Now that schools are back in session, we’ve seen the re-emergence of Mike’s lovely processing Saturdays. It means more girl time around here! 😉 unfortunately this Saturday our landlord was here to fix a leak in our ceiling. My Mom was awesome enough to take Shannon, so that she wasn’t underfoot at all. We also don’t know if there is any mold in the ceiling, and I don’t want to take a chance with her.
After they left (and we thought the leak was fixed….sadly, no) I snuck back down to my parent’s, where Shannon was having a great time. Big thanks to my Mom for having her! 🙂
Sunday we had Mike all to ourselves and we were looking forward to a family day. We set out to the Shelburne Museum after Shannon’s morning nap and had a fantastic time! We didn’t get there until about 230, and I would highly recommend that you get there when it opens (noon) if you want to take full advantage of all it has to offer.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Museum, it’s set up like an early 1800’s (with some buildings dating back to the 1700’s) town. Many of the buildings house artifacts like guns, paintings, etc. and some are dedicated to more modern day things (they have a house full of
toys robots.) Some of the buildings are set up as they were in the times that they were built, like the sawmill, a cabin, the first two stories of the governor’s mansion, and the Ticonderoga (read: big boat). Both Mike and I love that sort of thing, and we’re good at doing Museum’s together.
We utilized the backpack that Mike’s mom gifted us with, and again, it was a hit. Some of the volunteers in the buildings got a bit snappish about it, as they were afraid that we were going to turn around and whack something. Only one woman was actually mean about it, the rest were very nice. I can understand why they were concerned, as there are a lot of old, brittle, and expensive things in there.
The other plus side, for us, about the Museum is that Active Duty Military (and spouses!) get in free, as do children under 5. You just have to make sure that you have your ID’s ready to show. It saved us over $40 just in admission. Sweet!
I could write pages upon pages of the things that we saw, but let me just share a few highlights…
A 40 horse hitch, hand carved by Roy Arnold in the early 1920’s. Arnold was from St. Johnsbury and it took him 25 years and 5 assistants to carve the entire parade that accompanied this hitch. It was designed to take after a 2 mile long parade with the scale being 1 inch to 1 foot. After driving Belgains for a semester, then a following summer, I can appreciate the skill this must have taken. There was a picture to accompany the model, and the description stated that the hitch took 2 outriders to keep it in control (that’s it!?) and the lines weighed over 70 pounds. Serious skillz, y’all!
Hand carved merry-go-round horses. I thought that it was a little creepy that they had real horse hair tails. The amount of work that went into carving them blew me away, however. The Museum had about 20 of them, but sadly, none resembled Willow. I checked very carefully.
From there, I begged Mike to let me ride the merry-go-round they had on the grounds, under the guise that Shannon really needed it so that her youth would be fulfilled. He’s a party pooper, and moved us along. The next exhibit that we saw was all boy! Guns and dead stuff!
Mike was in man heaven! The exhibit was pretty neat though, as all the guns had been made in Vermont. They had over 150, dating from the 1800’s and forward. There were some pretty impressive looking ones, some tiny ones, and one that looked like it would very easily break your shoulder. They had a ‘punt’ gun, that men used to attach to the front of their duck hunting boats. It was about 6 ft long, as big around as me, and held about 2 pounds of bird shot.
From the guns, we moved onto the dead things. Even I will admit the size of most of them were pretty impressive.
The whole building was furnished to resemble an old school hunting lodge. The woman who funded the cabin, did it because she loved animals, and wanted the public to have the opportunity to see some of these monsters up close. They also had a small layout of taxidermy odds and ends, and it was neat to see what went into it. Its more than just fluff!
After we finished up there, we were off to the small cafe that was on the grounds. I had the best pulled pork sandwich I think I’ve ever eaten in my life. The prices were high, but not out of this world. We paid a little over $20 for two of us to eat. Shannon, however, still eats for free. 😉
She did get to enjoy bites of bread off the top (non-seasoned) part of my sandwich, which she hoovered. She also goes nuts for water out of a water bottle. She thinks she’s a grown up or something. Kids.
After lunch, we crawled all over the Ticonderoga, which is a big old steam powered ferry, built by the Lake Champlain Transport Company in the early 1900’s. You could get overnight passage for as little as $1.50, $3.00 for the honeymoon suite, if you were a big spender! We didn’t get many pictures, because there were just so many interesting things to digest, however, enjoy this horrible attempt at a family picture, which really just ended up making Mike and I look like total goobers.
We then migrated to the General Store/Apothecary, where I had to take a picture of this wonderful little signage.
So many things popped into my head, none of them really okay for this blog. There was no plaque to explain the meaning behind it, so I just giggled and took a picture.
We then wandered through a few houses, including one that was stenciled from top to bottom, one that was used as a boarding house, the sawmill, and one that was set up like a typical 1700’s settler’s cabin. It had two rooms, the main living area with a hearth and table, and another room off that with the beds. It really must have been chilly, but then again the entire family slept in the same bed.
Another building was designated to just duck decoys. The house had been set up so it was mirror image on either side. The governor’s two daughters (who were both married) lived there on either side. We didn’t stick around very long in the house full of
toys robots, because the life sized Dearth Vader thing scared the bejesus out of me, and the volunteer that was working there was a bit stabby.
I didn’t snap pictures, because we were elbows deep in the experience, and Shannon decided that she had had enough with the backpack, so we carried her the rest of the way.
We finished our tour with the Governor’s Mansion, which was set up as a tribute to the Museum’s founder, Electra Havemeyer Webb. The first two floors each had rooms modeled after her New York City apartment, and displayed impressionist art. I was very much astounded at the fox hunting influence that the two dens took after. I also loved this picture, which was in a parlor.
I’m extremely pro-breastfeeding, and seeing this picture on display was lovely.
The bottom level of the mansion, was dedicated to her brother, who was a Navy pilot. There was a plaque that logged all his missions, and it stated that he had over 300,000 miles logged, many in combat zones. To go along with it, there were many cowboy statues. There was nothing to make the connection between the two, but I appreciated them nonetheless.
After that, it was time to go. Shannon took a moment to sample the foliage, and we packed our very sleepy baby into the car.
We did our usual Sunday grocery shopping, and hit on a few things that Shannon really enjoyed. I’m going to save that post for later, though. 🙂
We had a great day, and loved our experiences at the Museum. I would recommend it to anybody who enjoys history. The volunteers at each place were friendly and knowledgable. They were happy to answer all of our questions, and give us the history of the building that we were in. They also fawned over Shannon at length, which racks up the brownie points in my book! I would recommend that you make a day of it, as Shelburne has many other things to offer (apple picking and the Morgan Horse Farm), but budget for an expensive one. Entry to the Museum is $20 for adults, $12 for children 5-18, free for the littlies under 5, and $18 for seniors. I think that it’s well worth it, if you are able to stay from 12-5. The Cafe on the grounds had wonderful food, with multiple heathy selections! Wear comfy shoes, and prepare for lots of walking. There is a shuttle that runs every 15 minutes, however, but we didn’t utilize it. I also wish I had brought a coat, since it was chilly. Many of the buildings aren’t heated (duh) and you spend a lot of time outside. For more information about the Museum, and the things that it has to offer, click on over to www.shelburnemuseum.org!
I’m off to take advantage of naptime, but taking a quick siesta myself! The plague has struck our house full force, and while Shannon has managed to dodge the bullet for now (thank goodness!), sleep was very much lacking last night! We have a business meeting at 230, and I would hate to look like death warmed over!