Thursday, August 29, 2013

Silhouette Portrait Reservations: An Heirloom Gift!

Silhouette Portrait Reservations for Sittings on
September 21, 12 Noon-8PM 
& September 22, 10AM-3PM ( Reservations for 10 minute sittings)

Robert Schmick and Gabriel Schmick (double portrait), 2009
19th Century Willowbrook Village is taking reservations for sittings for handmade silhouette portraits by artist Jean Comerford. Reservations are for 10 minute sittings between 12 Noon-8PM, September 21 and  September 22, 10AM-5PM.
Portraits in Silhouette, based in Hardwick, MA, is a mother-daughter business featuring portraits of famous New Englanders in Yankee magazine each month. Comerford is one of a handful of artists nationwide who continue this folk art tradition popular in the United States and Europe from the late 18th to the mid-19th century. Maine’s own Galen Brewer travelled throughout New England and New York cutting portraits until the 1850s when photography supplanted this type of portraiture. There have been revivals, and I recall an artist visiting my own home town in the 1960s and producing the admirable portraits of my friends that hung on the walls of their homes. I have a number of portraits done by Ms. Comerford. 
Museum director Robert Schmick, said “the silhouette portraits done by Ms. Comerford involve a set of very sharp and precise cutting scissors which she uses to snip out a profile of her subject from black paper which is then mounted on white card. What seems most amazing to watch is that through her skill she achieves a likeness in a matter of minutes.”
Jean Comerford cutting a silhouette portrait. 
The cost is $30 per portrait, $10 for copies. For an additional fee, framing is available on site. To schedule silhouette sittings or to obtain information, call (207) 793-2784 or

This is a single, price $30, Frame $29. Double portrait. Each portrait $30 x 2 = $60

Saturday, August 24, 2013

HIGH TEA at Willowbrook's Sesquicentennial of the Civil War

The Sesquicentennial of the Civil War at Willowbrook. At 2PM in Dr. Trafton's House (1853) HIGH TEA. Purchase tickets for this special event at The Sandwich Shop (August 31) for $10. Limited to 25. Antique china, table clothes, napkins, Victorian costumed hostesses, cakes and tea will characterize this special event. a second tea will be available for ticket holders (ticket purchase in The Sandwich Shop). Proceeds to benefit Willowbrook!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Gas and Steam Power

At our recent Agricultural Fair Day, Maine Antique Power Association had this among other displays of early gas power. 10th Century Willowbrook Village has 18 plus gasoline powered engines of similar vintage in addition to other machines, including an 1894 Armitage-Hershell portable steam engine that powers a horse carousel. The steam engine has been converted to compressed air so that we may run in safely and regularly for the public's enjoyment.

In addition to a side draft brick forge in our smithy, we will have three buffalo forges, as seen here, set up, as well as all the tools you will need, in our September 27, 28, & 29, 10AM-4PM blacksmithing class. Sign up now. Details found on this blog (use the search).

The Sesquicentennial of the Civil War at Willowbrook, Saturday, August 31, 2013, 10AM-5PM

Schedule of Day's Activities on Sesquicentennial of the Civil War at Willowbrook

10AM: Museum Opens; The s=sandwich shop opens (11:30-3:30).

Demonstration of Minie ball making ( 58 caliber lead bullet used during Civil War). Souvenir samples will be made available for sale.

2PM: High Tea at Dr. Trafton's House. Purchase tickets for this special event at The Sandwich Shop (August 31) for $10. Limited to 25 people, as space is limited. Antique china, table clothes, costumed hostesses, cakes and tea will characterize this special experience. A second high tea will be available for ticket holders ( Ticket purchase in The Sandwich Shop on August 31); second high tea is also limited to 25 people. Proceeds to benefit Willowbrook.

3PM: High Tea at the Dr. Trafton House.

4PM: Maine author Diane Smith shares her new book Command Conflicts in Grant's Overland Campaign (2013). She will also have an opportunity to share her research on her earlier publication: Fanny and Joshua: Frances Caroline Adams and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (1999) about Maine's celebrated veteran of Gettysburg and other battles, the injuries he sustained that plagued him and ultimately ended his life, and his service as Governor to the great state of Maine, and his marriage.

