Scribner’s Mill celebrates ‘Back to the Past’

By Gail Geraghty
Staff Writer

RANDY WITHEE, board member of Scribner’s Mill Preservation, Inc., will lead the tours inside the 1847-1962 sawmill during this weekend’s Back to the Past celebration at Scribner’s Mill in Harrison.

HARRISON — Several new and exciting attractions are in store for the 20th anniversary celebration of “Back to the Past” at Scribner’s Mill in Harrison, set for Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 6 and 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.

Eight teams of oxen and their teamsters from southern Maine will be practicing their skills at log-hauling and navigating around obstacles all day Saturday, to help them get ready for a special four-day exhibition this fall in Lexington, Ky. at the Kentucky Horse Park. It’s not often you see eight teams of oxen hitched together head to tail. Ox-cart rides will also be offered, and one of the mill’s antique log-haulers will be on display in the yard of the turn of the century homestead and sawmill.

There will also be a live auction this year, from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, and a farmers’ market on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m, along with two full days of demonstrations, exhibits, house tours, children’s activities and plenty of good food including a Pig and Turkey Roast on Saturday at 5 p.m.

As you approach Scribner’s Mill and park at the top of the hill, you will be transported via a hay wagon down to the mill, where you will hear the hum of old machinery turning out barrel parts, shingles and planed boards. Timber framers will be on site, working on parts for the mill’s restoration.

In the mill, visitors will watch dry barrel parts being manufactured as well as having the opportunity to help assemble their own barrel. Barrels will be available for sale. The Highland String Trio will perform their lively blend of Celtic/Irish/American music in the barnyard from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The blacksmith will be in his shop working on metal parts for the mill, and branding barrelheads with the Scribner’s Mill logo. In front of the long shed, there will be horseshoeing and log pulling demonstrations both days.
In the mill yard there will be antique engines, tractors, trucks and autos on display by The Maine Antique Power Association, and Harrison’s antique fire truck pumper will be in action during the weekend. Tours of the historic homestead will be offered throughout the day. In the barn and woodshed, there will be displays of old tools, pictures and post cards, demonstrations of spinning, weaving, basketry, broom making, tatting, jewelry making, rug hooking, wood carving and beekeeping.

Next to the corn house, children will be able to participate in children’s workshops from 10:30 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 2:30 p.m. both days. At 2:30 p.m., the young at heart will have the opportunity to turn the cranks to make homemade ice cream. Free samples will be offered.

Hamburgers and hot dogs and bison burgers will be available for lunch at the food booth, along with homemade pie and fresh-squeezed lemonade. The very popular Pig and Turkey Roast and Baked Bean supper will be served starting at 5 p.m. Strawberry shortcake will be served for dessert. Cost is $8 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under.

On Sunday morning, there will be a worship service in the dining tent at 9:30 a.m. Windham resident Sonny Richards will offer rides with his beautiful team of Belgian horses all day Sunday, when the Farmers’ Market will be held.

Admission to the festival is $6, children 12 and under free. Funds raised at the event are used for the restoration of the 1847-1962 sawmill site. Scribner’s Mill is found one mile south of Bolsters Mills on Scribner’s Mill Road in Harrison. Follow the yellow and black directional signs from Routes 35, 117 and 121 to the mill. For more information, call 583-MILL (6455).

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