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19th Century Willowbrook Village

School Field Trips

Click Photo for Our 2016 Field Trip Invitation Message:

A field trip to Willowbrook is a great way for students of all grades to explore 19th century Maine, New England and United States history, especially our evolving technology during that century!

For a brief overview of some of our field trip programming explore this webpage. For a more detailed description of our field trip programming click here

    Self guided tours of the museum can be scheduled for your student group in the Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer.

    Currently, We are taking reservations for our Spring 2016 field trip season.

    Make your reservations for Spring, 2016 field trip reservations now!

    To reserve a date or to get more information, please contact us at: or (207) 793-2784 ( Leave a message).

    Willowbrook offers a multi-station interactive program that addresses Maine Learning Results and New Hampshire Curriculum Framework. Some of our exhibits were inspired by current Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) learning objectives.

    On-site programs are based on grade-appropriate themes in a “station” format. Each visit includes programming that is  3 1/2 hours in length and includes time for lunch and a stop at the Student Store ( where students make their own purchases from our costumed interpreters).

    Each of our stations are planned in a schedule that we provide you with. These stations are usually planned for 20-25 minute intervals, but we can adjust this upon request. Extended learning at any one of these stations might be arranged. For the optimal experience, the larger student group would be divided up into smaller groups and schduled so that no more than 15 students at any one of the stations at a given time.

    We have a number of new stations, if you haven't been to the museum this past season or are new to the experience.

    School field trip groups will ride this 1894 horse carousel powered by its original steam engine ( that has been converted to compressed air for safety). This carousel was used in the surrounding area from 1896-1922!

    Our offerings include a Hands-On History Building with a 

    • R.M.S. Titanic Marconi Radio Telegraph Room and a R.M.S. Carpathia Marconi Radio Telegraph Room where a dozen working telegraphs are available for students to explore this form of early communication with an interpreter or on their own. We have a selection of working magneto telephones and hand crank dynamos hooked to lighting and an electomagnet.
    • This building also includes a Circa 1900 Hands-On  Laundry Exhibit and a working Victorian kitchen providing the experience of measuring, reading a recipe, making butter, and baking muffins. Experience with all the senses an early kitchen equipped with a working ice box, wood burning cast iron stove, and a cast iron sink.
    • Try our gigantic pinhole camera that you  crawl into to experience the phenomena of a camera obscura maybe something you work into your schedule.
    • A field trip might include a stop at our participatory Granary exhibit with dog and horse treadmill power experiences.
    • Explore examples of simple machines like a block and tackle and lever systems in the Durgin Barn.
    • In the Fall, make apple cider using other simple machines like our gigantic twin screw press and our wheel and axle apple grinder.

    We still have our popular school house exhibit under the guidance of the "School Mistress" who leads groups in a lesson in late 19th century school etiquette. Our blacksmith shares his most important trade in the rural New England life of the past . Learn about letterpress printing at our period Print Shop, and operate a 100 year old press! We have a carriage house with a comprehensive collection of conveyances from the 19th century; request the experience of changing a wagon tyre! Yes, that's T-Y-R-E.

    Dates available:

    There will be no Fall, 2016 program dates due to Willowbrook's closing (October 10, 2016).

    Please contact Robert Schmick at for information about a Spring, 2017 school field trip season, as ownership of the Willowbrook campus will change to the Curran Homestead Village at Newfield (CHVN) after December 31, 2016. CHVN plans an offering of the same school field trip program that so many have come to love, including the horse carousel. The season will run between May 15 - June 30, 2017.

    Traditional Programs:

    K, 1, 2    Families Then & Now
    Durgin or Trafton House; Durgin Barn (creamery/farm animals); Schoolhouse and toys/pastimes

    3, 4, 5     Trades, Trading & Transportation
    Durgin or Trafton House; schoolhouse and print shop; Carriage House, Blacksmith Shop, Durgin Barn

    Our programs may be modified for other grade levels--just ask.

    New STEM and STEAM Workshops and Interactive Stations

    Download our new three-fold school field trip flyer here

    1. Interactive Learning Station: Victorian Kitchen Workshop(20 + minutes)

    a. Churn real butter.

    b. Read and follow a recipe. Measure ingredients, mix muffin batter, and bake in a real Victorian kitchen woodstove. Eat.

    2. Interactive Learning Station: Circa 1900 Laundry (20 + minutes)

    a. Do laundry with a wooden barrel type hank-crank washing machine. Wring clothes out with a hand-crank mangle.

    b. Pin clothes laundered on a clothes line with wooden clothes pins.

    c. Try ironing with an iron that was heated on a stove.

    3. Interactive Learning Station: H.M.S. Titanic and H.M.S. Carpathia Radio Rooms (20 + minutes). Send and receive Morse code on a series of authentic early telegraph keys as well as contemporary facsimile models in a re-creation of the famous Titanic and its sister ship Carpathia, which arrived too late to the scene of the tragedy.

    4Interactive Learning Station:  Our new GRANARY exhibit includes Hoof, Paw, Hand, and Foot Power (20 + minutes). Visit some of our horse, goat and work dog treadmills around the campus. Climb aboard and power a 1870s grist mill and/or apple crusher. try out our series of human  hand crank and foot treadle machines and learn about the various ways machines were powered in the 19th century.

