CONTACT: William Jenney
Regional Historic Site Administrator
Coolidge Open House Celebrates Traditions of the Season with Author Gesine Bullock-Prado
PLYMOUTH NOTCH, Vt. – The Coolidge Holiday Open House welcomes you to return to a simpler time on Sunday, Dec. 9. An annual tradition, museums and exhibits at the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site will be open free of charge, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
A highlight on this day’s hearty events roster is a baking demonstration and book signing by Gesine Bullock-Prado at 2:00 p.m. Culinary artist and seasoned author, Bullock-Prado gives lively presentations on elegant holiday confections. She will also be pleased to sign copies of her latest book, “Pie It Forward: Pies, Tarts, Tortes, Galettes, and Other Pastries Reinvented.”
Holiday organ and piano music will be performed by Steve Morse of Montpelier from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Poet Carol Collins of South Duxbury will read original winter-themed poems at 1:00 p.m., accompanied by old-time fiddler Adam Boyce of Reading.
The Coolidge birthplace will be decorated as it would have been in 1872, the year the future president was born. The President Calvin Coolidge Museum & Education Center, Aldrich House (home of Calvin’s stepmother and later a prosperous tearoom), Coolidge Hall (the 1924 Summer White House office), Wilder House Restaurant (serving a homemade & hearty lunch), Union Christian Church, and Florence Cilley General Store will all be open to the public.
The Cilley Store, once owned by the President’s father, is now a museum store that will tempt the discerning shopper with old-fashioned toys and Vermont specialty foods. Coolidge memorabilia and a wide variety of Vermont-made crafts can also be found in the store at the Museum and Education Center.
There will be horse-drown sleigh (or wagon rides, depending on weather) with Fred DePaul. A resident of Plymouth Notch, DePaul is well known for his local lore and engaging humor.
Children’s activities include holiday decorations and cards, corn husk dolls, dried fern and flower designs, handmade little books for special messages, and more. Terry Gulick of Springfield invites everyone to make fresh evergreen wreaths. Gulick will also have wreaths for sale, donating a portion of the proceeds to the Coolidge Site’s garden fund.
Fiber Arts in Vermont, a nonprofit group based in Proctorsville, will offer textile demonstrations in spinning, weaving and felting. Several members of the Vermont chapter of the Historical Society of Early American Decoration will showcase early painting techniques: Dolores Furnari (theorem), Mary Perry (stenciling on tin), Gary Sokol (Victorian floral painting), and Polly Forcier (stenciling on notepaper). Carolyn Guest will demonstrate fancy paper cutting and Marianne Fassett has lessons in the art of paper quilling. Take home a quilled tree or snowflake ornament!
Open House visitors can sample cheese and watch its production at the Plymouth Cheese Factory. Under the management of Plymouth Artisan Cheese, the factory produces several varieties of the famous “granular curd” Plymouth Cheese, based on the 1890 recipe. The factory will also feature a wine tasting and several other Vermont specialty food purveyors offer samples, including The Chocolatorium and Gizmo’s Pickled Plus.
The Plymouth Post Office has a special holiday cancellation (the newest in the series of covers designed by John Lutz) from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The lighting ceremony for the Plymouth Memory Tree, a project that offers financial assistance to area residents in need, is at 3:00 p.m. Caroling follows at the village church.
For further information about the Coolidge Holiday Open House, contact the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site, operated by the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, at 802-672-3773 and please visit www.HistoricSites.Vermont.gov/Coolidge.