Washburn-Norlands Living History Center
WHERE HISTORY COMES TO LIFE!
Journey into the past and experience life on a Maine farm in the 1800s. The Norlands is a multifaceted living history museum and working farm where costumed interpreters portray real people who lived in the Norlands’ neighborhood in the 1800s. Learn about the past by experiencing the everyday activities on an 1870 farm, such as cooking, the wash, feeding and tending farm animals, going to school in the one-room schoolhouse – and have fun doing it! Whether assisting in the daily and seasonal farming and housework or simply touring the magnificent Washburn family mansion, you are immersed in the social, political and educational activities of the 19th century. The 445-acre property includes a stately Victorian country mansion with farmer’s cottage, a gothic-style granite library, a Universalist meetinghouse, a one-room schoolhouse, and an expanse of picturesque working farmland. The Norlands is Maine’s oldest living history center and on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Norlands is the ancestral home of the Washburns
The Norlands is the ancestral home of the Washburns, one of the great political and industrious families 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. No other American family has produced an equivalent level of political and business leadership in a single generation than that of the Washburns from Livermore, Maine.
The past is not merely preserved and remembered at Norlands. It is brought to life as we re-create the activities, re-learn the skills, and re-connect with the attitudes and values of 19th-century rural Maine.