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11 Willard Street
North Grafton MA 01536

5088393500

The Willard House & Clock Museum is a historic place with festive roots, right in the heart of Massachusetts. Come visit us for a guided tour of our museum.

Programs & Events


Willard House and Clock Museum Presents….Blue Parrot
May
13
2:00 PM14:00

Willard House and Clock Museum Presents….Blue Parrot

Blue Parrot, a trio who plays a lively mix of Celtic, American, French and French Canadian tunes on banjos, guitar, pipes, concertina and whistles.  Featured players are Linda Swicker, Linda Abrams, and David de la Barre.  They have been performing together for 8 years.  They met at an Irish session in Gloucester, and quickly realized their musical connection.  They have been playing together regularly, wxploring the music of Quebec and France, as well as continuing on with their love of Celtic music.  This will be a perfect family friendly concert!!

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Simple Crochet Demonstration
Apr
28
2:00 PM14:00

Simple Crochet Demonstration

No one is quite sure when and where crochet got its start. The word comes from croc, or croche, the Middle French word for hook. Crochet began turning up in Europe in the early 1800s and was given a tremendous boost by Mlle. Riego de la Branchardiere, who was best known for her ability to take old-style needle and bobbin lace designs and turn them into crochet patterns that could easily be duplicated.

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Happy Birthday Simon!
Apr
8
1:00 PM13:00

Happy Birthday Simon!

Celebrate Simon Willard’s Birthday at the Willard House & Clock Museum.

How many candles would there be on Simon Willard’s birthday cake?

 

Come to the Willard House & Clock Museum on Sunday, April 8, 2018 to find out as the museum honors Simon.  Open free of charge from 1:00 until 4:00 PM.  For all the fun and festivities, visitors should plan to arrive no later than 3:00 PM, since the tour takes about an hour. 

Understanding 8 day clocks                        Robert Cheney                                   1 – 1:30 pm

What’s in a name?  Grandfather Clock?  Tall Clock? Tall Case Clock?  Join Robert as he explains the name and the basic workings of the 8 day clock.

Understanding Patent Timepieces             Robert Cheney                                   2 – 2:30 pm

Commonly known as a banjo clock, join Robert as he explains the reasons Simon was awarded a patent for this groundbreaking invention.

Kid’s Activities – Clocks for Kids                Janet Scudder                                    1-3 pm

Join us for a series of hands on art workshops for parents and children and begin to explore the magic of keeping time.  The workshops are free with museum admission and the activities, are best for ages 5 - 10. There will be a special, kid friendly tour of the museum at the end of the workshop.

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What You Always Wanted to Know About Auctions
Mar
11
1:00 PM13:00

What You Always Wanted to Know About Auctions

Is an auction the best method of disposing of your antiques? What do you need to know about the auctioneer and the auction house ?  Should I just sell it all to an antiques dealer? Robert C. Cheney has been Director of Clocks, Watches and Scientific Instruments at Skinner Auctioneers holding two sales yearly with an international audience bidding live, online and on the phone. He is a licensed auctioneer in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

FREE with Museum Admission

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What’s it Worth?  Why You May Need a Formal Appraisal of your Antique Clocks and Watches
Feb
11
1:00 PM13:00

What’s it Worth? Why You May Need a Formal Appraisal of your Antique Clocks and Watches

Robert C. Cheney will appraise any type of antique clocks and watches (not just Willard Clocks) that are easy to transport. If the clock is too big to transport, multi view photographs will work (bonnet, face, case - including feet and shots of the interior weights if possible.) Please no modern clocks or poor photographs of watches.

FREE with Museum Admission

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Family Fun - Keepsake Valentines
Feb
11
1:00 PM13:00

Family Fun - Keepsake Valentines

In the United States, the first mass-produced Valentines of embossed paper lace were produced and sold shortly after 1847 by Esther Howland (1828–1904) of Worcester, Massachusetts.  We have a special exhibit of antique cards in our children’s area. Using them as inspiration,  we will create keepsake cards in honor of Valentine’s Day.

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Nov
26
1:00 PM13:00

Teddy Bear Tea

Make memories with a special afternoon for you and your child (or grandchild).  Bring a favorite teddy or stuffed animal to join you for tea or cocoa and delicious delicacies in our elegant tea room.  There will be a holiday craft and a special Teddy Bear Tour of the Museum.

Seatings are from 1:00 - 2:00 and 3:00 - 4:00.  Members $15/person, Non-members $17.50/person, Teddy Bears free of charge:  includes Museum admission.  Reservations by phone required. (508.839.3500)

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Nov
19
11:00 AM11:00

"Dueling Banjos" a day of family fun!!

Banjo 1, Art Activity -  Join us today for this special parent/child workshop with artist Janet Scudder.  We will make replicas of classic banjos using simple materials.  The toy will make "music" and will be a terrific keepsake.  Time 11:00 AM - 1 PM.

