Historic Harrisville, the non-profit organization that has been preserving the town’s historic buildings and landscapes since 1971, is turning 50 this year. To celebrate this milestone, the nonprofit organization is hosting a full day of events on Saturday, Aug. 28, including tours, open studios, exhibits, speakers, a hike, a celebration with guest speakers and a champagne toast.
Nine of Historic Harrisville’s buildings in the village will open their doors to the public from 10 a.m. to noon. Participants are invited to wander through the village to see the buildings and special exhibits, meet some of the tenants and speak with volunteers about the buildings’ histories and current uses.
Special exhibits include the “Harrisville Soundscape” installation by composer L.A. Dierker and “Harrisville: Then & Now” photo exhibit both at St. Denis at 33 Church St.; “The Dublin Bypass” model exhibit and “Summer Fun in Harrisville” photo exhibit in the Granite Mill at 69 Main St.; and a tour of the hydroelectric facility in the basement of Mill No. 2 at 73 Main St.
From noon to 1 p.m., a moderate walk on the Zophar Willard Woods conservation trails will be offered. The group will depart from the bridge between the Granite Mill and Cheshire Mills Brick Mill.
To cap off the day, a gathering will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at Bollerud Field conservation land across from 76 Prospect St. Anna Schuleit Haber, Historic Harrisville tenant, artist and MacArthur recipient, and Jack Davis, Pulitzer prize-winning author and part-time Harrisville resident, will speak, followed by a champagne toast. In the event of rain, the gathering will be held in the large meeting room in the Cheshire Mills Brick Mill.
The event is open to all. Those attending are asked to make a $50 donation in honor of the 50th anniversary. Donations will be matched — up to a total $25,000 — by an anonymous donor. Those who give $50 or more will receive a copy of the commemorative book being prepared by co-authors Elizabeth Hengen and Robert Russell.
For full details on the day’s schedule of events, including a downloadable map, please go online: www.historicharrisville.org/news/celebrate-50-years-with-us.