2021 Programs & Events

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.

May/June

Wake Up the Garden: Cultivating Morrill’s  Gardens (May 15)  

July/August

2021 Opening Day for Guided Tours, Exhibits, & Gardens (July 3)

Online Auction of “Morrill Minis” (July 2-11)

Creative & Technical Photography Series (July 14, 21, 28)

Walking Tour of Justin Morrill’s Strafford Village (July 17)

Drawing and Watercolor Camp for Children for ages 6-12 (July 19-23)

Photography Camp for Children ages 8-11 (July 26-30)

Garden Talk: “Morrill’s Landscape Design” (July 31)

Painting Botanicals Intro Workshop (August 1)

Multi-Media Story Camp for ages 12-17 (August 2-5 and 9-11)

Painting Botanicals Series (August 5, 12, 19, 26)

Walking Tour of Justin Morrill’s Strafford Village (August 21)

Whitman Brook Orchard Guided Walk (August 21)

Fiber-Dyeing Using Natural Materials (August 22)

September/October

Nature Walk: “Wild, Edible, & Medicinal Plants” (September 4)

The Abenaki Experience: Prehistory to Present – Part 1 “Archaeological History of the CT River Valley” with Jess Robinson (September 5)

The Abenaki Experience: Prehistory to Present – Part 2 “The Vermont Abenakis: Un-writing History” with Fred Wiseman (September 12)

Beginner Beekeeping Class (September 18)

Garden Talk: “Gardens For Our Bees and Other Pollinators” (September 18)

Walking Tour of Justin Morrill’s Strafford Village (September 18)

Our Stories Remember: Abenaki Story Time for Families (September 19)

The Abenaki Experience: Prehistory to Present – Part 3 “We Are Still Here” with Joseph & Jesse Bruchac (September 19)

19th Century Apple & Cheese Harvest Festival (September 26)

Putting the Garden to Bed (October 2)

 


Wake Up the Garden: Cultivating Morrill’s Historic Landscape

Saturday, May 15, 9 a.m. to noon
Morrill Homestead Gardens & Grounds

Work with the Homestead’s Master Gardener to prepare the Victorian gardens for the 2021 season. This is the first of several 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 roses, perennials, berry bushes, herbs.

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.

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

All welcome! Event is free.  Please preregister:

Online: Register free online
Phone: 802-649-2940
Email: aj.zwik.77@gmail.com


2021 Guided Tours, Exhibits, and Gardens at Justin Morrill State Historic Site

Scott Miller

Saturday, July 3 through Sunday, October 10

10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and 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.

House Tours: Adults – $4.00; Children under 15 – 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


Minis for Morrill Online Auction: possibilities

Gail Boyajian

6:00 pm July 2 – 6:00 pm July 11

Over 50 magnificent 4″x4″ mini paintings by artists of regional and national reputation.

Mini Paintings will be on view in the Education Center from 3:00-5:00 on July 2, 3, 10, and 11.

The 2021 silent auction will include works by these artists, and many more: Gerry Bergstein, Gail Boyajian, Jennifer Brown, Dierdre Dennis, Kate Emlen, Jean Gerber, Jo Levasseur, Jeanne McMahan,

Lindsey Saunders

Andy Newman, Mary Louise Pierson, Kate Reeves, Stephanie Reininger, Celia Reisman, and Sherry St. Germaine.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW  the Mini Paintings offered at the 2021 online auction.

Sponsored by Dr. Alicia Willette, DDS and Chippers Inc.  Underwritten by Mascoma Bank.

 


Creative and Technical Photography Series

Wednesdays, July 14, 21, and 28,  5 – 7 p.m.  

Join photographer Scott McClure Miller for a 3-class series in creative and technical photography.  Scott has worked in a variety of photographic disciplines including documentary, studio, landscape, and macro.  The class will be structured as part visual seminar, part field practice, and part

Scott McClure Miller

critique/problem-solving.  We begin by viewing photographs exemplifying different creative approaches to the art of photography.  Then we head outside with cameras to make photos during the “magic hour” among the gardens, meadows, orchards, and historic architecture of the Morrill Homestead in Strafford.  We finish each class by viewing selected student work and solving technical issues with our cameras.  While all levels of photographer will benefit from taking this series, the emphasis will be toward people with no formal training.  Bring your own camera and laptop, or use one of our cameras and laptops.

