Museum's season is in full bloom

The restored 1902 Pullman rail car “Sunbeam” on the grounds of Hildene, speaks to Robert Todd Lincoln’s career as president of the Pullman company, and is among the museum’s most popular attractions.

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MANCHESTER — Hildene educators will provide choices of two programs designed to be held on school grounds or for homeschoolers.

Both are held outside and all Hildene science education programs support the Next Generation Science Standards.

Students in grades 2-5 will discover how colder temperatures and shorter days bring about many changes in the world around them in the “Winter Adaptations: Coping with the Cold” program.

While investigating forest life through observation and exploration, they will discover the ways plants and trees adapt to winter’s challenges and learn the remarkable survival strategies and complex language of calls of Vermont’s familiar black-capped chickadee.

Weather permitting, students will also take an up-close look at the unique designs of snowflakes and examine the processes that form them.

In the “Under and Over the Snow” program, students in grades 1-3 and 4-5 will search for the answers to the question: How do animals adapt to Vermont’s long cold winter?

Through outdoor activities, they will examine the survival strategies of animals in winter and learn basic track identification skills. They will then put those skills to use as they examine prints and track patterns, learn to move like the mammals do, and practice their tracking skills in the woods nearby.

“Windows to the Past” offered through April for students in Grades 5-12 can only be experienced during an on-site visit to Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home.

Students take a tour of the historic home, built by presidential son Robert Lincoln and his wife Mary in 1905. During their visit, they will learn about the family and their lives at the turn of the century. They will also visit the exhibit The American Ideal: Abraham Lincoln and the Second Inaugural, which includes one of Lincoln’s stovepipe hats; one of only three in existence.

Robert Lincoln, a captain of industry, served as president of the Pullman Company from 1901 to 1911. Students learn about his Pullman career through a visit to the railway platform of Hildene’s fully restored 1903 Pullman car, Sunbeam.

The interpretive exhibit “Many Voices” focuses on the Pullman Company that built the cars; the privileged families and executives who traveled in them and the Pullman porters who worked in them. The fourth voice is that of those who visit the car and the conclusions they draw from the experience.

The cost for programs held on-site at school is $3 per student. The program fee is $25 per homeschool family.

All Hildene education programs follow the State of Vermont COVID-19 Guidelines. For more information or to register for a program, contact Education Director, Diane Newton at or call 802.874.4787.


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