Awakening from a winter's sleep

Historic Park-McCullough House opens for season today

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NORTH BENNINGTON — It's opening day today for the Park-McCullough House — with some additions.

New on opening day this year is a plan to share many local and family photos from the house's archives, along with a kids' story hour in front of the playhouse — in the mansion if it's raining, according to the house's website.

Opening day hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with free admission.

The first concert of the season is Saturday, June 8 from 3 to 4 p.m., with early and late chamber works presented by Kaori Washiyama and Tony Lu. Croquet season begins Thursday, June 13 with a season meeting and first night of play from 6 to 8 p.m. A cash bar will be provided.

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July's events include Mettawee River Theatre Company's "The Ringdove," which is drawn from the Panchatantra, a collection of stories whose origins reach back over 2,000 years to ancient India. That presentation will be Sunday, July 14 from 8 to 10 p.m.

The house will also host the third annual Garden Gala Friday, Aug. 30 from 7 to 9 p.m.

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September brings the docent and volunteer tea party Saturday, Sept. 7 from 4 to 5 p.m. and the third annual North Bennington Block Party Sunday, Sept. 8 from 4 to 7 p.m.

After May 25, site hours are Fridays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays noon to 4 p.m.

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The site will also be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Memorial Day (May 27), Labor Day (Sept. 2), and Columbus Day (Oct. 14).

Columbus Day is the last day of tours for the 2019 season.

The Park-McCullough House, a 35-room mansion that celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2015, was built between 1864 and 1865 by attorney and entrepreneur Trenor Park, a native of Woodford. Park's eldest daughter, Lizzie, married John G. McCullough, a lawyer who would one day go on to become the governor of Vermont. Direct descendants of the family lived in the house until 1965, and Allen McCullough currently serves on the house's board of directors.

The house is one of the best-preserved Victorian mansions in New England, according to the house's website. It is an example of a country house in the Second Empire Style, and incorporates architectural features of the Romantic Revival style that were popular at the time.


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