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2016 Holiday Open House

(Photo Courtesy of Ray Boas)

Celebrate the traditions of the season at Plymouth Notch – one of Vermont’s most picturesque villages – on Saturday, December 10 when the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site hosts the “Coolidge Holiday Open House.”

Most of the museum buildings, including the homestead where President Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as president of the United States, will be open 10:00 am–4:00 pm. The Coolidge Birthplace will be decorated as it would have been in 1872, the year the future president was born. The event is free and features special presentations and a wide variety of family activities.

An open house highlight will be a reading by Willem Lange of “Favor Johnson: A Christmas Story,” 11:00 am. Lange is a frequent commentator on Vermont Public Radio and received an Emmy as host of the award-winning “Windows to the Wild” on New Hampshire Public Television. His story about Favor Johnson and the mysterious delivery of homemade fruit cakes on Christmas Eve has become a Vermont classic. Copies of Lange’s CDs and books will be available for purchase and signing.

At 12:30 pm, poet Carol Johnson Collins of South Duxbury will read poems based on her life growing up on Vermont farms, with Louli Zeichner of Northfield accompanying her on the banjo. Steve Morse of Montpelier will perform holiday organ and piano music throughout the day and lead caroling in the village church at 1:30 pm.

Other activities include:

  • Tours of the Coolidge Homestead with site administrator Bill Jenney at 1:00 & 2:00
  • Stocking stuffers and more at the museum stores. Check out our big end-of-season sale!
  • Vintage Hat Fashion Show at 3:00. Organized by the Black River Academy Museum, Calvin Coolidge’s alma mater. A prize will be awarded to the guest wearing the best “Great Winter Hat”!
  • Horse-drawn sleigh (or wagon) rides with Fred DePaul
  • Festive holiday tunes by old-time fiddler Adam Boyce
  • Traditional gifts, treats, and samples of award-winning raw milk Cheddar, Blue, and Original Recipe cheeses at the Plymouth Cheese Factory
  • Paper lantern-making using the earliest known photograph of Plymouth Notch and hands-on history activities and exhibits in the Museum & Education Center’s classroom
  • Wreath-making with Terry Gulick. Sales benefit the Coolidge Site’s garden fund
  • Traditional craft demonstrations: quilting, theorem painting, hand-painted ornaments. Make a paper-quilled angel ornament to take home for your tree!
  • Special holiday postal cancellation at the historic Plymouth post office–the newest design in the John Lutz series
  • Lunch will be provided at the Wilder House Restaurant

The Coolidge Holiday Open House is also the last chance to see the 2016 temporary exhibit, Expressions of Esteem: The Coolidge Presidential Gifts, which examines the tradition of presenting gifts to our nation’s chief executives. Calvin Coolidge, unlike his successors who have presidential libraries, was allowed to keep many of the things he received from admirers around the world. The Coolidge family has donated most of these gifts to the Division for Historic Preservation, and there’s lots of “gold & glitter” to feast the eyes!

For further information, call 802-672-3773, or visit www.HistoricSites.Vermont.gov/Coolidge

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