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Gold LEAF Institute Course Catalogue

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Tour of Farmington Historical Society's Historic Buildings


with Claudia Bell

Calendar Aug 5, 2024 at 10 am


Spend a summer afternoon as guests of the Farmington Historical Society on a walking tour of their historic buildings:  North Church, Octagon House, and Titcomb House Museum.  All the buildings are on High Street in Farmington within one block of each other.  Step inside each building and learn about the stories of Farmington's past.  There will be refreshments and a chance to browse through the museum.

​Pets:  Due to safety and liability issues, no pets are allowed at GLI events. Exceptions may be made for service animals, upon request.

August 5, 2024

10 am - 12 pm

Rain Date:  August 6, 2024, 10 am-12 pm

Location:  Farmington Historical Society 

118 Academy St, Farmington, ME 04938

Claudia Bell has been active in the Farmington Historical Society for nine years in the roles of secretary and board member. Currently, she shares curatorial duties and is a correspondent for historical and genealogical queries from the society's website and email. Lately, she has been involved with mapping the Meeting House Cemetery behind the courthouse as well as researching and cleaning headstones at Riverside Cemetery.

Jane Woodman and Marion Scharoun will be co-presenters. Jane and Marion both serve on the FHS board, Jane is the president, and Marion is the committee chair of the Octagon House.


Will run

A Victorian Trip Up the Nile in 3-D


with Bernard Fishman

Calendar Aug 15, 2024 at 11 am


This presentation will use rare 19th-century stereo photographs, projected in 3-D (special paper glasses will be provided), to show what the Victorian traveler in Egypt would see in the early, adventurous period of visitation there from 1870-1900. From Alexandria to Abu Simbel, the world of Ancient Egypt will be revealed as it was before the arrival of modern times and mass tourism.

August 15

10 am

Fusion 101

Bernard is the director of the Maine State Museum and began his career as an Egyptologist working in Luxor, Egypt, as an archaeologist for the University of Chicago.

Will run

Walking the Path of Humanity


with Eileen Kreutz

Calendar Aug 23, 2024 at 1 pm


Starting in 2013, the National Geographic site has offered dispatches from Paul Salopek, who had set a goal of walking Out of Eden (Ethiopia) 24,000 miles to the tip of South America.  As of this writing, he is in China, but he has already traipsed across 17 countries. His focal points vary from anthropology to environment to human discovery and inventions.

This presentation will focus on themes and adventures along the way. Paul is an awesome writer, and his thoughts and encounters (with humans and animals) are insightful. He calls this “slow journalism” and the photos will be worth our “trek.”

Friday, August 23

1 pm 

Location: Ed Ctr, room 112

Eileen has worn many hats with Gold LEAF and is happy to share this presentation, which the Curriculum Committee has endorsed.

Will run

The Rise and Fall of the Ottoman Empire:


with Charles Parker

Calendar Sep 3, 2024 at 4 pm, runs for 4 weeks


The history of the Ottoman Empire is not well known in the United States. Yet the Ottoman Empire's influence on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has been significant and an understanding of the Ottomans assists with an understanding of current events.

The class will begin with the Osman family, the rise of the family in Anatolia, and the militant contention between the Muslim Ottomans and the Christian West.

The fall of Constantinople in 1453 and the threats to Vienna in 1526 and 1683 defined Muslim/Christian relations until today. The empire's collapse in 1920 created a crisis in the Islamic world that reverberated throughout the Middle East.

4 Sessions

September 3, 10, 17, 24. 

4 pm-5:30 pm

Location: Ed Ctr, room 111 (lower level)

Chuck (his friend calls him Chuck) was born at a very young age and attended public schools in Greenland and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He surprised many people by graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a variety of classes that reflected a wide range of interests.

He, with his wife Diane, moved first to northeast Oklahoma and then to Joplin, Missouri, where Chuck found employment as a chemistry teacher. He had a highly successful career in Joplin teaching chemistry at Crowder Junior College and Missouri Southern State University. As a retirement project, Chuck attended Pittsburg State University in Kansas and earned a master's degree that focused on radical Islamic ideology with a thesis arguing Hamas's legitimacy.

Now Chuck enjoys reading and teaching about Middle Eastern history. As a Plant Science major at UNH, Chuck has retained a strong interest in botany and paints flowers on rocks that are seen frequently in Farmington. He, with Dan Meade, also builds the sets at Sparrow's Nest Theater in the theater district of the metropolis of Industry, Maine, population of 944.  Sometimes Chuck plays French horn at Henderson Memorial Baptist Church. He has performed as John Colter, a mountain man, and as Joseph Plumb Martin, a Connecticut soldier of the American Revolutionary War.

Will run

T.E. Lawrence and Gertrude Bell


with Diane Parker

Calendar Oct 9, 2024 at 11 am


Gertrude Bell has been forgotten by most people. Both she and & T.E. Lawrence led unconventional lives.

Both were enthralled by the Middle East.  They were immeasurably helpful to the British in the upheaval in the Middle East before, during, and after WWI. Join Diane in getting to know these two remarkable people.

2 Sessions

October 9, 16

11 am-12:30 pm

Fusion Center, 101

Diane, in college, majored in history and continues to be a history geek. While Diane's husband was working on a master's in history emphasizing the Middle East, there was no way she would not be interested.

In Proofreading, and listening to the practice of oral defense, the subjects of this presentation captured Diane's attention, and she decided to investigate their lives.

Will run

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