Preserve the Norlands Update

March 1, 2023

Dear Friends of the Norlands,

The time was then that we needed everyone to know of the difficult decision we were facing about the future of the Norlands. And the time is now to announce the GOOD NEWS!

Based on the outpouring of support from Mainers, the Washburn Family, local businesses and political leaders, the Norlands will stay open beginning with the summer season and a  limited event schedule. We will continue our mission to educate children and adults about past life in rural Maine.

While we are far from the $3 million goal to endow essential operations and properly restore our historic buildings, sources of state, national and private support have emerged as strong possibilities. Operating the Norlands successfully without a deficit is a key part of securing this funding and we have devised a plan that E.B. Washburne, the Watchdog of the Treasury, would give his stamp of approval.

Under this plan:

  • The Norlands will be open in 2023 for the summer and fall seasons from 4th of July until Thanksgiving. We will also have special events including Maine Maple Sunday on March 26th and Christmas at Norlands. In June, Norlands will be open to school groups and tour groups upon request.
  • The Norlands will operate with a volunteer professional staff of board members and Washburn descendants who have offered their considerable organizational, fundraising, and operational experience. Historical interpreters will be employed as part-time staff at an hourly rate of between $16-$18 to share the story of the people, land and community. We are hoping that many of these roles, however, will be filled by volunteers.
  • The Norlands will work to secure state funding for 3200 Maine elementary school students to visit during the 2023-24 school year.
  • The Norlands will be able to conduct essential maintenance on our historic buildings with donations and conduct a full restoration of the library and meetinghouse if awarded federal funding. 

  • The Norlands will work to develop new revenue streams including weddings in the chapel, private events, and additional educational programs for high school and college students. 
  • The Norlands will conduct a formal membership drive to gain more friends! For the $100 level, the membership includes admission to over 1200 museums in the North American Reciprocal Museum network (NARM), If you would like to receive this benefit, feel free to send your membership fee made payable to Washburn-Norlands Foundation and mail to 290 Norlands Road, Livermore, Maine 04253 or process on our website through the link below.

With your dedication and support, we’re excited to take the next steps towards a solid future for the Norlands. We invite you to come back and hope to see you throughout the upcoming year. 

Thank you,
Norlands Board of Trustees


  • The Norlands will be able to conduct essential maintenance on our historic buildings that includes the restoration of the meetinghouse and repairs to the library if awarded federal funding.