2024 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 the program or event in the list below for more information, or scroll down.

You can register and pay securely online for many events.

May

Wake Up the Garden: Cultivating Morrill’s  Gardens (May 11)  

2024 Opening Day for Guided Tours, Exhibits, & Gardens (May 24)

June

Open House and Puppet Show (June 9)

Tapestry Felting Class (June 15)

Walking Tour of Justin Morrill’s Strafford Village (June 15)

Nature Play with Little Ones (June 29)

Regenerative Agriculture for the Home Gardener (June 30)

July

Gallery In The Garden (July 5)

Online Auction of “Morrill Minis” (July 5- 12)

Art Show: After the Flood (July 5 – 21)

Tree Walk (July 13)

Vermont Women and the Civil War (July 14)

Walking Tour of Justin Morrill’s Strafford Village (July 20)

Art, Nature, & Imagination Camp for Children for ages 6-12  # 1(July 29- Aug. 2)

August

Photography Camp for Children ages 8-14 (August 5 – 9)

Making Morrill’s Pink (August 10)

Art, Nature, and Imagination Camp for Children for ages 6-12 #2(Aug.12-16)

Printmaking Workshop (August 17)

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

Basket Making Workshop (August 18)

September

Archaeology Presentation (September 7)

Walk With A Naturalist (September 8)

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

19th Century Apple & Cheese Harvest Festival (September 22)

October

Putting the Garden to Bed (October 19)


Wake Up the Garden: Cultivating Morrill’s Historic Landscape

Saturday, May 11, 1-4 p.m.  A Free event!

Work with the Homestead’s Master Gardeners to prepare the Victorian gardens for the 2024 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, and 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 provided.

All welcome! No experience needed.

Event is free.  Please preregister:

Online: Register free online
Phone: 802-649-2940
Email: director@morrillhomestead.org


2024 Guided Tours, Exhibits, and Gardens at Justin Morrill State Historic Site

Scott Miller

May 24 through October 13

10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday-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 – $7.00; 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: Victoria.Sample@vermont.gov

Website: historicsites.vermont.gov/directory/morrill


Morrill Homestead Open House and Puppet Show

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

Sunday, June 9, 2-4 p.m.      A Free event!

Bring the family and be our guests for a Strafford Organic Ice Cream Social, Guided Tours of Justin Morrill’s Gothic Revival Home, Victorian Gardens, Interpretive Exhibits, and a Puppet Show.

At 2:30 join No Strings Marionette Co. for                             “Wasabi… A Dragon’s Tale”

You will be delighted as the spunky Princess Aja, with a little help from her wise fairy friends, outwits Wasabi, a fire-breathing dragon to save the day. 

Exquisitely crafted marionettes perform amidst sumptuous story-book scenery.  A transforming sprite, a fashionable knight, and a seven foot dragon partake in this newfangled fable, where both your imagination and the stage have no boundaries.

Sponsored by M.C. Autoworks and underwritten by Mascoma Bank.


Tapestry Felting Class

THIS CLASS IS CANCELLED!

Saturday, June 15, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.    For Adults and teens.

 This needle felting class with Neysa Russo of The Felting Studio will focus on creating a small tapestry with ‘Vermont Wildlife’ as the theme. Needle felting is a simple technique that uses barbed needles to decorate a wool surface with design. There will be an abundance of designs to choose from or create your own from scratch. Along the way, you will build your needling skills, gain design experience and experiment with color. While we needle, we can talk about inspiration, composition, color choices, needle varieties, fiber, felting history, and more. You will also gain insight into the basic principles of wet felting.  Beginners are Welcome!

$60 includes materials for a 13″ x 13″ tapestry

Class Canceled!

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

Sponsored by Kate Cassidy at Four Seasons – Sotheby’s Realty.


Walking Tours of Morrill’s Strafford Village

Saturdays, June 15, July 20, August 17, and Sept. 21

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.

$5.00; Children under 12 free   Please pay when you arrive.

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

Sponsored by Coburn’s General Store and Flint, Blake, & Boles Roofing.


Nature Play With Little Ones

For ages 1-6 and their families.    A Free event!   

Saturday, June 29, 10:30 a.m. to noon 

Hooray for summer outdoor play! Four Winds Nature Institute will bring seasonally-appropriate loose parts, science tools, a mud kitchen, and more to help nurture a sense of wonder, place, and well-being. 

Bring a lunch and stay after to enjoy a picnic in the gardens!

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

Sponsored by Eric Thorp Diversified.


Regenerative Agriculture for the Home Gardener:

Sustainability Practices You Can Implement In Your Own Garden 

Sunday, June 30,  1-3 p.m.

Join us to understand carbon sequestration, learn how to improve soil health, and increase habitat for biodiversity and a more livable future. Karen Ganey is a permaculture designer and educator who founded Permaculture Solutions, an ecological landscape design company, where she designs gardens and programs for schools, hospitals and municipalities. She also works with the Regeneration Corps where she manages native tree nurseries for agroforestry and land justice projects and teaches climate solutions, anti-racism, regenerative agriculture through the lens of a Just Transition.