5PM: Museum Closes

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Painted Pony Party, September 21, 6 PM - 9 PM

Painted Pony Party
September 21, 2013
6 PM-9 PM

The Maine party of the year!
  • A Spectacular Dinner of pork, vegetables, breads and decadent desserts! 
  • Live Blue Grass Music---Southern Maine Picking Society
  •   Dancing, Carousel Rides, Silent Auction, & Art Walk 
  •   Each purchased ticket is entered to win a fabulous framed Robert N. Ubhaus vintage abstract      watercolor. 
  • Gallop into the past!
  • Also, we will have a silhouette artist who will be doing portraits by reservation. Framing done onsite. She is one of the best at this 18th and 19th century portraiture form in New England. Call us.

  • More 

$20 per person or $36 per couple 

RSVP Us at: 207-793-2784

19th Century Willowbrook Village
... the way life used to be!

70 Elm Street - Newfield, Maine 04056

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Three-Day (18 hours of instruction) Blacksmithing Class at 19th Century Willowbrook Village

Bladesmith Adriaan Gerber ( see his website: ) will be your instructor. 

When: September 27, 28 and 29th (Fri., Sat., & Sun.), 10AM-4PM
WHERE: 19th Century Willowbrook Village

Reserve your place in the class now, as space is limited.

Willowbrook Village is again offering its popular class in knife making for eight students. Students also have the choice of focusing on an alternative project of fireplace tools: a shovel, poker and rake; each tool can be embellished with twists or a bird cage detail on the handle end. The class will take place at our smithy with the addition of four portable forges. Students will be provided with all the tools and materials needed.
Adriaan Gerber, a master blade-smith and a blacksmith who makes knives, swords, halberds and other edge tools for clientele all over the world will instruct students for a tuition cost of $325 for 18 hours spread out over a three day weekend ( 10-4PM each day). The class, assisted by new director, Bob Schmick, will include forge safety, fire making, hammering, shaping, cutting and heat treating in addition to completing the project(s).
Students will create a fine knife from spring steel. Students will file, harden, and temper their knives. They will make holes in the tang to receive a handle. If time permits, another edge tool, perhaps a tomahawk, may be attempted and completed  with spring steel.

For more information visit our new blog: or contact us:

Phone: (207) 793-2784, or Email us:


Check out our last class on Facebook: 19th Century Willowbrook Village

19th Century Willowbrook Village, 70 Elm Street, P.O. Box 28, Newfield, ME 04056

Thomas Flagg Smithy Project

       The board recently approved the donation of a structure located in Lincolnville, Maine to be moved to Willowbrook. The structure was built by Thomas Flagg in the 1930s and houses a collection of family blacksmithing tools that date back to the nineteenth century as well as many that were handmade by the father of the three flagg daughers who are donating it. The structure is still set up as Thomas Flagg used it for metal work at his farm, including the heating and fitting of horseshoes for his own work horses. Flagg used a work horse for a variety of tasks including haying, planting, and cultivation until he bought his first tractor, a John Deere Model 40 in the late 1940s. His favorite work horse is remembered by his youngest daughter Jane Flagg Jipson, who, with her sisters, Doris [Flagg] Weed and Ellen [Flagg] Garneau, are the donors of this piece of rural Maine history.
      In 2010 the smithy came to my attention when Dana Jipson, husband to Jane Flagg Jipson, took a blacksmithing class at the Curran Homestead Living History Farm and Museum. Jane and Dana were in the midst of a move from Saco to Lincolnville to the farm that Jane had grown up on; this was to be the place of their retirement. Thomas Flagg had passed away a number of years before while his widow Dolores had left the family farm for a nursing home.
      Dana Jipson had learned of the classes being given and wished to learn to use the smithy and tools left by his late father-in-law. Since that time the decision was made to find a home for both the tools and, if the opportunity arose, the smithy that housed them. During the summer of 2010 I would take many donations of both domestic and farm items from this family farm of 200 years for the Curran Homestead collection as its museum director. Having built a blacksmithing shop on the Curran Homestead site in 2009 the museum passed on the offered donation of both the smithy and the collection in 2013, hoping that some other museum would take the opportunity to improve their collection.
       Knowing that the collection was important given that I had digitized family photo albums and spent hours with the family hearing about how much of the material culture was used I presented the concept of a second smithy at Willowbrook which would in conjunction with the present structure serve to  house blacksmithing classes of six to eight students and also house a growing number of tools and equipment that would become a working collection. With the success of our most recent class, and the reality that outdoor classes could be effected by bad weather, I contacted Jane Jipson. She knew of Willowbrook, and said that she would put the matter before her sisters. They approved the idea, as they saw if as yet another opportunity for their father's beloved tools and equipment to again see action and continue to be used.


