By early June, all museums on the NH Heritage Trail will be open with nearly every member organization offering some new program, exhibit or special event.
“This year, diversity is probably what best describes what we have to offer,” said Michael Culver, NH Heritage Trail president and executive director of the Wright Museum of WWII in Wolfeboro. “We offer many opportunities for the whole family to enjoy, too, so we appeal to a wide audience.”
Coinciding with the thirtieth anniversary of the USS Albacore’s return to Portsmouth,, Albacore Park has embarked upon an ambitious $1.2 million dollar renovation of the basin in which the Albacore resides. The museum is also opening two exhibits with the first providing an overview of the Albacore’s 19-year career as the forerunner of modern submarines. It also provides candid in-depth explorations of daily life for the sailors that served aboard it and the many record-breaking firsts the Albacore achieved.
According to Albacore Executive Director Jim Craig, the second exhibit represents a collaborative effort between the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, the Kittery Historical & Naval Museum, and famed timepiece manufacturer Chelsea Clock. “It explores the intricate and unforgiving world of navigating and timekeeping beneath the waves where even the simplest of mistakes can lead to disaster,” he added. “It’s a pretty exciting exhibit.”
At the Libby Museum in Wolfeboro, visitors will be able to enjoy nature at recently constructed Woodland Walk, which is located on property grounds and will highlight some of the tree species that Dr. Libby planted years ago.
“This outdoor extension of the museum has endless opportunities for people to be outside and enjoy nature with views of Mirror Lake, Lake Winnipesaukee, the Mount Shaw range and the Belknap range,” noted Lauren Hammond, Museum director. “Dr. Libby knew this and once planned to open up the view for all to see and enjoy.”
At the Aviation Museum of NH in Londonderry, a grant from the Cogswell Benevolent Trust will enable it to provide visitors with “a complete experience of flying an aircraft without leaving the ground.”
“We plan to purchase in the very near future an Elite Pilot Deck and Monitor Mount Kit that will allow us to professionally display our state of the art flight simulator,” said Wendell Berthelsen, director of operations. “It will provide comfortable adjustable seating to go along with three 32 foot computer screens.”
In looking at the offerings on the Trail as a whole, Culver expressed enthusiasm for 2016, which he said should be its busiest year yet. “There is a lot to see and do on the Trail,” he noted. “We collectively look forward to welcoming tens of thousands of visitors to the state as well as locals to some of the best museums in the region. We no longer want to be the state’s best kept secret.”
Museums on the Trail include the Aviation Museum, Albacore Park, American Independence Museum, Castle in the Clouds, Lake Winnipesaukee Museum, Libby Museum, Millyard Museum, Museum of the White Mountains, New Hampshire Boat Museum, New Hampshire Farm Museum, Portsmouth Historical Society @ Discover Portsmouth, Remick Country Doctor Museum and Farm, The Belknap Mill, Woodman Museum, and Wright Museum of WWII.