The Keillor House Museum Experience
The maids and hired hands of Keillor House are here to guide you on a journey into a colourful corner of New Brunswick’s past. The Keillor story is not one that you hear often: A tale of hard work and diligence where a simple yeoman-farmer from Yorkshire, England, raised his social status to become a respected Gentleman; no simple feat in those times. The story weaves through the handsome Georgian stone mansion and touches on place and politics of a young New Brunswick and leads through the entire Victorian era and a cavalcade of unique and interesting characters. Your journey also includes a visit to the Coach House where the Dorchester Penitentiary exhibit provides a glimpse into a world that most never see.
The Keillor House Experience offers something for everyone; and you never know, you just may get to meet John Keillor yourself.
The St. James Textile Museum Experience
At the St. James Textile Museum you are guided through a world of nineteenth century artefacts associated with domestic textile production and other handicrafts that facilitated daily life in the days before automobiles and shopping centres. Try your own hand at spinning and weaving where experts demonstrate these important domestic arts of days gone by. Housed in the former Presbyterian Church, which was consecrated in 1885, is one of the most important collections of its kind in the Maritimes. The collection includes carders, flax breaks, spinning wheels, carpenters’ and blacksmiths’ tools, a working foot-powered wood lathe, and a magnificent hand-made loom dating from about 1800.
A small exhibit of religious artefacts awaits your visit in the foyer, but a step through the inner door reveals a world from a time gone by.
Needle and Thread for the Bed Experience
Spend your afternoon weaving new memories from New Brunswick’s 19th century past. At the St. James Textile Museum you will learn about domestic textile production and other handicrafts that facilitated daily life in the days before automobiles and shopping centres. You will start your own quilt block with instructions from resource experts while surrounded by some of the most breathtaking antique textiles ever crafted. With the Needle and Thread for the Bed Experience you will also learn the age-old practices of carding, spinning and throwing the weave shuttle on the antique looms – skills that revolutionized the textile industry. Your adventure also includes a guided tour to see the textiles displayed at Keillor House Museum.
Includes admission to both museums and take home quilt block
Reservations required: 506-379-6633
Keillor Hearth Cooking Experience
The romantic glow of a fire stirs a multitude of emotions for all who bask in the warmth and light of the burning embers. There is something special, even magic, about preparing a meal in such a setting. With the Keillor Hearth Cooking Experience you will be led through the process of cooking a complete meal using techniques that were largely abandoned in the 1860s when cast iron stoves became widely available. You will prepare a stew in a cauldron over the open flame, cook biscuits in the wall oven and bake a pie in a Dutch oven over embers on the open hearth. All the way from starting the fire to eating the meal: experience the whole process. This slow food adventure is suitable for ages 8 and up and is designed for a group of 2 to 8 people.
Reservations required: 506-379-6633
Historical Walking Tour of Dorchester
Review 13 points of interest, including the Village Square, Keillor House Museum, St. James Textile Museum, and buildings of historic significance to Dorchester’s history as the shiretown of Westmorland County.
Total length of tour: 3.54 km.
Become a member of the Westmorland Historical Society and receive updates on events and activities.