$150

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


Walking Tours of Morrill’s Strafford Village

Saturdays,  July 17, August 21, & Sept. 18     

11 a.m. leaving from the Morrill Homestead

Historical tours of Strafford’s village which remains much the same as in Morrill’s time. Tours include Morrill’s birthplace, his father’s blacksmith shop, two libraries, the Strafford Town House, and the mausoleum where Morrill is buried.

$6.00; Children under 15  free   Please pay when you arrive.

Please preregister:
Online: Register online
Phone: 802-765-4288
Email: director@morrillhomestead.org

Tours sponsored by Coburn’s General Store and Stone Soup Restaurant.


Drawing and Watercolor Camp (ages 6 to 12)

Monday-Friday, July 19-23, 9 a.m. – noon
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. 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.

Instructor Jennifer Brown is a longstanding illustrator for Stave Puzzles and has taught art at Sharon Academy. Jennifer teaches watercolor classes at the Morrill Homestead and at AVA Gallery in Lebanon. She is a member of the Vermont Watercolor Society and exhibits her paintings at the Matt Brown Fine Art Gallery in Lyme.

$125 per child

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

This camp sponsored by Agatha’s Resale Shop and Bushway Insurance Agency.


Photography Camp (ages 8-12)

Monday-Friday, July 26-30, 9 a.m. – noon
Morrill Education Center, Gardens & Grounds

Learning photography is a great way for young people to explore the outdoors and become immersed in the beauty of nature.  World Story Exchange teacher Scott McClure Miller has taught photography to children in 11 countries for the past decade.  Join Scott this summer on the lovely grounds of the Morrill Homestead.  Each day will be a fun mixture of learning and practicing new skills while enjoying the outdoors.  The week will culminate with a photo exhibit of campers’ work in the Strafford Post Office. Cameras are provided.

$150 per child

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

This camp sponsored by Bushway Insurance Agency and Kate Cassidy at Four Seasons-Sotheby’s Realty.


“Morrill’s Landscape Design” – Garden Talk with Margie Carpenter, Landscape Historian & Master Gardener

Saturday, July 31,  2 p.m.

Justin Smith Morrill was a serious student of landscape design and an avid horticulturist.  His designs and plantings for the walkways and grounds around his home are in the best tradition of the mid-nineteenth century Romantic Landscape Movement in America. Morrill’s landscape plans draw from Victorian tastemaker and horticulturist Andrew Jackson Downing. His gardens were filled with new plants just being introduced to this country from Europe, Asia, and South America.  Come learn more about our famous Senator’s landscape design and horticultural interests.

Suggested donation: $5

Please preregister:

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

This event sponsored by Eric Thorp Diversified.


Painting Botanicals Workshop with Jennifer Brown

Sunday, August 1,  1-3 p.m.
Morrill Homestead Gardens & Grounds

In this watercolor workshop, we will emphasize painting the beautiful flowers blooming in the Morrill Homestead Gardens or in your own garden at home. The focus will be to follow in the tradition of observing and painting botanicals with lots of encouragement for embracing your own original style. This class is an introduction to a longer series. A suggested materials list will be provided upon registration.

Jennifer teaches watercolor classes at the Morrill Homestead and at AVA Gallery in Lebanon. She is a member of the Vermont Watercolor Society and exhibits her paintings at the Matt Brown Fine Art Gallery in Lyme, N.H.

$35

Please register by Sunday, July 25.
Online: Register & Pay Securely Online
Phone: 802-765-4288
Email: director@morrillhomestead.org

This event sponsored by Janet Cavanagh Landscape Architect.


