TAMWORTH — They’re coming out of the woodlands in droves, their woolen winter hats pulled down over the tops of their heads and over their eyes.
All that’s visible of their faces are big round noses and long, snowy beards, but you can often identify them by the festive holiday sweaters they sport.
Gnomes have taken over store shelves and holiday displays this season, giving the Elf on the Shelf some competition. The latest to welcome some of the diminutive visitors is Remick Country Doctor Museum and Farm in Tamworth.
The historic site’s story is centered on two generations of country doctors, Edwin “Doc” Crafts Remick and his father, Dr. Edwin Remick, who once lived and worked on the property, as well as the 250-year agricultural traditions of the farm.
But in light of the current gnome fad, the site’s Farmstead Christmas is drawing inspiration from the creatures often seen guarding summer gardens.
“Steeped in seasonal traditions and rural-life activities, this year’s event includes a lighthearted twist by honoring the presence of the museum’s newly discovered family of gnomes,” Remick officials said in announcing the 2019 event. “The day’s celebration takes place with and among these mischievous and friendly helpers, as well as the farm’s animals.”
According to staff at the museum and farm, the gnomes came to light after workers noticed that some of the farm chores seemed to be getting done by non-human hands.
But they not rattled by the discovery.
“There’s no need to be afraid. Gnomes can be mischievous but if treated well, are gentle caregivers of farm animals and assist with farm chores,” according to a statement issued by Remick Country Doctor Museum and Farm. “An unusual thing is that typically only one gnome lives on a farm, but we have so many buildings and animals that an entire village of gnomes must have settled here to take care of things.”
On Saturday, there will be a “Gnome on the Roam” scavenger hunt, which serves as a guide in visiting planned activities and learning the stories behind each gnome within the museum center across the grounds. Expect lots of selfie-taking.
Families also can make crafts, decorate sugar cookies, view a farmscape made of gingerbread and sample roasted chestnut treats made at an open hearth.
To honor the site’s historic past, visitors can check out the decorated apothecary to find medicinal remedies most associated with the season.
On the second floor of the center, the newly reinterpreted apartment of Doc and Marion Remick features a 1950s-style Christmas tree, a costumed museum interpreter, simple holiday touches, period music and foods.
Visitors can shuttle between the center and the cattle barn on a wagon and then add an ornament to the barn animals’ Christmas tree, meet a baby calf and read a seasonal story aloud to the critters.
The museum’s Hillsdale 4-H Dairy Club will help folks make a pinecone bird feeder to take home or leave for the farm’s wild birds.
Small gift items, Remick-raised meats, maple syrup, pantry and herbal products are available for purchase at the museum’s store.
Admission to Farmstead Christmas is $5; there is no charge for children ages 4 and under. Some activities are dependent upon weather conditions. All food samples and handcrafts are available while supplies last.
The event will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information, call 323-7591 or visit the Remick website at www.remickmuseum.org.