Recent Press Release ( December, 2015):
There is much activity this winter at 19th Century Willowbrook Village in Newfield. Through arrangement with instructor Charles Hayden and his women’s trades crew of the Southern Maine Re-Entry Center of the Maine State Department of Corrections in Alfred, Willowbrook has a number of woodworking projects underway each week. Before the temperature dropped the crew replaced clapboard on the William Durgin House( 1813) and started priming the building for a coat of new paint on the entire house and ell to be completed in the spring. The museum received a Belevedere Historic Preservation grant through the Maine Community Foundation which partially funded restoration of many of the windows of the building as well as powder post and carpenter ant extermination in the Durgin barn. In the meantime we have all moved inside working on a large mural that re-creates a Byzantine mosaic motif for a re-creation of a 1920s silent movie palace exhibit to be used in conjunction with the museum’s frequent silent movie festivals. This project was in part funded by an Infrastructure Grant from the Maine Humanities Council. Work also includes the re-wooding of a horse drawn logging bobsled with bench seating for twenty. The sled is from the collection of The Curran Homestead Living History Farm and Museum in Orrington and through an arrangement Willowbrook will restore it and share usage of it during the winter month, especially for Willowbrook’s January 30 (10-3PM) Annual Ice Harvest. The Curran Homestead has its own Annual Ice Harvest on February 6 and will also offer rides on the completed bobsled. The Curran got a partial donation of lumber from Home Depot for the bobsled restoration project. Willowbrook ,with its trades crew, has disassembled and is replicating the sled which was last used for the Curran’s 2014 ice harvest. There are many elements of the sled that are proving to be a real education, as we have had to replace the wood of the runners (bobs), an evener, a tongue as well as create some new plate metal elements. Additionally, the women’s trades crew will create two bench seats for Willowbrook’s own Marsh Hay Sled, another bobsled. After these projects are finished and through another partnership with The Curran Homestead, the trades crew will re-wood a Model T cord saw rig that is fully functioning; Willowbrook plans to use this in conjunction with another Ash Sunday event this coming season which draws attention to the uses of white ash and the threat of the emerald ash borer. Finally, Willowbrook is offering workshops in blacksmithing: knife making, metal casting, propane burning furnace/forge making, letterpress printing and antique engine repair and maintenance ( in April). See our website: www.willowbrookmuseum.org for details.
|Elements of the sled were saved in order to replicate them. The angle of the seat shown here allows for water to drain from the seat surface more efficiently.|
|As you can see the sled was quite weathered. All the wood except for the axle beams which receive the bobs were deteriorated.|