Down Came the Rain: Norwich House and Garden Tour, Revisited

It rained on the Norwich Historical Society's parade in late June, or more specifically, on its 9th Annual House and Garden Tour. If you abandoned ship (yes I know about the mixed metaphors) midway through the tour or maybe planned to go but couldn't roust yourself to face the elements, fear not. There is another way to learn something about Norwich's history and get a peek at the featured houses and gardens.

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Thank the gods for artists. As I previously reported, Odanaksis, a well-known group of outdoor painters in the Upper Valley, had been invited to set up their easels at the tour's locations. And they did. And they painted even in the rain, sometimes under cover of porches or in the shelter of an adjacent barn. Artist Jo Tate's watercolor actually got drenched with, well . . . water during a cloudburst, but she patiently daubed her efforts and continued.

Jo Tate’s Bartlett Garden

These paintings depicting the featured houses and gardens are on display and for sale at the Norwich Historical Society, 227 Main Street, Norwich VT. They are interwoven with an exhibition of historical artifacts--tools, diaries, account ledgers--and stories that explain Norwich to those who live there or have traveled through. Back to Our Routes "takes you on a journey . . . to learn about the Braggs, Brighams, Pattrells, and other families who farmed the land for generations and left their imprints on the landscape . . . ," most notably in the names of local roads still traveled.

Artist Gail Barton captured the rain, including intrepid tour participants with umbrellas, in Partridge House Entry

The exhibition and paintings are on display until July 25. Check the website (click here) for hours and for more information. (Photo, top, is Lynn VanNatta's Reflection of the Alexandrescu's House. All photos courtesy of the Norwich Historical Society)


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