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Gingerbread House Contest to take center stage on NH Heritage Museum Trail

Those who love holiday traditions will take ‘sweet’ comfort at this year’s 30th Annual Gingerbread House Contest, hosted by Portsmouth Historical Society on the NH Heritage Museum Trail. “We are thrilled to keep our show free to enter and view, making it accessible to everyone,” said Kait Smith, Chair of the Gingerbread House Contest and Exhibition.

This year, houses will be placed throughout both floors of Portsmouth Historical Society to ensure social distance between visitors. “We are also taking it to the streets this year and will have houses displayed in store windows throughout downtown,” said Meredith Affleck, Manager, Exhibitions & Programming. “Folks will be able to take a checklist around to the various retailers and have it stamped.”

Upon returning, she said people can turn the stamped list in at Discover Portsmouth Welcome Center to enter a raffle for a $100 gift card to Cure and a $100 gift card to Roundabout Diner.

According to Smith, this year’s contest has taken on special significance. “While the world certainly looks a little different this year, it was so important to all of us on the Gingerbread House Exhibit committee to ensure that this event takes place,” she said.

According to Jeff Barraclough, president of the NH Heritage Museum Trail, many member institutions have founds creative ways to celebrate the holidays. “We have events for all ages and interests,” he said. “We hope people from all over check out what’s happening on The Trail this holiday season and support New Hampshire’s heritage.”

To learn more about the 30th Annual Gingerbread House Contest, or to enter a house (registration ends November 9), visit portsmouthhistory.org/gingerbread.

Formed in 2014 as a way to share resources and better promote their respective collections, programs and events, The NH Heritage Museum Trail is divided into the Seacoast, Merrimack Valley and Lakes Regions. 18 member institutions are located in Canterbury, Concord, Dover, Exeter, Laconia, Manchester, Moultonborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Tamworth and Wolfeboro. 

*Photo credit to Raya on Assignment

NH Heritage Museum Trail to take visitors “around the world” through history

On the NH Heritage Museum Trail in September, visitors can experience hundreds of years of history, highlighted by a virtual Around the World Flight Adventure at the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire in Londonderry. “Using a flight simulator and streaming video, we’ll take people around the planet and back again,” said Executive Director Jeff Rapsis. 

Designed as an online resource for students and teachers engaged in remote learning, Around the World Flight Adventure is open to anyone with a desire “to see the world’s great cities.” “You’ll learn about science, geography, history and culture along the way,” he added. “At a time when travel options are limited for most of us, it’s the ultimate field trip.”

To learn more, visit nhahs.org.

Vietnam: The Real War — A Photographic History from the Associated Press

In Wolfeboro, visitors will have their final look at Vietnam: The Real War — A Photographic History from the Associated Press at the Wright Museum of World War II. Sponsored by Service Credit Union, the exhibit features 50 photos taken during the 1960’s and 70’s and runs through September 27. “These are images you won’t forget nor the stories that accompany them,” said Executive Director Mike Culver. 

The region’s leading resource for educators and learners of all ages on World War II, The Wright features more than 14,000 items in its collection that are representative of both the home front and battle field.   To learn more, visit wrightmuseum.org.

Ladd-Gilman House

In Exeter, Curator Jen Carr will take visitors through a virtual tour of the American Independence Museum’s Ladd-Gilman House (c. 1721), home to former New Hampshire Gov. John Taylor Gilman, beginning in 1794. “It’s a chance to learn more about New Hampshire and the American Revolution,” said Carr, who noted the tours began in August and run through September.

Each 45-minute guided tour ends with a Q & A with Carr.  “All tours take place on the Zoom platform, so be ensure you have the app or software downloaded prior to the tour start time,” she added.

To learn more, visit independencemuseum.org.

Formed in 2014 as a way to share resources and better promote their respective collections, programs and events, The NH Heritage Museum Trail is divided into the Seacoast, Merrimack Valley and Lakes Regions. 18 member institutions are located in Canterbury, Concord, Dover, Exeter, Laconia, Manchester, Moultonborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Tamworth and Wolfeboro. 

