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Sheldon Museum educates the public on dairy history

MIDDLEBURY — June is Dairy Month, and to celebrate, the Sheldon Museum will present a series of entertaining programs the weekend of June 14. The festivities are taking place in conjunction with the Sheldon’s current exhibit, “From Dairy to Doorstep: Milk Delivery in New England.”
The “Must Be The Milk” truck, a traveling educational component of the New England Dairy Promotion Board, will be at the Sheldon on Friday, June 14, from 4-7 p.m. The visit is part of a limited-time tour during June when the truck is stopping at various venues throughout New England to celebrate our dairy farmers and the value they bring to our land, community, economy and health. The Sheldon Museum is the only stop the truck will make in Addison County. Visitors will have an opportunity to sample award-winning Vermont cheese and other dairy products and enjoy interactive activities — spin the prize wheel and win. All are encouraged to stop by the Sheldon, view the truck, enjoy dairy samples and raise a glass in support of local dairy people.
To further celebrate milk, former Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Roger Allbee will present a talk on the history of dairy in Vermont, also on June 14, at 6:30 p.m.
The next day, Saturday, June 15, the whole family is invited to the Family Fun Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sheldon. This event is free with museum admission. A delicious variety of pies, cookies, sweet breads and cupcakes will be sold to benefit the museum. Children of all ages can play with toys and games, learn to sew a patchwork quilt block, enter the jump rope contest, and enjoy the Henry Sheldon Puppet show,“A Bear Story.” The museum’s Children’s Hands-On Room offers little ones the opportunity to write on slates, dress-up in 18th- and 19th-century costumes, read stories and try the trundle bed. Music will be a big part of the day too. The whole family will enjoy listening to lively tunes on the back porch by O’hAnleigh’s Cindy Hill and Tom Hanley or tapping their toes to the banjo beats of Mike Connor and friends.
The Sheldon’s exhibits will be open during the weekend as well. “From Dairy to Doorstep: Milk Delivery in New England,” in partnership with Historic New England, tells the history of milk delivery from the days of the horse and cart to modern times. It also features artifacts from Monument Farms Dairy as well as an extensive collection of cheese- and butter-making artifacts from a private collection. The exhibit has received generous financial underwriting from Cabot Creamery, the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, Monument Farms Dairy, Foster Brothers Farm, Phoenix Feeds & Nutrition, and Yankee Farm Credit, and educational materials from the New England Dairy & Food Council as well as the New England Dairy Promotion Board.
“Town Bands” uses early photographs of the Rutland City Band and the Middlebury Town Band as well as samples of band uniforms and musical instruments from the Sheldon Museum collection to illustrate the importance of music in the social life of Vermonters during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The exhibit anticipates the museum’s annual Pops Concert and fireworks on Friday, June 28.
The Henry Sheldon Museum is located at 1 Park St. in downtown Middlebury across from Ilsley Public Library. Admission is $5 adults; $3 youth (6-18); $4.50 seniors; $12 family. For more information about the exhibit and related programs, visit www.henrysheldonmuseum.org or call 388-2117. 

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