Washburn Family History


The Washburn Name


The name Washburn  is derived from two simple words: wash, which applies to the swift moving current of a stream, and burn or bourne, a brook or small stream. It has been said of the family, whose origin is in England, that the posterity of John Washburn, the first immigrant of that name to settle in New England, "will seldom find occasion to blush upon looking back upon the past lives of those from whom they have descended. Fortunate indeed may the generations now in being esteem themselves, if they can be sure to bequeath to their posterity an equal source of felicitation."

In this illustrious family have been found some of our nation's greatest characters, in public and private life, statesmen and military men in all the American wars. Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin have all had governors from the Washburn family. Three brothers served as congressmen from three states at the same time. Authors and college graduates may be found to a score or more, who have left their impress upon the world. 

In England a John Washburn was the first secretary of the Council of Plymouth, and was succeeded in office in 1628 by William Burgess, but it is not known that he was identical with John Washburn of Dexbury, in 1632, nor is it known that the New England Washburns, the descendants of John, were of kin to William, Daniel and John Washburn who had land upon Long Island as early as 1653, but whose names soon afterwards disappeared from the records there. 



The Norlands 

email: norlands@norlands.org

web site www.norlands.org

Near Livermore, Maine, one finds today a white-spired, typically New England church, a big, once lovely, old 25 room mansion, and the stone Washburn Memorial Library; all on the hillside farm where the family lived. The historic home of the Washburn family is known as Norlands, and annual Heritage Festivals are held here. The buildings on the more than 300 acre estate are open to the public during July and August. 

  290 Norlands Road  

Livermore, ME 04253  

phone: 207-897-4366 fax: 207-897-4963  

website: Washburn-Norlands Living History Center And Museum  

Our Mission:

Our mission is to preserve the heritage and traditions of rural life in Maine's past, to celebrate the achievements of Livermore's Washburn family, and to use living history methods to make values, activities, and issues of the past relevant to present and future generations. 


The Washburn-Norlands Living History Center is a non-profit living museum, dedicated to the preservation of 18th and 19th century rural Maine heritage.

The Washburn-Norlands Foundation was formed in 1973, at the bequest of the Washburn Family descendants. It was then converted into a living history museum with the intent of preserving the estate and the amazing stories of its past.

Today the organization is run by the Board of Trustees, who together ensure the protection of the estate, its collections and their future.

The Washburn-Norlands estate is occupied by four historic buildings, the Mansion, Library, Meeting House and School House. Each building has been restored and operates as a museum. The Norland is home to a number of collections; including artwork, original Washburn artifacts, historic clothing, books, furniture and much more.


Source: Jeannette Brownell                        home           back                 next