Exhibitions going digital on the NH Heritage Museum Trail

Although not yet able to welcome visitors in-person, some museums on the NH Heritage Museum Trail have recently released online exhibitions.

At the Museum of the White Mountains in Plymouth, Trail Clubs: Connecting People with the Mountains explores the 140-year history of trail clubs and their role in the development of the White Mountains. “Our region’s mountain trails have served as a destination for visitors and residents seeking to challenge themselves or for scenic beauty, spiritual refreshment and fellowship,” said Director Cynthia Cutting. “This online exhibit explores this fascinating history.”

Originally shown in 2015-16.Trail Clubs: Connecting People with the Mountains represents an effort by the museum to revisit and reexamine past exhibits.

At the American Independence Museum in Exeter, Curator Jennifer Carr takes people back nearly 250 years through several online exhibits, one of which focuses on how Americans memorialize what is important to them. “In Commemoration and Memorialization,  we take visitors through some items in our collection to reveal the ways in which people throughout history commemorated the past,” she said.

One highlight from the exhibit includes a shingle from the Old Courthouse in Plymouth, New Hampshire where Daniel Webster made his first argument. “We take people around New England and through time in our exhibit,” added Carr.

To view Trail Clubs: Connecting People with the Mountains, visit plymouth.edu/mwm. To view Commemoration and Memorialization, visit independencemuseum.org.

Formed in 2014 as a way to share resources and better promote their respective collections, programs and events, The NH Heritage Museum Trail is divided into the Seacoast, Merrimack Valley and Lakes Regions. 18 member institutions are located in Canterbury, Concord, Dover, Exeter, Laconia, Manchester, Moultonborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Tamworth and Wolfeboro.

Millyard Museum hosts “Manchester’s Urban Ponds”

Now through November 28, Millyard Museum in Manchester will host Manchester’s Urban Ponds: Past, Present, and Future. The exhibit, said Director of Operations Jeff Barraclough, investigates “the surprisingly unique history of many ponds in Manchester.”

“There are images and memorabilia from Pine Island Park, ice harvesting tools recovered from Maxwell Pond and photos of the Hermit of Mosquito Pond,” he said. “We also have recently discovered film footage of ice skating at Dorrs Pond.”

The exhibit also highlights the work of the Manchester Urban Ponds Restoration Program, which has organized 116 clean-up events since 2000. “1,066 volunteers have spent approximately 3,618 hours collecting 2,394 bags of trash,” said Jen Drociak, acting coordinator of the Manchester Urban Ponds Restoration Program.

Over the past 20 years, she said the program has also worked on numerous on-the-ground restoration projects. “These include Maxwell Pond dam removal, Black Brook restoration and water quality improvements and stormwater mitigation efforts at Dorrs Pond, Crystal Lake and Nutts Pond,” she added.

According to Barraclough, the exhibit underscores not only the mission of the museum, which is to tell the story of Manchester, but the intent behind many member institutions on The Trail. “Many museums on The Trail help to tell the stories of where they are located,” explained Barraclough, who is also president of The Trail. “For us, we explore Manchester, but Trail museums help tell the story of so many cities and regions.”

Formed in 2014 as a way to share resources and better promote their respective collections, programs and events, The Trail is divided into the Seacoast, Merrimack Valley and Lakes Regions. Member institutions are located in Canterbury, Concord, Dover, Exeter, Laconia, Manchester, Moultonborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Tamworth and Wolfeboro.

For more information about Millyard Museum, visit manchesterhistoric.org

Popular Festival goes Virtual on NH Heritage Museum Trail

From now through July 16, the American Independence Museum is hosting its annual American Independence Festival, presented by Newburyport Bank, with several virtual twists. “Due to COVID-19, we needed to re-imagine the Festival, which historically attracts thousands of visitors to downtown Exeter,” said Emma Stratton, executive director of the American Independence Museum, a founding Trail member.

