2018 Programs, Events & Exhibits

The programs listed below are presented by the Friends of the Morrill Homestead in partnership with the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation.

Please click on program or event in the list below for more information, or scroll down.

You can register and pay securely online for many events.

March/April

Pruning and Grafting Fruit Trees—Workshop with Mike Hebb  (March 17, March 24)

Sex and the Single Maple: Our Blooming Trees and Shrubs (April 29)

May/June

Wake Up the Garden: Reconstructing Morrill’s Historic Landscape (May 19)

2018 Opening Weekend for Guided Tours, Exhibits, Gardens & Fairy Village (May 26)

Open House: Justin Morrill State Historic Site—Free! (June 10)

July/August

Gallery in the Garden:  Silent Auction of “Morrill Minis” and Reception for Art Show “Nature vs Culture” (July 6)

Art Show: “Nature vs Culture (July 6-July 22)

Fairy House Festival: Celebrating Fairies, Gnomes and Elves (July 21)

And Justice for All: Justin Morrill and the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (Interpretive Exhibit runs August 1 through October 14)

Drawing and Watercolor Camp for Children (Ages 6-12) (July 30-August 3)

Watercolor Painting Workshop with Jennifer Brown (Adult) (August 11)

September/October

Continuing Watercolor Painting Workshop with Jennifer Brown (Adult) (September 6, 13, 20, 27)

Wild Edible & Medicinal Plant Walk—with Michael Caduto (September 9)

19th Century Apple & Cheese Harvest Festival (Celebrating Johnny Appleseed’s Birthday) (September 30)  Winner: Top Ten 2018 Fall Event—Vermont Chamber of Commerce

Putting the Garden to Bed (October 6)


Pruning and Grafting Fruit Trees: A Workshop with Mike Hebb

Saturday, March 17 & 24, 1:00-4:00pm (The same workshop offered on different days)
Morrill Education Center

Mike Hebb describes the basics of pruning apple trees for esthetics, health, longevity, better fruit, ease of harvesting and management, including correct pruning cuts and tools. Hebb’s hands-on grafting workshop shows how grafting can be used to control many of the characteristics of growing trees, including size, timing of maturity and fruiting, disease resistance, drought resistance and fruit varieties. He’ll cover cultivars, asexual propagation, whip grafts, nurse grafts, bark grafts, cleft grafts, bridge grafts, top working, inarching, brace graft, graft compatibility, budding and reference materials for pest control and root stock selection properties. Participants will practice the mechanics of grafting in the workshop and discuss after-care. A materials list will be sent to each registrant.

$20.00 admission

Online: Register & pay securely online
By Phone: 802-765-4288
By Email: director@morrillhomestead.org

 


Sex and the Single Maple: Our Blooming Trees and Shrubs

Sunday, April 29, 1:00pm
Morrill Education Center & Grounds

Lilacs in bloom.

How did the pussy willow get its puffs? Why do beautiful apple blossoms form fruit containing seeds with a trace of cyanide? Most of our flowering woody plants bear beautiful and inconspicuous blooms that often go unnoticed. From the delicate, crimson petals of hazelnut to the snow-white blooms of wild cherry, this program uses slides and stories to present the flowers and intriguing means of pollination of some common trees and shrubs. Well-known author, environmentalist and storyteller Michael Caduto leads this program for general audiences, wildflower enthusiasts, naturalists and aficionados of botanical puns.

$10 admission – $5 under 15

Online: Register & pay securely online
By Phone: 802-765-4288
By Email: director@morrillhomestead.org


Wake Up the Garden: Reconstructing Morrill’s Historic Landscape

Saturday, May 19, 9:00am-12:00noon
Morrill Homestead Gardens & Grounds

Work with the Homestead’s Gardener to cultivate and manage the Victorian gardens surrounding the home of Senator Justin Morrill, author of the Land Grant College Acts that made higher education available to people from all walks of life. This is the first of several 2018 projects designed to nurture the colorful annual beds in the pleasure ground and expand the kitchen garden—Morrill’s laboratory for experimenting with plant hardiness that contains a variety of perennials, berry bushes, herbs and roses.