$10 

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

Sponsored by Janet Cavanagh Landscape Architect and E.C. Brown’s Nursery.


Gallery in the Garden  

 Art Exhibit Opening Reception and                                            Viewing of Mini Paintings to be Auctioned

Friday, July 5, 5 to 7 p.m.   A Free event!                                      Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Tunbridge Victorian by Celia Reisman

The Morrill Homesteads annual Gallery in the Garden art show and online auction is a highlight of the Upper Valley art season. The 2024 edition features works created in an array of styles by fine artists from the Strafford community, the Upper Valley, and beyond. Fourteen artists present their unique perspectives on the theme “After the Flood” in ways that are moving, playful, profound, and inspiring.

Strafford Flood Plain by Jennifer Brown

 

 

5 p.m. – Reception for the art show opening in the Carriage Barn. Jennifer Brown and Celia Riesman are the featured artists and  inspiration for  “After the Flood.”

“Minis for Morrill” paintings on view in the Education Center —magnificent 4″x4″ mini paintings by artists of regional and national reputation to be auctioned online.

“After the Flood” also includes works by Gerry Bergstein, Gail Boyajian, Matt Brown, Dierdre Dennis, Jean Gerber, Tanya Libby, Jo Levasseur, Jeanne McMahan, Michael Moore, Andy Newman,  Mary Louise Pierson, and Sherry SaintGermaine.

Sponsored by ECFiber and underwritten by Mascoma Bank.


Minis for Morrill Online Auction

Snow Day by Dierdre Dennis

Bidding open 7 p.m. July 5 to 7p.m. July 12

View the auction at new.BiddingOwl.com/JustinMorrillHomestead

Over 60 magnificent 4″x4″ mini paintings by artists of regional and national reputation.

Come see the paintings in person  at the Gallery in the Garden event on July 5.

Windy Spruce by Kate Emlen

 

The 2024 mini auction includes works by these artists, and many more: Henry, Isaacs, Gerry Bergstein, Gail Boyajian, Jennifer Brown, Matt Brown, Dierdre Dennis, Jean Gerber, Tanya Libby, Jo Levasseur, Jeanne McMahan, Michael Moore, Andy Newman,  Mary Louise Pierson, Celia Riesman, and Sherry SaintGermaine.

Sponsored by Kayen & Liepmann PC and Dr. Alicia Willette DDS.


Tree Walk with Dave Paganelli

Saturday, July 13,  10 a.m.-noon

Scott Miller

Please join David Paganelli, Orange County Forester, for an informal tree walk around the grounds of the Homestead.    We will walk the grounds and discuss original plantings that remain and changes that have taken place since Justin Morrill’s time, both intentional and unplanned.   All are welcome.       $5

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

Sponsored by E.C. Browns’ Nursery and BGY Diversified.


Vermont Women and the Civil War

A presentation by Howard Coffin 

Sunday, July 14, 4 p.m.  A Free event!

Vermont’s remarkable Civil War battlefield record is well documented, but little is known of how Vermont women sustained the home front. With nearly 35,000 of the state’s able-bodied men at war, the monumental tasks of keeping more than 30,000 farms in operation became very much a female enterprise.  And women took the place of men in factories and worked after hours making items needed by the soldiers. A Vermont woman edited anti-slavery newspapers, and others spoke against slavery. Also, Vermont women served as nurses in the state’s military hospitals and in the war zone, and taught newly-freed slaves in the South.  And at least one Vermont woman appears to have secretly enlisted and fought in a Vermont regiment.

This story is told in their words, from letters and diaries that describe life during the Civil War in the Green Mountain State. A seventh-generation Vermonter, Howard Coffin is the author of four books on the Civil War.

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

Sponsored by Vermont Humanities and Hotel Coolidge.


Art, Nature, & Imagination Camp (ages 6 to 12)

Monday-Friday  9 a.m. – noon 

Week 1 : July 29-August 2      Week 2: August 12-16

Both Camps are full! 

Please email director@morrillhomestead.org to be put on the waitlist.

In Art, Nature, and Imagination camp, the historic Morrill Homestead grounds will inspire a wide variety of art projects! We will spend the week sketching, watercolor painting, printmaking, natural dyeing, and making simple sculptures. Observing nature will be an important part of the camp but students will also be encouraged to imagine creatures and stories beyond on their surroundings.

Instructor Jennifer Brown is a longstanding illustrator for Stave Puzzles and has taught art at Sharon Academy, the Morrill Homestead, and AVA Gallery. Her daughter Katie Spencer is a natural dyer who works with plants foraged from the hills of Northern California and around the Upper Valley, where she grew up. She is passionate about using natural dyes to extend the life of clothes & fabrics that might otherwise be thrown away.

$125 per child  (Financial assistance available.)