Noting this year’s re-imagined Festival features more than ten different events and/or programs, Stratton said one virtual highlight includes a virtual Presentation on July 11. “We will have our traditional opening salute and the premiere of a video on the history of the Festival,” she said. “We will also have a reading of the Declaration of Independence by Greg  Gilman, a direct descendant of the man who read it to the town of Exeter in 1776.”

Another virtual highlight includes a community-wide reading of the Declaration of Independence that will air on July 16, the day the Declaration of Independence arrived in Exeter. Other events include three lectures, town-wide scavenger hunt and more. “We are excited at the chance to welcome visitors from far and wide this year through a virtual platform,” added Stratton.

According to Jeff Barraclough, president of The Trail and director of operations at the Millyard Museum in Manchester, the American Independence Museum’s foray into the digital realm demonstrates capacity by many member institutions. “As a result of the pandemic, museums across the region have had to find new ways to reach their audiences, whether through virtual tours, social media, or developing online educational resources,” he said. “Although I know people will miss being at various events in person this year, many of our museums can reach people across the country now.”

Formed in 2014 as a way to share resources and better promote their respective collections, programs and events, The Trail is divided into the Seacoast, Merrimack Valley and Lakes Regions. Member institutions are located in Canterbury, Concord, Dover, Exeter, Laconia, Manchester, Moultonborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Tamworth and Wolfeboro.

For more information about the American Independence Festival, visit independencemuseum.org.

New exhibits on NH Heritage Museum Trail

Featuring 17 museums from Portsmouth to Plymouth and several points north and west, the NH Heritage Museum Trail recently opened two new exhibits.

Millyard Museum

Every four years, Manchester is visited by numerous presidential candidates campaigning in the New Hampshire Primary, a process that is explored in the new exhibit, “Manchester and the Path to the Presidency.” “The exhibit features incredible images of candidates through the years with Manchester voters in their homes, on the streets and in many iconic spots around the city,” said the museum’s Jeff Barraclough. “With this exhibit, we believe we demonstrate our pivotal role in American political history.”

Sponsored by Brady Sullivan Properties, the exhibit will be on view through February, 2020. To learn more, visit manchesterhistoric.org.

Wright Museum

In Wolfeboro at Wright Museum, visitors will have the chance to view “The Last Good War: The Faces and Voices of World War II,” an exhibit sponsored by Taylor Community and The Weirs Times. The exhibit features photographs of World War II veterans by Thomas Sanders, who traveled the nation to record in pictures and words experiences from those who fought the “last good war.”

“This is not to be missed and only available for view through the end of our season on October 31,” said museum Executive Director Mike Culver. “We welcome all to see and learn more about ‘the greatest generation.’”

To learn more about the exhibit, visit wrightmuseum.org.

About The Trail

Comprised of 17 museums, the NH Heritage Museum Trail is divided into the Seacoast, Merrimack Valley and Lakes Regions with stops in Canterbury, Concord, Dover, Exeter, Laconia, Manchester, Moultonborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Tamworth, and Wolfeboro.

Art and walking tours on NH Heritage Museum Trail

In August on the New Hampshire Heritage Museum Trail, visitors will enjoy everything from art to walking tours.

Every Thursday during the summer months, the Currier Museum of Art offers special programs for children, youth and families from 11am to 2pm. On Thursday, August 22, Currier Museum of Art in Manchester will conclude its summer-long Art Explorer’s series with “Create your own Mythical Creature.”

The event invites visitors of all ages for drop-in art-making. Materials include: tempera paint, colorful yarn, feathers, googly eyes, gems, sequins, and animal print construction paper.

“Offering a creative and welcoming environment for community members is one of the museum’s priorities,” said Manager of School Tours and Youth Programs Amanda Horrocks.  “Programs like Art Explorers does just that by encouraging visitors to engage with art in new ways.”

