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Autumn Gathering

Autumn Gathering 2017
          On Saturday, October 21st, the Nye family of America Association, Inc. will host the eighth annual Autumn Gathering at the Benjamin Nye Homestead & Museum, from noon to 4 PM.  This event is essentially an open house, where we invite the public to stop and tour the Homestead and Museum and grounds. This year there will be an Artisan Craft Fair in the Grange Hall, where you  can purchase all sorts of beautiful and useful hand crafted wares.  The hall has been in continuous use since 1889. .  The Autumn Gathering is a neighborhood social, free of charge.

Next to the hall, you'll see the restoration in progress of the 1858 Grange Mill, a building some considered beyond repair, but we’re making splendid progress; we have the right workmen for the job!  Since being moved onto the foundation of Benjamin Nye’s 17th century grist mill in 1889, it served as a grist mill, jewelry factory and trout hatchery workshop.  It will now become part of our museum “family”.

In the 1678 Homestead & Museum, we do our best to re-create a comfortable old-fashioned atmosphere, redolent with the aromas of hearth cooking; in fact, several fireplaces will be in use.  Docents in period clothing will answer questions and guide you through the Homestead, home to 7 generations of Nyes.

If you like old houses or antiques you will find much of interest.  Tours begin in the Silvanus Nye Parlor, restored to its 1816 appearance when Deacon Nye had the house rebuilt.  The long kitchen took you to the 18th century; where hearth cooking and baking will be done.  Visitors  will pass through a small bedroom chamber with stenciled walls into the Joseph Nye parlor, recently restored and named after the man who had the beautiful paneled wall installed in the 1730-1740 period. There are photographs showing the 2015 restoration of this room, and a display of archaeological artifacts excavated from underneath the floor.

Upstairs are, the Nye Marine Room, dedicated to the many Nyes who plied the seas, the early 18th century master bedchamber, where there will be a wool spinning demonstration, and the Exhibit Room.

Next door in the 1889 Grange Hall, we feature an Artisan’s Fair with a variety of hand-crafted items for purchase including woven rugs, quilts, jewelry and knitted wearables; see photo collage below.
Merchandise from the Nye Family of America will also be available along with free consultation with our genealogist.

Below are some samples of the artisan’s handiwork.

Click here to see a short video of the 2015 Autumn Gathering.

Autumn Gathering 2015
The annual AUTUMN GATHERING at the Benjamin Nye Homestead & Museum and the Grange Hall was held last year on Saturday, October 24th, Noon to 4 PM. The Homestead & Museum is located in East Sandwich at 85 Old County Road in a uniquely beautiful rural setting with a flowing stream, pool, and salt marsh view.

Visitors were guided through seven rooms of the Homestead by docents in historical costumes. There are interesting antiques and exhibits reflecting life from the colonial era through the 19th century. There is a marine room, an exhibit pertaining to neighborhood life, archaeology, and a great exhibit featuring silhouettes of Sandwich residents from 1906. Three fireplaces were in use. Hearth cooking was demonstrated using flint corn meal and other produce and herbs grown on the property this year. Butter making
and wool spinning were demonstrated.  In the Grange Hall, there was an Artisan Craft Fair featuring hand crafted gifts, knitted clothing, hand-turned wooden bowls, woven gifts, quilted items, beaded jewelry, artwork, specialty soaps and lotions and homemade jams by local craftspeople.  Below are some samples of the artisan’s handiwork.




The Autumn Gathering is sponsored by The Nye Family of America Association, Inc., founded in 1903.

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Below are pictures from past Autumn Gatherings                      

Preparing the fireplace and oven for food cooking.

Putting the coals from the fireplace into the oven

The day started out by building a large fire in the fireplace to get a good bed of coals and a fire in the oven to make coals to be used in
the oven to the right of the fireplace
Preparing food to be cooked in the fireplace oven.
While the coals are getting built up food is being made ready by Lynn Cullity to be cooked in the oven and the fireplace.

When the food was prepared and the oven temperature was correct the bread and cookie dough was put into the oven to bake.  You can
see the oven at the top right.

As far as we know the Nye Homestead has the
only working oven on Cape Cod. 
This was our first attempt at cooking in it and
people were pleased with the results.
While the goodies were being baked, butter was being churned in the butter churn, by Mary Kennan, shown below.
Below you see some of the bread and cookies that were baked in the oven and the churned butter, being put out for tasting by Rosanna Cullity.

The Revolutionary Era surgeon "re-enactor", Jack Richman, dressed in period clothing demonstrated both his tools and some period arms.  He was a big hit with kids, young and old.

In the picture above the surgeon is showing
a visitor how to wear a powder belt which contains
little cylinders of powder, each one enough for one load.
Some of the 'tools of the profession' and a Physician's Manual are shown to the right.
 We had a fire in the newly renovated front living room.

  The clothing and articles in the borning room were        explained to visitors by Priscilla Rorstrom.

Upstairs we had a demonstration of spinning of wool on an old spinning wheel by Marge Donley.

Outside the archeologist, Craig Chartier, was busy finding and digging for artifacts from the early period of the homesteads existence. 

The dig was popular with the younger generation.

In the adjacent Grange Hall an exhibit of old and new quilts was being held, organized by Ellie Held.

The old grist mill that is in need of restoration is shown in the background.

The day was a big success and was enjoyed by all, including the staff and participants.

if you want to see more pictures of the Autumn Gathering, the Quilt Show, and the Homestead, click here.

We wish to thank Lucy Loomis for all of the pictures used in this Autumn Gathering.
There were many very beautiful quilts displayed.