Friday, August 16, 2013

2013 Agricultural Fair Day, Saturday, August 17, 2013, 10AM-5PM; Bean Supper 5:30-7:30PM

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Willowbrook will feature an agricultural day from 10AM-5PM.  This traditional family event will bring generations together as we celebrate Newfield’s past.  As a thank you to our hometown, Newfield and West Newfield residents receive free admission.  A Bean Supper will follow at 5:30-7:30PM. Regular Admission: $12 Adults, $9 Seniors, $5 Children, Free 6 & Under

Schedule of Events

  9:00 am         Newfield Farmers and Artisans Market – around
  9:15-11:15     Kids Fun with staff member, Ages 8-11,
                        Build a Ferris Wheel with a1950s Erector Set in
                        the Gazebo while Mom and Dad walk around (Visit
                        the Country Store too).

10:00 am         Willowbrook Opens – Country Store
                        1930s-1950s Western/Country/ Cowboy Tunes
                        Exhibitions – on display all day at Feed Store:
        Arts and Crafts
        Hobbies and Collections          
Miscellaneous – around grounds
        Children’s Ring Toss        Face Painting
Maine Antique Power Association: Display and
Demonstration of Gas Powered Engines---near
School House
Revolutionary War Re-Enactor (Walter Hanson)
---by School House
Ongoing Demonstration: Circa 1872 Harrison
Grist Mill Powered by One-Horse Treadmill at the
Engines Building
Ongoing Demonstration: Froe and Shave
 Horse/Draw Knife at Farmers Market  
10:30 am         Open Air Blacksmithing Demonstrations at the
                        Willowbrook smithy.        
11:00 am         Two-Man Saw Competition: Form your teams,
                         best time awards.

11, 11:30, 12, &   Hay Ride: Starts at Dr.Trafton House parking.
11:30, 1:30, 3:00   Carousel – Members, Free; Non-Members, $3

 NOON             Visit the Sandwich Shop for Lunch and
Ice Cream
Pie Contest: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Honorable
Mention Awarded/ Feed Store

12:30 pm          Pie Eating Contest – Durgin House front yard open to all visitors.  Sign up at Store by Noon.

2:00 pm            Skills Competition – on lawn in front of the
Carousel for all ages
        Sack Race               Hoops Race
        Egg Balancing          Croquet Accuracy
        Three Graces  

  3:30 pm          Exhibition Contests Awards – Ribbons to
be awarded (Feed Store)
  5:00 pm          Museum Closing – when all visitors are done

  5:30 pm          Bean Supper – at the Sandwich Shop
                                Baked Beans                   Potato Salads
                                Cole Slaw                Macaroni Salad
                                Blueberry Dessert
                        $8 Adults, $7 Seniors, $4/ Age12 and Under

* See Exhibition and Pie Making Contest entry rules at:

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Agricultural Fair Day:Pie Making Contest Rules

We Need Pies!

As part of the competition for the Agricultural Fair Day, there will be a pie contest. This is a chance for you to prove that your recipes are the best! First, second, and third place ribbons will be rewarded, including a Best in the Competition ribbon. The flavor of the pie is up to the contestant. Variety is the spice of life.
Judging will be based on a 1 to 10 rating in the following categories:
  • Appearance: Judges will determine the eye appeal of your pie.
  •  Aroma: Judges will determine the sniff appeal of your pie.
  • Taste: Judges will determine the delectability of your pie.
  • Originality; Judges will determine the uniqueness of your pie.
  • Recipe: Judges determine the ease of preparation and healthiness of your dish.

What happens to the pies? One slice will be judged; the rest of the pie will be donated for eating.