To learn more about the Currier Museum of Art’s exhibitions and programs, visit currier.org

On Saturday, August 31, Remick Country Doctor Museum and Farm in Tamworth Village will host Color from Plants Fiber Dyeing Workshop, which will take participants through the art and craft of fiber dyeing with plants.

“We’re used to the idea that plants are food or pretty things to look at, but so many of our colors come from plants,” said Museum Educator and Herbalist Carol Felice. “To watch as a plant turns fabric a fabulous color is like playing with magic.”

Registration for the workshop closes on August 26. To learn more, visit remickmuseum.org

At Discover Portsmouth in Portsmouth, visitors can enjoy Portsmouth Women’s History Walking Tours every fourth Wednesday and third Friday of the month through October 18.

According to Walking Tour Manager Robin Lurie-Meyerkopf, these 75 minute “engaging tours” take guests through the city’s “many beautiful sites” while providing education on the history of Portsmouth women.

“There are a lot of stories told about men but not many about the strong women of this time,” she said. “We started this tour because we realized women have a lot of untold stories, too.”

To learn more, visit portsmouthhistory.org.

Comprised of 17 museums, the NH Heritage Museum Trail is divided into the Seacoast, Merrimack Valley and Lakes Regions with stops in Canterbury, Concord, Dover, Exeter, Laconia, Manchester, Moultonborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Tamworth, and Wolfeboro.

 

Upcoming events in Merrimack Valley Region on NH Heritage Museum Trail

In June, the NH Heritage Museum Trail features numerous events in the Merrimack Valley Region expected to attract many visitors.

Aviation Museum of New Hampshire

On Saturday, June 8 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., the museum will host Nashua BBQ Fly-in at Nashua Airport. All forms of transportation from car, train, bus, or motorcycle are welcome.

For more information on either event or Aviation Museum of New Hampshire, visit www.aviationmuseumofnh.org.

Canterbury Shaker Village

On Wednesday, June 19 at 5 p.m., Canterbury Shaker Village in Canterbury will celebrate its 50th- anniversary with a Gala and Auction.

The festive celebration, sponsored by Elektrisola Incorporated, Merrimack County Savings Bank, Northeast Delta Dental, and CGI Business Solutions, will include hors d‘oeuvres, dinner, entertainment, and silent and live auctions.

The event is $150.00 per person and begins at 5 p.m. in the Horse Barn. At 6:30 p.m., the event will be moved to the North Shop for a shaker inspired dinner and live auction.

On Saturday and Sunday, June 29 and 30, Canterbury Shaker Village will hold Traditional Craft Days from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This two-day event, sponsored by New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, will include many vendors as well as demonstrators in woodworking, weaving, rug hooking, brook making, oval box making, letterpress printing and more. There will also be hands-on activities, music, and food.

Special guided tours will be offered for an extra fee of $10.

To learn more about either event or Canterbury Shaker Village, visit www.shakers.org.

Currier Museum of Art

On Sunday, June 2, the Palace Theatre in Manchester will hold its 15th Annual Kitchen Tour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., which this year features a partnership with the Currier Museum of Art. In addition to exploring some of the finest kitchen designs in Bedford, Manchester, and Amherst, the event will also include the historic Zimmerman House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
The Palace Theatre’s Kitchen Tour will also offer an open-seated luncheon at Baron’s Major Brands catered by O Steaks and Seafood. There will also be an after-party from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Frank Webb Home. Ticket sales benefit The Palace Theatre.

For more information, visit www.currier.org.

New Hampshire Historical Society

On Tuesday, June 25, the NH Historical Society in Concord will offer Tales of New Hampshire Family Storytime.

This weekly one-hour program includes a shared story about the Granite State and a visit to the exhibition, Discovering New Hampshire, to see museum objects related to the stories.

The stories include iconic New Hampshire figures like the Old Man of the Mountain.

Sponsored by Concord Pediatric Dentistry, Tales of New Hampshire Family Storytime is free of charge and takes place on Tuesday mornings at 10 a.m. for six weeks from June 25 to July 30.

