This summer, my mom and I decided to try something different by volunteering at that really old red house on Main Street, AKA the Harrison House Museum and Barn. (If you need a landmark, it's not too far from Richlin's.) My mom's love affair with anything and everything from the 1700s has led my family to the almost-Canada part of upstate New York to the basement of Mount Vernon, but I never thought that it would lead us to a place right under our noses.
At first, I was a little skeptical. Giving people tours of a dusty old house was the antithesis of the awesome summer I had envisioned. But now as the Saturday assigned to my mom and me to give tours approaches, I realized that working at the Harrison House taught me a lot about things I never knew. For example, I learned last Saturday that the term "spinster" may come from the fact that it was mainly unmarried women who did the spinning and weaving in the house. Who knew?
But random facts aside, I've tried a lot of new things through my volunteer post. Three weeks ago, the president of the historical society asked my mom and me to wash a quilt that was resting on the house's prehistoric canopy bed. And this quilt was made in 1813. 1813!! So my mom and I soaked the quilt in the 21st century plastic shower-tub hybrid in my bathroom. Never before did I think that I would wash a historical artifact in my bathtub.
So the moral of the story is, there are definitely some perks in taking the unorthodox route and spending part of your summer volunteering at your local historical society. If I learned this much not even half way through the summer, I'll be able to teach Colonial America Home Economics at Harvard come September.
But if you don't want to dive that deeply into the Harrison House, I would highly recommend taking a brief tour. If you want to see a glass that the Marquis de Lafayette (yes, that Lafayette) drank out of, or see the American Colonists' version of a play pen, or if you're really lucky, touch an 18th century waffle iron (no, I'm kidding, I'm not even allowed to touch that thing) you should definitely take a tour. Come and experience the most underestimated attraction Branford has to offer! And then get some ice cream after! Sounds like an awesome summer day to me.