Plymouth Old Home Days keeps the past alive

PLYMOUTH, Vt. – Plymouth’s Old Home Day celebration is hosted by the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site every year, and it has become a century-old tradition, attracting hundreds of people to enjoy the traditional craft and farm demonstrations, wagon rides, music, and a chicken barbeque offered by the Plymouth Volunteer Fire Department, among many other activities.

Plymouth Notch
Plymouth Notch. Stock photo.

This event is sponsored by the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, which plays an essential role in engaging a diverse group of people in collecting, preserving, and discovering pieces of physical and cultural history of the generations that preceded us.

Throughout the day, special exhibits were presented by Vermont artisans Dolores Furnari, who specializes in watercolor theorem painting; Polly Forcier, who demonstrated creating notepapers with authentic wall stencils; Marianne Fassett, paper quilling; and the Northfield Historical Society, whose members demonstrated water pump logs, the precursor to underground water pipes. The one-room schoolhouse hosted a variety of historical “Hands-on History” activities.

The Vermont Historical Society sponsored old-time games for people of all ages. Ellen Denton helped children make pressed flower cards, and Willow Bascom also helped them discover historic quilt patterns. Farmer and interpreter

Plymouth Notch
Fred DePaul’s team pulls the farm wagon at the Coolidge Site. Stock photo.

Fred DePaul offered sheep shearing demonstrations and wagon rides drawn by his team of Belgian workhorses.

The old-time fiddler Adam Boyce brought delight to many all over the historic site. The Green Mountain Time Keepers society brought their knowledge of historic clocks, the Crown Point Road Association brought their knowledge of this historic military road, and The King’s Rangers, living history reenactors, portrayed life as it was lived in the early 18th century.

Cheese making and Vermont specialty food tastings were offered at the Plymouth Cheese Factory, and lunch and ice cream were offered at the Wilder House Restaurant.

At 1:30, actor Jim Cooke appeared in the Union Christian Church in “John Quincy Adams: A Spirit Unconquerable.”

Plymouth Notch
Jim Cooke delivers his reenactment, “John Quincy Adams: A Spirit Unconquerable.” Photo by Aiyana Fortin.

This performance was sponsored by the Vermont Humanities Council and brought the audience through the last 10 years of Adams’ life, as told in his personal diary.

At 2:47, the Homestead porch – Coolidge’s boyhood home – hosted a reenactment of Calvin Coolidge’s 1923 presidential oath of office, with Coolidge family members participating.

Plymouth Old Home Day is an opportunity to explore Plymouth Notch, an extremely well-preserved historic site and an opportunity that’s not to miss. The Coolidge Museum & Education Center hosted the temporary exhibit showcasing quilts, blankets, hooked rugs, and other fiber items created by the Coolidge family and their neighbors, Homespun Treasures: The Textiles of Plymouth Notch.

The President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site is open daily through October 22 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit the award-winning permanent exhibit, More Than Two Words: The Life and Legacy of Calvin Coolidge.

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