For more information on the New Hampshire Historical Society and their events visit www.nhhistory.org.

Albacore Park welcomes new executive director

Chartered as a nonprofit entity in 1985 as Portsmouth Submarine Memorial Association, Albacore Park Submarine and Museum—as it is better known—recently welcomed Patricia Violette as executive director.

With more than twenty years experience in nonprofit management and museum leadership, including stints at Shirley-Eustis Historic House in Boston and Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum in Warner, NH among others, Violette expressed enthusiasm at her latest position.

“I’ve always had a military kinship with the Navy, as my father served his 20 years during WWII and beyond,” she said. “I’ve had experience with historic houses and culturally centric museums and began to search out a more unique experience, and here I am at a submarine museum.”

In looking ahead to the museum’s future, she said she cannot help but look back at the unique story behind the USS Albacore Submarine (AGSS 569). An experimental research vessel launched in 1953 during the Cold War era, the USS Albacore was intended to use size, shape and battery power to increase functional speeds while submerged.

“No weaponry of any kind was ever furnished on-board,” she explained. “Most of our visitors are stunned to learn that the Albacore never held torpedoes.”

Expressing the hope that the museum exceeds last year’s visitation numbers—42,000, which she described as “amazing”—Violette said she is also excited to be part of the NH Heritage Museum Trail.

“We cannot do this all by ourselves,” she said. “Being part of a larger network to discuss ideas for event planning and collaborations as well as kicking around fundamental policy issues that face nonprofit sites is vital to the survival of our organizations.”

Comprised of 17 museums, the NH Heritage Museum Trail is divided into the Seacoast, Merrimack Valley and Lakes Regions with stops in Canterbury, Concord, Dover, Exeter, Laconia, Manchester, Moultonborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Tamworth, and Wolfeboro.

According to Violette, there is tremendous potential in The Trail.

“I am very interested in the creation of a Heritage Museum Site Muster where we would all gather for an all day retreat,” she said. “We could discuss various strategies for increasing visitation, PR, social media, programming, collaboration and statewide opportunities for a possible passbook program that could run all summer.”

Albacore Park opens for the 2019 season on March 3. To learn more, visit ussalbacore.org.

New Exhibit Opens on the NH Heritage Museum Trail”

In the Merrimack Valley portion of the NH Heritage Museum Trail, the Millyard Museum recently unveiled a new exhibit, “Manchester and the Great War,” which is open through the end of the year.

The exhibit’s run coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended the Great War on Nov. 11, 1918. According to John Clayton, executive director of the Manchester Historic Association, which operates the museum, items in the exhibit will include everything from weapons, uniforms and flags to photographs and other ephemera.

“The exhibit explores the impact of World War I on the city of Manchester and the many men from the community who took part in the conflict,” he said.
military funeral
(The caisson bearing the flag-draped casket of Lt. William H. Jutras was the focal point of the somber funeral ceremony that was held at St. Raphael’s Parish in Manchester in 1921. Manchester Historic Association Photo.)

Lead curator for the exhibit is Manchester Historic Association (MHA) Research Manager Daniel Peters, an Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient who was wounded in combat in Afghanistan.

“The first World War is really a forgotten topic in our society,” said Peters. “More information is available about World War II mostly due to the large number of veterans who are still around. World War I participants are gone now, and history dies quickly if there isn’t a direct link to the days of the past.”

Each Saturday during the month of November, the Millyard Museum will host screenings of World War I films such as “Sergeant York,” Paths of Glory” and “All Quiet on the Western Front” to provide additional context on the Great War.

According to Mike Culver, president of The Trail and executive director of the Wright Museum of WW II, exhibits like“Manchester and the Great War” serve a deep purpose.

“The Millyard Museum, like all the museums on The Trail, helps provide a deeper context into various events throughout history,” he said. “There is also more to history than initially meets the eye, which makes The Trail such a fascinating resource for the state.”