Banjo 2, Tour in Simon Willard Gallery - Simon Willard invented the "Improved Timepiece", commonly known as a "Banjo Clock".  He received a patent for the design of the clock in 1802.  Join us for a short talk by our curator about the history of the clock and its unique features.  Time 1:15 - 1:30 PM

Banjo 3, Concert - We are proud to present, BLUE PARROT, a duo who plays a lively mix of Celtic, American, French and French Canadian tunes on banjos and guitar.  Featured players are Linda Swicker and Linda Abrams.  They have been performing together for 8 years.  This will be a perfect family friendly concert.  Time  2:00 - 3:00 PM

Free with Museum admission

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Nov
8
1:30 PM13:30

Once Upon a Storytime

Join us for this free program presented in collaboration with the Grafton Public Library.  Preschoolers will enjoy a few stories, a short museum tour and a craft project.  Children must be accompanied by an adult.  Siblings are welcome.

Call ahead to reserve your spot, as space is limited.  508.339.3500

 

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Nov
2
6:30 PM18:30

Robinson Lecture - Variations on a Theme: The Diamond Head Timepiece

A relatively small group of a dozen or so Boston-area timepieces have received intermittent attention in the literature over the years.  Often extolled for both their rarity and for the refined quality of their workmanship, it is less frequently acknowledged how paradoxical that is;  if they are so good, why aren't there more of them?

David Wood, curator of the Concord Museum, will closely examine six examples of the diamond head timepiece, about half of all that survive, in a slide presentation.  The aim is to distinguish between the two principal groups (Boston and Concord), and to consider what relationship the form has to Willard's timepiece.  Please call and reserve your spot, as space is limited.

Free with Museum admission.

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Oct
8
1:00 PM13:00

The Manufacture of Six Massachusetts Shelf Clocks - a Work in Progress

 

The Massachusetts Shelf Clock, with its colorful painted glass and small, attractive form, is one of the highlights of Simon Willard’s productive career. The Willard House & Clock Museum’s Conservator, David Gow, is fulfilling a lifelong dream - the manufacturing of the cases and movements for six Massachusetts Shelf Clocks - and wants to share the experience and what he’s learned from it with you.

David will present the clocks, and give an introduction to the form. By highlighting his original research into and experience in conserving these clocks, he will discuss the choices he made for these reproductions, including primary and secondary materials, which inlay and veneering techniques to use, and what tools he chose to use in the construction of the clocks. This first lecture, based on one he gave to the local chapter of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, will focus on the construction of the cases, however David will also touch upon his plans for manufacturing the mechanisms for the Shelf Clocks as well.

This lecture presents a unique opportunity to learn from one of the most experienced clock conservators in the world, and to compare his reproductions with some of Simon Willard’s original clocks held in the Willard House’s collection.

Born into a family of craftsmen in Aberdeen, Scotland, David continued the tradition by serving a five-year apprenticeship as a joiner and cabinetmaker. Some years later, this background formed the foundation for almost forty years in the field of horology. For over twenty years he has served as Conservator at the Willard House & Clock Museum. His clients include historical societies, museums, the U.S. Senate in Washington, D.C., and private collectors across the country. He has taught restoration skills to students, with an emphasis on sensitive conservation and restoration techniques.

Free with Museum admission

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Sep
24
10:00 AM10:00

Plein Air Painting

Please join this informal gathering of artists who love to paint the New England landscape.  The grounds of the Willard House are perfect for painting.  Bring your own supplies to this free event.  Plenty of parking available.

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Sep
17
11:00 AM11:00

Parent/Child Workshop - Historic Toys!!

What did children do for entertainment? What games did they play? How did they have fun, between chores and school?  They made it themselves!!  Join us today as we use cardboard, small wooden pieces, fabric, markers, and glue and create some 18th century toys

Come to the Willard House & Clock Museum on Sunday, September 17,2017.  The workshop will take place in the barn from 11 am-1 pm and is free!!.   There will also be a special, free parent/child tour of the museum at the end of the workshop.  For all the fun and festivities, visitors should plan to arrive no later than 12 noon. 

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Sep
13
1:30 PM13:30

Once Upon a Storytime

Join us for this free program presented in collaboration with the Grafton Public Library. Preschoolers will enjoy a few stories, a short museum tour and a craft project.  

Children must be accompanied by an adult.  Siblings are welcome.

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Sep
10
10:00 AM10:00

Plein Air Painting

Please join this informal gathering of artists who love to paint the New England landscape.  The grounds of the Willard House are perfect for painting.  Bring your own supplies to this free event.  Plenty of parking available.

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Jun
26
9:00 AM09:00

COLONIAL KID'S SUMMER CLASSES

What did children do for entertainment?  What games did they play?  Did they go to school?  Did they learn a trade?  Participants learn about aspects of life in the past and how it connects to our world today.  Ages 7-10  (limit: 12 students)  Members $240,  Non-Members $255.

Week 1        June 26-30     9 AM-1 PM
How did kids have fun in Colonial Times, between chores and school?  They made it themselves!!  Join us as we make 18th century toys (ball catchers, marbles, poppets, quoits and more), learn games like Townball, Conquors and Hunt the Slipper.

Week 2     July 10 - 14     9 AM - 1 PM
In Colonial Times, not everyone stayed on the farm.  Promising youngsters might learn a trade.  Try your hand at being a Tinsmith, Printer, Weaver or Limner (portrait painter)!!

To Register for a class, call 508.839.3500, Wed-Sat  10 AM - 1PM or email beverly@willardhouse.org.

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