Come join us and become a part of Vermont’s history as we care for the historic landscape of this very influential American. You can earn all of your Master Gardener outreach hours with us.

All Welcome. No registration required, but doing so helps us plan.

Please preregister:
Online: Register online
By Phone: 802-765-9630
By Email: metcarpenter@mac.com


2018 Opening Weekend for Guided Tours, Exhibits, Gardens and Fairy Village at Justin Morrill State Historic Site

Saturday, May 26 through Monday, October 14
10:00am-5:00pm, Wednesday through Sunday

 

TOURS: Guided tours of Morrill’s Gothic Revival historic house and art start on the hour. Self-guided explorations of the formal gardens, interpretive exhibits and walking trails, at your leisure.

The Morrill Homestead’s Fairy Village also opens this weekend. Come celebrate the magic and mystery of nature by building a fairy house for your favorite fairies, gnomes or elves.

Admission: Adults – $6.00; Children 14 years & under – free

Public Tour questions: 802-765-4484
To Schedule a Group Tour contact Vermont Division for Historic Preservation: 802-828-3051
Directions: www.morrillhomestead.org
Email: Tracy.Martin@vermont.gov

Website: historicsites.vermont.gov/directory/morrill


Open House at the Morrill Homestead & Homecoming for Land-Grant College Graduates

Presented by the Friends of the Morrill Homestead and Vermont Division for Historic Preservation

Sunday, June 10, 2:00pm-4:00pm
Morrill Historic Buildings, Gardens & Grounds

This event is held in partnership with the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation’s weekend-long “Vermont Days”—offering free visits for all Vermonters and “Vermonters at Heart” at State Historic sites, June 9 & 10, 2018: historicsites.vermont.gov

Senator Justin Smith Morrill

2:00-3:00pm: Homecoming Celebration for graduates of Land Grant Colleges and Universities, with a special first-person appearance by Senator Justin Smith Morrill—Father of our Land Grant Schools. 

Are you, your family members or friends among the millions who have graduated from a Land Grant College or University? Did you know that the humble son of a blacksmith from Strafford, Vermont—whose family could not afford to send him to college—grew up to become a prominent statesman and father of the Land Grant Act that created an opportunity for people from all walks of life to obtain a higher education? Come meet Senator Justin Morrill, in person, and help us celebrate YOU—the graduates of Land Grant schools. (New England’s Land Grant schools include the University of Vermont, University of New Hampshire, MIT, UMass, UConn, University of Maine, and the University of Rhode Island)

3:00-4:00pm: Refreshments, Mingling with Justin Morrill, Guided Tours of the Justin Morrill Homestead and Interpretive Exhibits. 

Morrill Hall, University of Vermont—College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and UVM Agricultural Extension Service

Event is free, but registering helps us plan:

Online: Register free online


Gallery in the Garden

Silent Auction, Art Exhibit Opening Reception and Guided tour “Art of the Morrill Homestead”

Friday, July 6
Morrill Historic Buildings, Education Center, Gardens & Grounds

On display at the Justin Morrill State Historic Site are two of Brumidi's sketches on paper and three panels based on designs in the Brumidi Corridors in the Capitol, including the one pictured above that features a portrait of William Prescott.
On display at the Justin Morrill State Historic Site are two of Constanino Brumidi’s sketches on paper and three panels based on designs in the Brumidi Corridors in the Capitol, including the one pictured above that features a portrait of 19th-century historian and author, William Prescott.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Morrill Homestead’s annual Gallery in the Garden art show and silent auction is a highlight of the Upper Valley art season. The 2018 edition features works created in an array of styles by many fine artists from the Strafford community, the Upper Valley and beyond. Artists present their unique perspectives on the complex relationship between nature and culture, in ways that are moving, playful, profound and inspiring.

4:00-5:30pm: Guided interpretive tours of the Art of the Morrill Homestead, led by tour guides from the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation; sharing the history and mystery of the artworks and studies by “America’s Michelangelo,” Constantino Brumidi, and other noted artists whose works were collected by Senator Justin Morrill.