The 15,000 square foot Millyard Museum features the permanent exhibit, Woven in Time: 11,000 Years at Amoskeag Falls, that tells the story of Manchester and the people who have lived and worked here.

For more information on “Manchester and the Great War,”visit www.manchesterhistoric.org.

In total, 17 museums make up the NH Heritage Museum Trail, which is broken down into three branches: Seacoast, Merrimack Valley and Lake Region. Stops on The Trail include Canterbury, Concord, Dover, Exeter, Laconia, Manchester, Moultonborough, Plymouth, Tamworth, and Wolfeboro.

New exhibit to open at The Currier

For those looking to explore the Merrimack Valley Region of The New Hampshire Heritage Museum Trail, the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester is currently installing an innovative new exhibit that opens on September 15.

Hauling is an installation by Ethan Murrow, a well known artist whose work may be found in many public, private and corporate collections throughout the world. It was influenced by the labor and industry of the Manchester region and created with the help of other artists, craftspeople, and historians from the area. Its most salient feature is a 100-foot long panoramic wall drawing and a 52-foot long drawing of rope imagery animated by a kinetic sculpture.

“The kinetic sculpture slowly rotating the 52-foot looped drawing is loosely based on looms and the newspaper printing press,” said Sam Cataldo, assistant curator at The Currier. “It also shares the basic mechanism of the machinery that powered the Amoskeag mills using the water of the Merrimack River.”

According to Cataldo, Murrow has drawn inspiration from Manchester’s complex history that includes colonial intervention, a home of native communities, rapid industrialization, post-industrial decline, and high-tech reinvention.

“He sees Manchester as an icon of the rise, fall, and reinvention of industrialization throughout the region’s history,” she said.

Regarding the exhibit’s collaborative nature, Cataldo said it reflects Murrow’s interpretation of the labor process behind building Manchester itself.

“Murrow recognized correlations with his own artistic practice of creating epic constructions requiring highly skilled craft and immense collaborative labor,” she said.

Currently, the exhibit installation process itself is open to the public with the exception of Saturdays. In addition, there will be a night event from 6 to 9 p.m. on September 6 during which visitors can the view the process and interact with Murrow.

To learn more about Hauling, which opens on September 15, visit www.currier.org.

The Currier is one of 17 museums on the NH Heritage Museum Trail with stops in Canterbury, Concord, Dover, Exeter, Laconia, Manchester, Moultonborough, Plymouth, Tamworth and Wolfeboro.

The Libby Museum opens with Amy Piper’s Photo Exhibit

In June and July, local photographer Amy Piper is on show at The Libby, located in the Lakes Region portion of the NH Heritage Museum Trail in Wolfeboro. Her textures and landscapes are stunning, and many images are for sale.

Now open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 to 4pm and Sundays from 12 to 4 pm, The Libby is free to children and veterans and $5/adult. There are few places more beautiful than The Libby and few photographers more gifted than Piper.

Amy Piper

Her passion for photography runs the gamut from nature and landscape to texture, abstract, and detail. Her mother used to tell her she saw the world through “rose colored glasses.” She prefers to think with her eye for detail, as she sees the potential beauty in everything and tries to bring beauty to life through her camera lens for others to enjoy and appreciate.

Piper is owner and creative designer of Signature Events, a local wedding and event planning company now celebrating its 19th year. Locally, she belongs to the Lakes Region Photography Club where she has been a member for several years.

She was given her first camera when she turned 16. Growing up in Connecticut, she was inspired by her parents who were both talented artists and photographers. She remembers her mom developing her own pictures in “the family bathroom turned dark room” where one had to knock on the door before entering.

The Libby is one of 17 museums on the NH Heritage Museum Trail with stops in Canterbury, Concord, Dover, Exeter, Laconia, Manchester, Moultonborough, Plymouth, Tamworth and Wolfeboro. To learn more about The Trail and its member museums, visit www.nhmuseumtrail.org.

To learn more about The Libby, or Piper, visit www.thelibbymuseum.org or www.amypiperphotography.com.