Both Camps are full! 

Please email director@morrillhomestead.org to be put on the waitlist.

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

Sponsored by Kumon Math & Reading and Bushway Insurance Agency.


Photography Camp (ages 8-14)

 

Please email director@morrillhomestead.org to be put on the waitlist.

Monday-Friday, August 5-9, 9 a.m. – noon

Learning photography is a great way for young people to explore outdoors and appreciate 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 practicing photography skills and learning to apply artistic principals through the camera, all while exploring the Homestead and the Strafford village.  The week will culminate with a photo exhibit of campers’ work in the Strafford Post Office.  Cameras kits are provided.

$150 per child   (Financial assistance available.)

This camp is filled.

Please contact the director if you wish to be put on the wait list.

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

Sponsored by Agatha’s Resale Shop and Bushway Insurance Agency.


Making Morrill’s Pink with Jennifer  Brown & Katie Spencer

Sunday, August 10,  12-4 p.m.
For Adults and Teens

In the workshop, “Making Morrill’s Pink” we will take inspiration from the iconic pink shades of the Morrill Homestead, using natural dyes and watercolor paints. With natural materials like madder, loquat leaves, amaranth, cutch, and sumac, we will dye fabrics various shades of pink together. While the dye baths do their magic, we will turn to our water color paper and continue to study the color pink as well as its complement and analogous colors.

Pre-mordanted cotton bandanas will be provided for the dye portion of the class, but students are welcome to bring small natural fiber items or a skein of undyed yarn to experiment with. A materials list will be provided for the watercolor portion.

Katie is a natural dyer who works with plants foraged from the hills of Northern California and around the Upper Valley, where she grew up. She is passionate about using natural dyes to extend the life of clothes & fabrics that might otherwise be retired or thrown away. Jennifer teaches painting with watercolors at the Morrill Homestead and AVA gallery.

$45 

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

Sponsored by Strafford Saddlery.


Morrill Homestead Printmaking Class with Tracy Gillespie

Saturday, August 17,  9 a.m. – noon   For Adults and teens.

Come make block prints inspired by the gardens and architecture of the Morrill Homestead. We’ll start off with a brief tour of the grounds, and then we’ll meet in the education center to work on making art from what we discover. In this class you will learn basic design, carving, and printing techniques in a relaxed, supportive, and playful atmosphere.  You will come away with a completed print, suitable for framing, embellishing and/or mailing as a card.

$45 All materials are included.

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

Sponsored by Strafford Saddlery and Kate Cassidy at Four Seasons – Sotheby’s Realty.


Basket Making Workshop with Dona Nazarenko

Sunday, August 18,  9 a.m. – 5 p.m.   For Adults and teens.                                                     

Come learn the art of basketry with Dona Nazarenko of Country Spirit Baskets. The Traditional Bread and Biscuit  Basket has many uses for storage and organizing or can be a valuable catch-all for every table.

Option of adding colors if you would like.

$55  All materials included.

Online: Register & Pay Securely Online

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

Sponsored by Kate Cassidy at Four Seasons – Sotheby’s Realty.


UVM Archaeology Presentation

Saturday, September 7,  10 a.m.    A Free Event!

Archeologists from UVM’s Consulting Archaeology Program will share what they found and learned from their dig on the grounds of the Homestead.  This excavation yielded some surprising results!

 

Please preregister:

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

Sponsored  by ECFiber.

_____________________________________________________________________

Walk with a Naturalist

Sunday, September 8, 10 a.m.-noon

Come join local naturalist Micki Colbeck for a fairly easy walk around the Homestead. We’ll look at mosses, ferns, lichens, and flowers that have all been hiding in plain sight. Bring a magnifying loop if you have one, but it’s not necessary. Kids are welcome, but please leave dogs behind.

$5

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

Sponsored by E.C. Browns’ Nursery and BGY Diversified.


19th Century Apple & Cheese Harvest Festival

Sunday, September 22, 1-4 p.m.

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

Bring the whole family to a harvest festival at the Homestead. Listen to live toe-tapping fiddle and accordion music. Meet 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 cheeses, Vermont ice cream, and homemade apple pie. Play period games, and hike the lookout trail. Also includes wagon rides, gardens, basket-making demo, exhibits, an icehouse, and a historic Gothic Revival home.

$5 adults – under 12 free  Please pay when you arrive.

No preregistration necessary.

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

Sponsored by Huntington Farm                                                                             and Underwritten by Norwich University.


Putting the Garden to Bed

Saturday, October 19, 1 – 3 p.m.  A Free event!

Morrill Homestead Gardens & Grounds

kitchen garden photo 1mbAssist our Master Gardeners 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.  No experience needed.

What is provided:
Basic garden tools will be on hand. Snacks and beverages will be provided.

Rain or shine

All Welcome. Pre-registration is not required, but helps us plan.

Online: Register free online
Phone: 802-765-4288
Email: nostring@together.net