Four museums along the NH Heritage Museum Trail have made the Union Leader’s Top 10 Places for History Lovers. These museums include Wright Museum of World War II, American Independence Museum, Millyard Museum and Canterbury Shaker Village.
Each unique and covering a portion—or nearly all—of various aspects of NH history, the 17 museums that make of the NH Heritage Museum Trail are broken into three three sections—Lakes Region, Seacoast and Merrimack Valley.
Many of these museum are nationally known, including Canterbury Shaker Village in the Merrimack portion of The Trail. Just north of Concord in a 700-acre rural setting with 25 original Shaker buildings, Canterbury is one of the largest and best preserved of some 19 Shaker communities that flourished in this country in the 19th century, according to Susan Bennett, executive director.
“It’s distinguished for being a National Historic Landmark,” she added.
At Canterbury, visitors may tour the Shaker buildings, observe craft demonstrations, and learn about Shaker spirituality and communitarian values. Tour highlights are the distinctive 1792 gambrel-roofed meetinghouse, a large dwelling house, the infirmary building, and shops and mills used for Shaker agriculture and industry.
Michael Culver, executive director of the Wright Museum in Wolfeboro (Lakes Region section) and president of The Trail, said he is excited at the recognition received by member museums.
“There are so many extraordinary things to see, learn about and explore within our museums,” he said. “I am proud The Trail is recognized for that and hopeful visitors can visit every museum in each section. While each museum is different in what it offers, every member provides a first-class, unique look t history itself that is available nowhere else.”
The Wright features more than 14,000 items that commemorate the battlefields and home front from WWII. In the Seacoast Region of The Trail in Exeter, the American Independence Museum educates visitors on Revolutionary history through tours, program and events. Located in the Merrimack Valley Region of The Trail along with Canterbury, the Millyard Museum in Manchester showcases the city’s history of textile mills and offers lectures, tours, concerts and school programs.
In total, there are 17 museums on the NH Heritage Museum Trail. Stops on The Trail include Canterbury, Concord, Dover, Exeter, Laconia, Manchester, Moultonborough, Plymouth, Tamworth, and Wolfeboro.