Multi-Media Story Camp (ages 12 to 17)

Mon-Thurs, August 2-5 and Mon-Wed, August 9-11              9 a.m. – noon
Morrill Education Center, Gardens & Grounds

Use drones, cameras, and audio recorders to create your own documentary story!  Join World Story Exchange teachers Scott and Lindsay McClure Miller for 7-days of creative learning and outdoor fun with cameras.  Campers will learn the basics of photography, video and audio recording, and digital editing while exploring the history of the Justin Morrill Homestead and the local environment of Strafford.  Each day will be a fun mixture of learning and practicing new skills while enjoying the outdoors.  The camp culminates with a screening of student documentary stories.  Camera equipment and computers for editing are provided.

$245 per camper

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

This camp sponsored by MC Autoworks and underwritten by Mascoma Bank.

Supported in part by Vermont Humanities.


Painting Botanicals Series with Jennifer Brown

Thursdays, August 5, 12, 19, and 26,  5-7 p.m.
Morrill Homestead Gardens & Grounds

In this series we will continue to work from life and explore the world of flowers. Using plants found on the grounds of the Morrill Homestead, we will study and explore nature up close. Some drawing instruction will be provided along with tips and practices in watercolor techniques. A suggested materials list provided upon registration.

Jennifer teaches watercolor classes at the Morrill Homestead and at AVA Gallery in Lebanon. She is a member of the Vermont Watercolor Society and exhibits her paintings at the Matt Brown Fine Art Gallery in Lyme, N.H.

$80

Online: Register & Pay Securely Online
Phone: 802-765-4288
Email: director@morrillhomestead.org

This event sponsored by Janet Cavanagh Landscape Architect.


Whitman Brook Orchard Guided Walk

Saturday, August 21, 2-4 p.m.
Whitman Brook Orchard, Quechee, Vermont

Terry Dorman, owner and manager of Whitman Brook Orchard, leads this tour as the orchard prepares for harvest season. Learn the history of certain apples, as well the characteristics and uses for a number of the lesser known varieties grown at Whitman Brook. The walk offers a close-up look at the reclamation and restoration of a 100-year-old abandoned hillside orchard with an opportunity to examine the evolution of grafting techniques on older trees.  Participants will not only see the results of this year’s spring grafts, but also the evolution of earlier grafts now bearing fruit.

$15

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

Click here for directions.

This event sponsored by EC Browns’ Nursery.


Fiber-Dyeing Using Natural Materials

Sunday, August 22,   1-3 p.m.

Join us for an educational and engaging hands-on afternoon with Justin Squizzero from the Burroughs Garret in Newbury, Vermont. Justin creates handspun, naturally-dyed, hand-woven textiles using methods and equipment from the 18th and 19th centuries. In this workshop, participants will learn the basics of natural dyeing using plants, minerals, and insects. Participants will take home samples of dyed textiles.

$15

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

This event sponsored by Norwich Knits.

 


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

Saturday, September 4,  1:00 p.m.
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.

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.

Walk includes stories and sampling plants in the field as well as a prepared wild edible.

$15 adults – $5 under 15

Online: Register & Pay Securely Online
Phone: 802-765-4288
Email: director@morrillhomestead.org


The Abenaki Experience: Prehistory to Present – Part 1 “Archaeological History of the CT River Valley” with Jess Robinson

Sunday, September 5, 4:00 p.m.

Jess Robinson, Vermont State Archaeologist will present an overview of the archaeological history of Vermont’s Connecticut River valley and adjacent areas from the arrival of its first Native inhabitants approximately 13,000 years ago through to their contact with Europeans. Jess will focus on new and newly studied sites and will also discuss what we do not yet know about this region’s Precontact past.

$5 in person or via Zoom

Online: Register & Pay Securely Online
Phone: 802-765-4288
Email: director@morrillhomestead.org

This event underwritten by Hotel Coolidge.


The Abenaki Experience: Prehistory to Present – Part 2 “The Vermont Abenakis: Un-writing History” with Fred Wiseman

Sunday, September 12, 4:00 p.m.

Join Prof. Frederick Wiseman in a discussion of three critical, but little known cultural periods of Vermont Indigenous history.  Misunderstanding of these periods by academics, politicians, bureaucrats, and even some Indigenous people is a major obstacle in social, economic, and racial equity of the modern Abenaki communities.  