5:00-6:00pm: Reception for the art show opening, Nature vs Culture, begins in the Carriage Barn at 5:00pm. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be accompanied by the ethereal music of Sam Moffatt on hammered dulcimer. Gerry Bergstein and Gail Boyajian are the featured artists, and inspiration, for the Nature vs Culture exhibit (2018).

“Stone Wall”—Morrill Mini painted by Susan Hodges for the 2017 Silent Auction

6:00pm: Silent auction of “Minis for Morrill” —magnificent mini paintings by artists of regional and national reputation. The 2017 silent auction of miniature 4″×4″ paintings included works by these artists: Bob Bauer, Gerry Bergstein, Todd Binzen, Gail Boyajian, Jennifer Brown, Anna Chute, Noah Chute, Anne Connelli, Dierdre Dennis, Kate Emlen, Kit Farnsworth, Tracy Gillespie, Susan Hodges, Joan Hoffmann, Stefanie H. Johnston, Pace Kendall, Lisa Kippen, Ed Koren, George Lawrence, Anne Leeds,

Jo Levasseur, Gregory Maguire, Andy Newman, Anita Onofrio, Jacqueline C. Overstreet, Mary Louise Pierson, Beth Preston, Stephanie Reininger, Jessie Newman, Sherry Saint-Germaine, Kate Siepmann, Gus Speth and Ruth Whybrow.

 

Event is free, but registering helps us plan:

Online: Register Free Online
By Phone: 802-765-4288
By Email: director@morrillhomestead.org

CLICK HERE TO VIEW MINI PAINTINGS that were offered during the silent auction in 2017.

This event sponsored by (your business here!).


Art Show “Nature vs Culture”

Friday, July 6 through Sunday, July 22 — Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00am-5:00pm
Morrill Carriage Barn Gallery

Gail Boyajian, “Fable,” oil on panel, 14″h x 36″l

In styles ranging from classical to abstract, and from realism to impressionism, artists present the world around us in a fresh light, exploring the dynamic relationship between the natural world and humankind. The exhibiting artists for 2017 included Gerry Bergstein, Gail Boyajian, Jennifer Brown, Dierdre Dennis, George Lawrence, Anne Leeds, Jo Levasseur, Andy Newman, Jacqueline C. Overstreet, Mary Louise Pierson and Stephanie Reininger. Gail Boyajian and Gerry Bergstein  are the 2018 featured artists and inspiration for the theme, Nature vs Culture.

Gerry Bergstein, “VERMONT VANITAS,” mixed media, 15x13x7”

Exhibit included with $6.00 general admission to historic house & exhibits

This event sponsored by (your business name here).


Fairy House Festival—Celebrating Fairies, Gnomes and Elves

Saturday, July 21, 1:00-3:00pm
Morrill Education Center, Carriage Barn & Fairy Village

Jane Malcomson proudly presents her Fairy House at the 2017 Fairy House Festival

Fairy Houses and Gnome Forts are doorways into a world of magic and fantasy that brings children closer to nature. Fairies and Elves live in circles and watch over the birds, butterflies, flowers and other small things in nature. Gnomes live in forts where they guard the treasures in the Earth. Come celebrate the wonder and beauty of nature at the Morrill Homestead by visiting our Fairy Village to make your own Fairy and Elf Houses and Gnome Forts from all natural materials. Children will take a special tour of the flower garden to see if they can find the Gnomes, Elves and Fairies hiding there. Michael Caduto will share music and tales of Little People from Around the World. Children are invited to create and wear their own costumes, inspired by elves, gnomes and fairies.

$5.00 per child (under 15), $10.00 for adults (15 & up)

Online: Register & pay securely online
By Phone: 802-765-4288
By Email: director@morrillhomestead.org

This event sponsored by (your business name here).


And Justice for All: Justin Morrill and the 14th Amendment of the U. S. Constitution

Commemorating the Sesquicentennial of the ratification of the 14th amendment on July 28, 1868.

