at Norlands
Wednesday, April 8 | 6:30pm Book Discussion; 5:30 Washburn Mansion Tour (optional)

The third and last in a series of community reads is focused on This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War by Drew Gilpin Faust. Read the book and engage in a discussion facilitated by Libby Bischof, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History and Department Chair at the University of Southern Maine. Extra copies of the book are available to borrow from the Spruce Mountain High School Library in Jay, Treat Memorial Library in Livermore Falls, and the Jay-Niles Memorial Library. This activity is a part of the Local & Legendary: Maine in the Civil War project – a partnership between Norlands and Spruce Mountain High School – and sponsored by the Maine Humanities Council and Maine Historical Society.

 

5th Rally for Norlands: Civil War Reenactment Weekend
June 13-14, 2015

Don’t miss this historic event with a wide variety of living history demonstrations, exhibits, and engaging activities remembering the activities of the Civil War in the Spring of 1865. The event is organized by the 3rd Maine Company A and 15th Alabama Company G to benefit Maine’s oldest living history farm and museum.

For more information, visit the Rally Page here.

 

 

SUMMER LIVING HISTORY TOURS
July & August | Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays | 11am – 4pm (arrive by 3pm to enjoy full tour)

$10 adults, $6 ages 12 and under, $25 family rate

Visit with People from the 1870 Livermore Community

Drop in anytime from 11am-4pm on a Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday in July and August and visit with people from the 1870 Livermore community in the Washburn mansion, one-room schoolhouse, and the farmer’s cottage. Tour at your own pace.  Interpreters, dressed in period clothing, portray a local person, someone you might have met had you visited Norlands in the 1800s. 

A Living History Tour is a fun way, for all ages, to learn what rural Maine life was like in the 1800s. Round out your visit with a nature walk on a historic carriage trail.  A short hike takes you to the Pools of Simeon, reflecting pools designed by William Drew Washburn in 1903.  Maps are available in the gift shop.  Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the beautiful grounds. 


ARTIST RETREAT: INWARD DISCOVERY/OUTWARD EXPRESSION
August 14-16, 2015 |Register by July 1st

Color Exploration & Feldenkrais Movement Awareness, taught by Gretchen Langner

Make Art! Move! Spend a long weekend immersing yourself in Norlands’ beautiful setting and the pure joy of truly experiencing color in your art, along with enjoying the greater mental and physical flexibility created by Feldenkrais movement instruction. Have fun throughout the weekend exploring movement strategies that will improve your flexibility, efficiency, and grace. The weekend includes personal instruction, 6 meals, lodging at the Norlands, tours of the 1867 Washburn mansion and its artwork, special historic programming by Norlands staff, and ample free time to rest and relax. 

Registration details coming soon!


VETERANS DAY DINNER & PROGRAM
Saturday, November 7, 2015 | 6:30pm | $23 ticket by reservation only

A special Civil War Veterans Day Remembrance program and music in the Ladies’ Parlor of the Washburn mansion. Dinner in historic farmer’s cottage. Limited seating. Reservations required by October 30th.

 

CHRISTMAS AT NORLANDS
Sunday, December 12, 2015 | 11am-4pm

Open house, crafts, music, hayrides, living history, and more!





Now Accepting Reservations for School Programs
Journey into History

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©Washburn Norlands Living History Center
Washburn-Norlands Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization

290 Norlands Road
Livermore, Maine 04253

Phone: 207-897-4366
Fax: 207-897-4963
Email: Norlands@norlands.org

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