    5. Interactive Learning Station: Early Hand-Crank Telephones and Magnetos. In partnership with The Telephone Museum of Ellsworth, Maine, we will have two functioning hand-crank telephones on the campus. Students can talk to each other. Be careful; these are very old. We also have a series of dynamos, some from early telephones, that generate electricity by cranking them. How does this work? Learn. Power lights and a small fan with a crank.

    6. Interactive Learning Station:  More Granary Experiences

    a. Shell corn with a hand crank sheller.

    b. Crack corn with a hand-crank burr mill.

    c. Power a horse treadmill and an 1870s belt driven portable grist mill. This was used to make crached corn feed, corn meal, wheat flour...

    7. Interactive Learning Station: Simple Machines

    Block and Tackle and Chain Fall.

    a. Under teacher supervision, students can try our block and tackle set up in the Durgin Barn. Lift with this leverage tool large weights with seemingly little effort.

    b. Under teacher supervision, experience a chain fall which uses similar technology as the block and tackle with pulleys and chains instead.

    c. Lift a bail of hay with a double harpoon hay fork.

    8. Interactive Learning Station: Crystal Radio Sets ( By Special Arrangement Only)

    a. Learn the components of an early radio ( or build your own by arrangement). Demonstration of crystal radio technology.

    Outreach programs to schools are also available throughout the year. Contact us, and we can discuss a program that connects with your curriculum. We can custom make a program that creates learning experiences with our working collection of artifacts from the 19th century; these can be applicable to STEM objectives as well as hsitory and language arts.

    This winter we have offered an outreach program entitled Ice, Ice Harvesting, and Ice House Architecture. It includes a power point presentation, a look and touch of authentic ice harvesting tools, and a science activity that explores states of matter. In this case, the formation of solid ice on a fresh water pond. In small groups, students created a graduated exmplae of different water densities simulating the viaried layers of different qualities of ice on a pond or lake effecting in the past the ice "crop". We ended the program with some homemade ginger ice cream.

    student at print shop station

    Our print shop has several hands-on activities for you to experience, including printing your own book marker on a letter press. For more extended learning about setting type and printing, we offer a Letterpress Printing Workshop. Groups of 8-10 required. 3 Hours. Conatct us about this, if interested.



    The program fee is $8 for students and adult chaperones alike. One educator is admitted free with each class or youth group. Ed Techs are free. For every 15 students there must be one adult teacher, ed tech, or chaperone.

    The $8 fee represents a substantial discount for the other accompanying adult chaperones (normally $15).

    To make a reservation for a field trip, contact us via email ( or phone (207-793-2784). Include:

    • school name, location, email contact, and phone number contact.
    • teacher(s) names
    • Number of students planned
    • Grade level

    Complete the online field trip reservation form

    and click on submit. Our museum director will contact you to confirm your reservation. Please be aware that the drop down menu for the reservation form only goes up to "2013"; we are working on changing it to "2016". Your reservation will be interpeted as a 2016 reservation depending on the month that you signify.

    Our tour guides can modify the program for multi-age groups such as home schools and for other grades, and we will adjust program lengths if time is a time issue. Our programs address Maine Learning Results.

    Each program includes a lunch period and a visit to Willowbrook's Student Store.

    See the beauty of New England at our rare museum site!

    Experience a 19th century classroom with our scolding school mistress who teaches us about classroom etiquette.

    Experience the 19th century technologies of hoof, hand, foot and paw power.

    It's hands-on in the Victorian Kitchen and at our other learning stations. Make butter and assist in the day's baking!

    Do laundry using circa 1900 appliances; it's fun!

    Send a message by telegraph in our Marconi radio rooms that re-create the look and touch of the H.M.S. Titantic and Carpathia ocean liners!

    This re-creation of the H.M.S. Titanic and Carpathia's  radio rooms ,were made possible, in part, by a Davis Family Foundation grant as well as a loan from the Lyric Theatre in Burlington, VT.  Visitors can operate a dozen working telegraphs. A good introduction to early communication technology and Morse code. Parallels with 21st technology and communication is explored.

    Some of our telegraph keys and sounders. Experiences with working examples of these. Learn to do text-messaging 19th century style on our telegraph key using Morse code!

    Hand crank magneto telephones that work!

    A hand crank burr mill in our GRANARY is just one of the many hand crank machines from the 19th century you can experience. You make fee to fee our real chickens at our new chicken coop!

    Climb aboard a horse treadmill and see how they once powered machines like this portable grist mill. That's corn being cracked, so that it can be fed to our chickens (which are new to the museum as of 2015).

    Thanks to funding in part from the Davis Family Foundation in Yarmouth and the Narragansett Number One Foundation of Bar Mills, ME, we now have a working cider mill. In the Fall of 2015, we made 30 gallons of cider with school groups on our hand crank portable mills.

    And there is much more...


    19th Century Willowbrook Village is a nonprofit 501(c)3 charitable organization
    listed on the National Register of Historic Places

    19th Century Willowbrook Village • P.O. Box 28, Newfield, Maine 04056 207-793-2784