Curran Homestead to celebrate Open Farm Day with annual Summer Festival

Posted July 19, 2012, at 10:08 p.m.

ORRINGTON, Maine — Children of all ages will be able to turn back time Saturday during the Curran Homestead’s Summer Festival, held annually to transport visitors back to a time when there was no running water and food came straight from the garden.

Curran Homestead Living History Farm and Museum is located at 372 Fields Pond Road and will host the two-day summer gathering on Saturday and Sunday.

Activities planned include tractor-drawn hayrides, and Model T rides, scavenger hunts, live farm animals to pet, live music, performances and living history activities such as “turn-of-the-20th Century family laundry chores,” and using two old crank phones mounted in the kitchen and the barn.

Sunday’s events, part of the Maine’s Open Farm Day, will have added features, including old-fashioned children’s games and activities at noon and a doodlebug pulling showdown at 1 p.m.

“The doodlebugs are also known as jitterbugs and ‘depression tractors,’” even though they have no tractor parts, explained Irv Marsters, Curran Homestead’s treasurer. “The doodlebugs are antique vehicles older than 1950 [most are ’30s models] that battle to pull the heaviest load.”

The doodlebug pull is “a definite crowd pleaser,” he said.

The circa-1890s Curran Homestead was a subsistence farm that used crops, animals, wood and local resources, such as ice from Fields Pond, to provide food, shelter and cash for the Curran family.

Mary Katherine Curran, who died in 1991, asked in her will that the property be preserved, so a group of local volunteers decided to take the dilapidated 30-acre farm and turn it into The Curran Homestead Living History Farm and Museum.

Gates at the Curran Homestead will open to visitors from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both days.

Leena and Tim St. Louis will be cooking lunch, available 11:30 a.m. to 1p.m., for a cost, and live bluegrass music is part of the entertainment.

The cost to attend the summer festival is $6 for members or people who have made donations, $3 for their children. Nonmembers will be charged $8 and $5 for their children, or a maximum family amount of $18 for members or $26 for nonmembers.

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