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Senator Justin Morrill

19th Century Apple & Cheese Harvest Festival

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. Listen to live toe-tapping fiddle and accordion music with Gale & Gundlach. 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 Vermont Cheeses, 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. The event runs from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

$5 for adults, children under 15 free. No pre-registration is necessary.

For more information, email director@morrillhomestead.org or call (802) 765-4288.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Morrill Homestead and Strafford Village Farm, and is underwritten by Norwich University.

“Morrill’s Landscape Design: Bringing An Historic Garden Back To Life” – Garden Talk with Margie Carpenter, Landscape Historian & Master Gardener

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.

Fee: $5. Please pre-register.

For more information and to register

Sponsored by the Friends of the Morrill Homestead, Janet Cavanagh Landscape Architect, and Eric Thorp Diversified.

“From Yosemite’s Half Dome to the Capitol Dome: The Intersecting Lives of Frederick Law Olmsted and Justin Morrill”

Rolf Diamant, co-author of Olmsted and Yosemite: Civil War, Abolition, and the National Park Idea (2022), will speak on the parallel paths of Olmsted and Morrill, their vision for America, and their interactions, both during and after the Civil War.  It is remarkable that Olmsted discussed the symbolic importance of completing the US Capitol building (during the Civil War) in his landmark 1865 Yosemite Report, and then would answer Morrill’s summons, eight years later, to design the capitol grounds.

Diamant will also examine passage of the Yosemite Act, signed by President Lincoln in 1864, in the context of Justin Morrill’s first college land grant bill. In 1859, Morrill’s bill was denounced in apocalyptic terms by pro-slavery Southern Democrats and ultimately vetoed by President James Buchanan. There is little doubt that had the Yosemite legislation (another land grant) been introduced alongside Morrill’s bill in the ante-bellum Congress, it would have been subjected to the same rhetorical assault and suffered a similar fate. 

$5 in-person or via Zoom. Registration required.

For more information and to register

Sponsored by the Friends of the Morrill Homestead, Janet Cavanagh Landscape Architect, and Eric Thorp Diversified.

Morrill Homestead Printmaking Class with Tracy Gillespie

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.

The class will run from 9:00 a.m. - noon. Class fee: $45 (materials included).

For more information and to register

Sponsored by the Friends of the Morrill Homestead and Kate Cassidy at Four Seasons - Sotheby's Realty.

Watercolor Series with Jennifer Brown

In this series of classes 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.

Classes will be held on four consecutive Tuesdays, August 9, 16, 23 and 30, from 5:00 - 7:00 PM.

Class fee: $80

For more information and to register

Sponsored by the Friends of the Morrill Homestead and Bonnie Bergeron at Martha Diebold Real Estate. 

Watercolor Workshop with Jennifer Brown

In this watercolor workshop, we will emphasize painting the beautiful flowers blooming in the Morrill Homestead Gardens. 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.

Class fee: $35

For more information and to register

Sponsored by the Friends of the Morrill Homestead and Bonnie Bergeron at Martha Diebold Real Estate.

Drawing and Watercolor Camp (ages 6 to 12)

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.

This week-long camp runs Monday July 25 through Friday, July 29, 9:00 a.m. - noon.

$125 per child

For more information and to register

Sponsored by the Friends of the Morrill Homestead and Martha Diebold Real Estate.

Photography Camp (ages 8-12)

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.

This week-long camp runs from Monday, July 18 through Friday, July 22, 9:00 a.m. - noon.

$150 per child

For more information and to register

Sponsored by the Friends of the Morrill Homestead, Kumon Math & Reading, and Bushway Insurance Agency.

Basket Making Workshop with Dona Nazarenko

Come learn the art of basketry with Dona Nazarenko of Country Spirit Baskets. Choose between two baskets popular in the 19th century: the Kitchen Helper Basket or the Traditional Market Basket.  The Kitchen basket shows off a stylish graceful woven handle. The Market basket has a wooden handle woven into it.  They both have many uses for storage and organizing or can be a valuable catch-all for every table. Option of adding colors if you would like. The workshop will run from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Workshop fee: $55 (materials included)

For more information and to register

Sponsored by the Friends of the Morrill Homestead and Kate Cassidy at Four Seasons – Sotheby’s Realty.

Gallery in the Garden

The Friends of the Morrill Homestead’s annual Gallery in the Garden art show and online auction is a highlight of the Upper Valley art season. The 2022 edition features works created in an array of styles by fine artists from the Strafford community, the Upper Valley, and beyond. Seventeen artists present their unique perspectives on the theme The Other American Dream in ways that are moving, playful, profound, and inspiring.

5 p.m.- Reception for the art show opening in the Carriage Barn. Matt Brown and Jo Levasseur are the featured artists and inspiration for The Other American Dream exhibit.

“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.

Guided tours of Justin Morrill’s Gothic Revival-style house until 6:00 p.m.

Sponsored by ECFiber and underwritten by Mascoma Bank.

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