Berlin’s Taylor House Museum Eyes Season Of Diverse Events

Berlin’s Taylor House Museum Eyes Season Of Diverse Events
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BERLIN – The Calvin B. Taylor House Museum will kick off the 2021 season with a schedule of new events aimed at increasing interest in the local landmark.

As opening day nears on May 18, museum volunteers are prepping for a series of new events they hope will renew community interest in the facility.

“We’re sort of that hidden gem that people aren’t aware of,” said Melissa Reid, president of the museum.

The Taylor House Museum, located on Main Street in Berlin, is open each May through October to showcase local history. Though the museum hosted concerts on its lawn on Sundays during the summer for years, Reid said the museum’s team of volunteers decided it was time for a change.

“When it started it was one of the few places you could see live music in Berlin,” she said. “It was something that was not happening in town. Now, there are so many opportunities for live music in Berlin.”

While the museum will still host a concert on the lawn July 11, a variety of other events have been developed to showcase the facility throughout the summer and fall. In June, a weekend-long film fest will celebrate the movies of Berlin — Tuck Everlasting and Runaway Bride. Guest speaker Jack Gerbes from the Maryland Film Commission, who helped bring Tuck Everlasting to Berlin, will talk about the process Friday June 11. On Saturday June 12, Tuck Everlasting will be shown on the lawn while Runaway Bride will be shown on the lawn Sunday, June 13. Inside the museum itself, visitors will be able to see production notes, movie scripts and some crew items.

“All of these artifacts will be on display,” Reid said.

Following a concert from the Old School OC Band on July 11, the museum will host its popular Peach Festival on Aug. 7 and a family storytelling event on Aug. 8.

In September, the museum will partner with The Greyhound, the book store on Main Street, to host a book festival. On Saturday, Sept. 12, Tracks author Marie Grosskettler will speak about the writing process. On Sunday, Grosskettler and three other authors whose books involve Berlin—Susan Ayres Wimbrow, Joe Moore and Mindie Burgoyne—will read from their works and offer book signings.

In October, the museum will host a new event called Homecoming Harvest on Oct. 10 that will kick off Worcester County History Week. Because the Peach Festival has become so popular with visitors, Reid said the museum wanted to offer an event geared toward locals. Homecoming Harvest will feature genealogy tables, performances by local music groups and oral history gathering sessions. Local nonprofits will also be set up.

“We see it as showcasing our community,” Reid said.

In focusing on history, Reid said the event would also provide a good alternative to Berlin’s annual schedule of special events, as most of those take place in the town’s commercial center.

“Berlin is a good mix of commerce and community,” Reid said. “We can provide emphasis on community.”

The Taylor House Museum will round out the year with a performance from the Ocean Pines Players, candlelight tours and classical Christmas events.

Along with the new events, another change at the museum this year is the addition of some ticketed events that will be free to members. The guest speaker event on June 11 will be ticketed. Tickets will be $20 or free for members. Another ticketed event will be the address from author Marie Grosskettler.

Reid said inclusion of some ticketed events was made to show members they were receiving some value for their membership. In the past, members received a newsletter and free admission to the museum. With the newsletter now online, Reid said an effort was made to create a few free-to-members events each year.

“We realized this provided a good opportunity to give back to our members,” she said.

For more information on the museum or to become a member, visit Information on volunteer opportunities is also available online. Interested individuals can volunteer at specific events or work as docents, which Reid said were always needed.

“We want people interested in history,” she said, adding that volunteers didn’t need to have a background on Berlin history. “None of us know everything there is to know. We have a packet we give to docents.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.