Collecting Ground Cherries in an Abenaki Garden

Wiseman uses an Indigenous perspective to tease meaning from what we know of  Native life and ecology in 1609-1620 Vermont, the eve of the coming of European conflict.  The second focuses on revealing the incredible sophistication of Vermont Abenaki diplomacy within the Great Council Fire Alliance of the mid 18th century.  The third is perhaps most important, for it details the culture, history, and ecology of Vermont Indian families and communities during the 19th and early 20th centuries, a time that there were supposedly no resident Abenakis in the State. Wiseman concludes with how the Vermont Abenaki communities are getting to know their incredible and unique cultural-ecological-historical experience.  The lecture will be accompanied by a PowerPoint slide show, artifact demonstrations, and music.

$5 in person or via Zoom

Online: Register & Pay Securely Online

Phone: 802-765-4288
Email: director@morrillhomestead.org

This event underwritten by Hotel Coolidge.


Beginner Beekeeping Class

Saturday, September 18, 10:00-12:30 p.m.
Morrill Education Center

Taught by Sheri Englert of Vermont Beekeeping Supply, this class is designed to get you ready to start your beekeeping journey. Sheri will begin with history and different types of Honey Bees. Then you’ll learn about the parts that make up a beehive and their functions. We’ll talk about the best place to put your hive, what the bees like to eat, and how they find & forage for food & water. Sheri will show you the process of installing a package of Bees vs a Nuc, including the pros & cons of each. You’ll learn about pest management, swarming, supersedure, and more!

$30 

Online: Register & Pay Securely Online
Phone: 802-765-4288
Email: director@morrillhomestead.org

This event sponsored by Flint, Blake, & Boles Roofing.


Gardens For Our Bees and Other Pollinators

Saturday, September 18, 1:30 – 3 p.m.

This presentation for gardeners includes honeybee history, current threats to pollinator populations, benefits of honeybees in your garden, and best choices for pollinator foraging. We will discuss chemical v.s. natural weed & pest control. Questions encouraged! Presentation by Sheri Englert of Vermont Beekeeping Supply.

$5  

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

This event sponsored by Flint, Blake, & Boles Roofing.


Our Stories Remember

Abenaki Story Time for Families

Sunday, September 19, 2:00 p.m.

Using drum, flute, rattle, and vocals, father and son storytellers and musicians Joseph and Jesse Bruchac of the Nulhegan Abenaki Nation will share Abenaki stories for the whole family.

Suggested donation: $5

Please preregister:

Online: Register online
Phone: 802-765-4288


The Abenaki Experience: Prehistory to Present – Part 3 “We Are Still Here” with Joseph & Jesse Bruchac

Sunday, September 19, 4:00 p.m.

Father and son author and educator, Joseph and Jesse Bruchac of the Nulhegan Abenaki Nation will address the continued presence and vibrant cultural heritage of the Wabanaki Nations of Ndakinna, with special emphasis on the years of the Vermont Eugenics project and the long struggle for government recognition.

$5 in person or via Zoom

Online: Register & Pay Securely Online
Phone: 802-765-4288
Email: director@morrillhomestead.org

These events underwritten by Hotel Coolidge.


19th Century Apple & Cheese Harvest Festival

Sunday, September 26, 1:00-4:00 p.m.

AWARD WINNER! “Top Ten 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. 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, and hike the lookout trail. Also includes gardens, exhibits, an icehouse, ice pond, and a historic home decorated with gingerbread designs.     Rain or shine.

$5 adults – under 15 free  Please pay when you arrive.   No preregistration necessary.

Phone: 802-765-4288
Email: director@morrillhomestead.org

Event sponsored by  Strafford Village Farm.


Putting the Garden to Bed

Saturday, October 2, 9 a.m. – noon
Morrill Homestead Gardens & Grounds

kitchen garden photo 1mbAssist our Master 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 the 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.

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

Rain or shine

All Welcome. Event is free.  Please preregister:

Online: Register free online
Phone: 802-649-2940
Email: aj.zwik.77@gmail.com