Franklin Countys First News

A new mystery to be solved at the Washburn-Norlands Living History Center

LIVERMORE - History meets adventure with Norland’s limited-run event which pairs its normal site tours with a series of interactive puzzles designed by the Farmington Underground.

Private tours are available Wednesdays through Sundays for the next three weeks. Groups of between two and six people can purchase tickets in advance through the Farmington Underground’s website. Kids are free, but the number of tours available each day is limited due to Norlands cutting down on their current volunteers to maintain social distancing. There are three interpreter volunteers running the tours who also act as guides for the interactive puzzles that guests must solve as they go through their 90-minute tours.

“It’s very family-friendly. The way I designed the puzzles, they should be solvable without much help,” Musumeci said.

The collaboration for the two companies was brought to the Norlands board by Laura Seames, who has been volunteering and working at Norlands for the past four years and has served on the board since the summer. Seames, a current student in the University of Maine Farmington’s new Masters’ Program in Counseling, is also the owner of the Lovely Idea Company, a business in close proximity to the Farmington Underground. She knew that Musumeci had been designing several walking tours in the past few months and thought that Norlands would be a perfect setting for his next project. The spooky time of year only provided an ideal theme for the event.

Musumeci jumped at the opportunity, believing that it made perfect sense to pair his adventure business with the historical center.

“History lends itself to stories. That’s what we focus on at the Underground,” Musumeci said.

He was eager for the chance to integrate the real stories available at the Norlands Living History Center into the interactive puzzles that can be found on the tour.

According to Seames, Norlands had been looking for ways to collaborate with other companies or historical societies in the area for quite some time.

“Creating and maintaining community has always been a part of our mission at Norlands. The question was how do we restructure Norlands to stay relevant to the times? Collaboration with other companies is one way to do that,” Seames said.

The event has been a success so far. Norlands did a test run on Monday of this week with two tours that went smoothly, and 23 groups are already signed up for tour slots over the next three weeks.

“This could be something we maybe do again, whether it becomes an annual thing, or we design the event with different themes for different times of the year. It’s exciting either way,” Seames said.

Tickets can be purchased at the link below:

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