Wednesday, August 1 through Monday, October 14, 10:00am-5:00pm (Open Wednesday through Sunday each week)
Carriage Barn Exhibit Space

Justin Morrill’s journey from the son of a Blacksmith in Strafford, Vermont to one of the most accomplished legislators in United States history left an indelible mark: A lifelong desire to extend equal opportunities and rights to all U.S. citizens. Many know Morrill as the father of the Land Grant Acts that made higher education available to people from all walks of life, but few realize that Morrill played a significant role in drafting the core language that framed the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, providing equal protection to life, liberty and property under the law in response to the rights of freed slaves in the aftermath of the Civil War.

Courtesy Library of Congress

This groundbreaking exhibit highlights the critical aspects of the 14th Amendment and elucidates Morrill’s role in its drafting. It explores some of the major legal decisions that have been based in the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, such as Brown v. Board of Education, Topeka Kansas (1954); Loving v. Virginia (1967) and Roe v. Wade (1973).

This exhibit is a collaborative effort between the Friends of the Morrill Homestead and the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation.

Exhibit included with $6.00 general admission to historic house & exhibits

For more information:
Email: director@morrillhomstead.org
Phone: 802-765-4288

Exhibit Patron: (Your business name here.)


Drawing and Watercolor Camp (ages 6 to 12)

Monday-Friday, July 30-August 3, 9:00am-12:00noon
Morrill Education Center, Gardens & Grounds

Explore the nature and architecture of the Morrill Homestead through drawing, nature journaling and watercolor painting. Make your own handmade books for sketching and finished work. Drawing will include direct observation of nature, drawing games and techniques to improve your skills.

Children will be inspired by the natural surroundings of the gardens, trails and stream. They will also visit the Fairy Village, where fairies, gnomes and elves are said to dwell. Each child will learn new painting methods and practice watercolors of the buildings, forests and pond. Students will have time to complete finished drawings and paintings. Instruction will be tailored to children’s experience and interests.

Photo by Anmari Kicza

Instructor Jennifer Brown is a longstanding illustrator for Stave Puzzles, has taught art at Sharon Academy and is a member of the Vermont Watercolor Society. She studied watercolor painting at the Rhode Island School of Design, Art New England—Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Bennington College and AVA. She exhibits with Long River Studios and Strafford Arts.

$125 per child

Space is limited. Please register by Sunday, July 15.

Online: Register & pay securely online
By Phone: 802-765-4288
By Email: director@morrillhomestead.org


Watercolor Painting Workshop (Adult) with Jennifer Brown

Saturday, August 11, 1:00-3:00pm
Morrill Education Center, Gardens & Grounds

Photo by Anmari Kicza.
Photo by Anmari Kicza.

Explore the medium of watercolor while surrounded by a tapestry of color in the gardens and grounds of the Morrill Homestead. In this introductory class, students learn basic watercolor techniques through practice studies that they can employ to make a painting. Each artist will translate the unique surroundings of the Homestead into her/his own language of brushstrokes, washes and color. Bring your painting materials (materials list provided upon registration) and creative energies!

Instructor Jennifer Brown is a longstanding illustrator for Stave Puzzles, has taught art at The Sharon Academy and is a member of the Vermont Watercolor Society. She studied watercolor painting at the Rhode Island School of Design, Art New England—Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Bennington College and AVA. She exhibits with Long River Studios and Strafford Arts.

$35

Please register by Sunday, August 5.
Online: Register & Pay Securely Online
By Phone: 802-765-4288
By Email: director@morrillhomestead.org


Continuing Watercolor Painting Workshop (Adult) with Jennifer Brown

Thursdays, September 6, 13, 20, 27, 5:00-7:00pm
Morrill Education Center, Gardens & Grounds

Millwheel-oval
Hone your watercolor technique while painting the landscape of the Morrill Homestead and its environs. Participants become immersed in the art of watercolor while surrounded by the palette of autumn. Bring your painting materials and creative energies! (Materials list provided upon registration.) Instructor Jennifer Brown is a longstanding illustrator for Stave Puzzles, has taught art at The Sharon Academy and is a member of the Vermont Watercolor Society. She studied watercolor painting at the Rhode Island School of Design, Art New England—Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Bennington College and AVA. She exhibits with Long River Studios and Strafford Arts.

