Harvest Festival at Curran Homestead

Posted Oct. 18, 2011, at 5:01 p.m.

ORRINGTON — Leave ordinary behind and take a step back in time during the Harvest Festival 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, at the Curran Homestead Living History Farm and Museum.

Featuring turn-of-the-20th century activities, demonstrations and exhibits, the Curran Farm volunteers have woven together an exciting fall program with a brilliant foliage backdrop to celebrate their 20th anniversary year.

Visitors can make their own refreshing drink from the age-old cider press, visit with the small farm animals, watch blacksmith demonstrations, take a horse-drawn hayride, watch the doodlebug pulling competition, take a ride in a Model T car and listen to the live music.

Tour the newly renovated kitchen, pantry and dining rooms of the Currans’ main house while partaking of homemade corn chowder, chicken stew, corn bread, apple dessert and hot cider in the kitchen.

Also, visit the Ellsworth Telephone Museum’s hands-on display in the living room and talk about how the old telephone, switchboard and switching systems worked. Then use one of the working crank phones they’ve installed in the dining room and the barn to talk to each other. Ramble the Fields Pond area trails, enjoy the challenge and education of a history-based scavenger hunt and win a prize.

The Maine Antique Tractor club members will be guests for the day and some will exhibit their antique machines. Other members will engage in the Doodlebug Pulling Challenge featuring antique vehicles, also known as jitterbugs, to see who can pull the biggest load.

Drivers from eastern and central Maine will bring their Model As, 1930s Chevys and Fords that are older than 1950 to compete in three classes of pulling, sometimes pulling as much as 20,000 pounds. This will be the last pulling challenge for 2011.

The Curran Homestead will recognize Lane Construction, American Concrete, People’s United Bank and Greenway Tractor for making this competition of men and their vintage machines possible at the farm.

John Mugnai, president of the Curran Homestead Board of Directors, has proclaimed Saturday, Oct. 22, Harvest Celebration Day. The gates at 372 Fields Pond Road in Orrington will open to visitors at 10 a.m.

Admission, which includes food and all events, is $6 for adult members and donors, $4 for children under 12, with a maximum family cost of $20. For non-members, admission is $8 adults, $5 children under 12 and a maximum family cost of $26. Members of the Maine Antique Tractor Club and their immediate families will be admitted free, but a donation toward the food costs is welcome.

The Curran Homestead, celebrating two decades of restoration and programming, is an all-volunteer living history farm and museum preserving a vast collection of eclectic, turn-of-the-20th century artifacts for educational purposes. Using these original and reproduction artifacts, the Curran volunteers provide hands-on experiences and exhibits illustrating the rural farm-family culture and economy in Maine, provoking thought and discussion about our history.

The Curran Homestead is an all-volunteer community education project and a 501(c) 3 nonprofit corporation that relies on members, donors and the community for support.

From Bangor, cross the Penobscot River to Brewer and proceed out Wilson Street; at McDonald’s turn right onto Green Point Road. At the end of the road, turn left on Wiswell Road; go 1.6 miles, and turn right on Fields Pond Road. The Curran Homestead is on the right about 1 mile. For more information, visit http://www.curranhomestead.org, email irv@bangorlettershop or call 745-4426.

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