Coolidge site rings in the holiday season with open house Sunday in Plymouth
Staff File Photo Visitors enjoy a ride during a previous holiday open house at the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site in Plymouth Notch. This year's event is Sunday.
PLYMOUTH — A historic Plymouth landmark is celebrating the holidays with a familiar tradition Sunday.
The annual open house at the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site will include demonstrations, family activities, and presentations. The Vermont Division for Historic Preservation began the tradition in the 1990s and it has grown into a popular winter event.
“It’s a special occasion to thank the public for all their support throughout the season,” William Jenney, regional historic site administrator, said. “It’s a festive event where we have an opportunity to decorate the village and specifically the birthplace as it would have been in 1872 when Coolidge was born.”
Jenney expects a great turnout Sunday as the event coincides with Woodstock’s Wassail Weekend. He said many people attend both events and the area will be alive with activity.
“The focus here is to have a fun event,” Jenney said.
An open house highlight is the baking demonstration by Gesine Bullock-Prado. Bullock-Prado is a culinary artist and author of several books. She will make her holiday confections and sign copies of her new book “Pie It Forward: Pies, Tarts, Tortes, Galettes, and Other Pastries Reinvented” at 2 p.m.
Carol Collins of South Duxbury is a frequent lecturer at the historic site. On Sunday, she will be reading original winter-themed poetry accompanied by fiddler Adam Boyce of Reading at 1 p.m.
Another musician, Steve Morse of Montpelier, will also perform holiday music to organ and piano. He will play from 1 to 4 p.m.
Many buildings at the historic site will reopen for the holiday event. The buildings include the President Calvin Coolidge Museum and Education Center, Aldrich House (a tea room and former home of Coolidge’s stepmother), Coolidge Hall (the 1924 Summer White House office), Wilder House Restaurant, Union Christian Church, and Florence Cilley General Store.
Plymouth resident Fred DePaul will give wagon rides and the Coolidge Foundation will host the children’s activities. They include making holiday decorations and cards, corn husk dolls, handmade books, flower designs and more.
Terry Gulick of Springfield will make holiday wreaths and all are invited to give it a try. He will have wreaths for sale and part of the proceeds will be donated to the Coolidge site’s garden fund.
Fiber Arts in Vermont of Proctorsville will conduct textile demonstrations including spinning, weaving, and felting. Several members of the Vermont chapter of the Historical Society of Early American Decoration will showcase early painting techniques.
Dolores Funari will perform theorem; Mary Perry, stenciling on tin; Gary Sokol, Victorian floral painting; and Polly Forcier, stenciling on notepaper. Carloyn Guest will showcase fancy paper cutting and Marianne Fassett will offer lessons in paper quilling.
Other offerings include Plymouth Cheese and a special holiday stamp cancellation by artist John Lutz of Randolph. Stamps can be bought at the Plymouth Post Office from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Another open house event is the tree lighting ceremony for the Plymouth Memorial Tree, a project offering financial assistance to area residents in need. The lighting takes place at 3 p.m.
The Coolidge Open House is free to the public. For more information, call 672-3773 or visit www.HistoricSites.Vermont.gov/Coolidge.
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