$65

Please register by Saturday, September 1.
Online: Register & Pay Securely Online
By Phone: 802-765-4288
By Email: director@morrillhomestead.org


Fiddleheads, Lamb’s Quarters, Nettles and Nuts: Wild Edible, Medicinal, and Poisonous Plants

Sunday, September 9, 1:00-2:30pm
Morrill Education Center, Gardens & Grounds

Do you know which wild plant has sap containing salicylic acid (aspirin)? Why do apple seeds contain a touch of cyanide? What native plants exude sap that can cure warts, or treat poison ivy? Which has more vitamin C—a glass of orange juice or a glass of hemlock tea? On this walk we’ll share Colonial and Native American folklore and information to learn about the myths and realities concerning the uses of wild plants for food, medicine and materials, as well as identifying poisonous plants to avoid. We’ll taste some of these delectables in the field and sample a mystery wild treat.

Wild Black Cherry (Prunus serotina). Photo: Michael Caduto

Michael Caduto—well known as co-author of the Keepers of the Earth series—has written and taught extensively on herbalism and has studied the uses of plants among the indigenous peoples of the Northeast. His other books include Native American Gardening and Everyday Herbs in Spiritual Life.

A 1.5-hour walk, including stories and sampling plants in the field as well as a prepared wild edible.

$10 adults – $5.00 under 15

Please register by Sunday, September 2.
Online: Register & Pay Securely Online
By Phone: 802-765-4288
By Email: director@morrillhomestead.org


19th Century Apple & Cheese Harvest Festival

Sunday, September 30, 11:00am-3:00pm
Morrill Education Center, Gardens & Grounds

AWARD WINNER! “Top Ten 2018 Fall Events” —Vermont Chamber of Commerce

Come celebrate Johnny Appleseed’s birthday! Bring the whole family to a harvest festival at the Justin Morrill State Historic Site. Features face-painting and live music by Out on a Limb. Meet live farm animals—the kind that Justin Morrill would have had on his small 19th-century farm. Make your own cider in an antique press, taste heirloom apples, fine artisan Vermont Cheeses, Vermont ice cream and homemade apple pie. Play period games, hike the lookout trail and play Valley Quest. Also includes gardens, exhibits, an icehouse, ice pond and a historic home decorated with gingerbread designs.

The musical group Out on a Limb plays a selection of music from Hank to Hendrix—from old timey banjo and fiddle tunes thru jazz standards. Featuring Rick Barrows (mandolin and vocals), Bob Totz (Guitar, Harmonica trumpet and Vocals), Melissa Desiervo (Banjo, clarinet and vocals), Steve Glazer (guitar and vocals) and Erin Smith (fiddle, bass and vocals).

 

 

Rain or shine.

$10 adults – $5 under 15 (includes lunch).

Preregistration is not required.
Please pay at the gate when you arrive (9/30) or Online (by Friday, September 28)

Register & pay securely online

For more information:
By Phone: 802-765-4288
By Email: director@morrillhomestead.org

Apple Art Mural by students at Newton Elementary School

This event sponsored by (your business name here).


Putting the Garden to Bed

Saturday, October 6, 9:00am-12:00noon
Morrill Homestead Gardens & Grounds

kitchen garden photo 1mbAssist the head gardener with the annual autumn “putting the garden to bed” day at the Justin Morrill State Historic Site in Strafford, Vermont. Tasks include cutting back perennials and pulling annuals, raking, mulching, weeding, bringing old plants to compost area—generally cleaning up the kitchen garden and ornamental garden beds and preparing them for the winter and the next growing season. (Master Gardeners can earn outreach hours with us.) All Welcome.

Special requirements:
Please dress for the weather. Wear sturdy footwear, gloves and sun/rain hat. Bring pruning shears, weeding tool and a kneeling mat.

What is provided:
Basic garden tools will be on hand. Snacks and beverages will be available throughout the morning.

Rain or shine

All Welcome. No registration required, but doing so helps us plan. Please preregister:
Online: Register online
By Phone: 802-765-9630
By Email: metcarpenter@mac.com