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New Hampshire Heritage Museum Trail Puts Spotlight on Castle in the Clouds

Originally called Lucknow, Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough sits on 6,300-acres developed in 1913 by Tomas G. Plant, a wealthy shoe manufacturer, to create a luxurious lifestyle.

“At the time, the estate featured state-of-the-art amenities, beautiful hand-made furnishings, and a large staff to run it,” explained Executive Director Charles Clark.

Today, visitors come from across the world to tour the mansion and exhibit gallery, dine in the Carriage House Restaurant or Café in the Clouds, and hike miles of trails maintained by Lakes Region Conservation Trust.

A founding member of the New Hampshire Heritage Museum Trail, Castle in the Clouds has also become well known for its wide variety of events held year-round. This upcoming Labor Day Weekend is no exception, beginning with Castle Close-Up Tour: The Servant Experience on Friday, September 1 at 5:30 p.m.

“This special tour kicks off Labor Day Weekend and will highlight the many ways labor was involved in the building and operation of Lucknow,” said Clark.  “It’s an interesting tour that explores the living quarters and workspaces of the estate staff in an effort to better understand  the servant experience and their stories.”

Tuesdays on the Terrace

On Monday, September 4 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Castle in the Clouds will host Labor Day Family Picnic & Mini Parade. At this event, visitors are invited to bring their own picnic lunch or purchase food on the property. During the picnic, visitors may participate in activities, including lawn games and make-your-own musical instruments, followed by a mini parade around the field at 1:45 p.m.

“If you want to participate, bring recycled materials, including cans, tissue boxes, paper towel rolls, bottles, jar lids, or anything else you think you could turn into an instrument,” Clark added.

Labor Day Weekend at Castle in the Clouds concludes with Putting Human Faces on the Textile Industry: The Workers of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company on Monday, September 4 at 5:00 p.m. During this presentation, made possible by a grant from the New Hampshire Humanities: Humanities To Go program, guests will glean insights into the daily life of Amoskeag Manufacturing Company textile workers in the early 1900’s.

“It’s a fascinating look at how people from European countries and French Canada made the transition from an agrarian to an industrial society,” said Clark. “It’s a look into how these changes affected families, local cultures, the nature of work itself, and relationships among workers.”

In talking about their membership in the New Hampshire Heritage Trail, Clark said he hopes Castle in the Clouds can inspire visitors to visit other member institutions throughout New Hampshire.

“New Hampshire is full of history, and there is no better way to experience it than on the New Hampshire Heritage Trail,” he said.“All of our members feature professional staff, fun events, and inspiring programs. Some members, like us, also feature incredible natural scenery that can be explored by walking trails, so there is no shortage of things to do.”

In addition to Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough, member institutions on The New Hampshire Heritage Museum Trail are located in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, Merrimack Valley, and Seacoast. To learn more about The Trail or any member institution, including Castle in the Clouds, click here.

Upcoming Events on the New Hampshire Heritage Trail

Aside from special programs, exhibits, virtual and in-person tours, the New Hampshire Heritage Museum Trail often features special events that provide visitors with unique experiences.

On Wednesday, August 25, Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough will take people back 100 years to the 1920s for a night of Gatsby-era music, dancing and fun to support restoration of the historic Lucknow estate. In addition to live music, the event will feature a buffet dinner and a live auction, which includes eight unique Castle experiences.

“People often express that when they visit the Castle and grounds, they feel like they could live here,” said Executive Director Charles Clark. “Offering opportunities to experience more private moments at Castle in the Clouds gives auction winners a taste of what it was like living here and the lifestyle that Tom and Olive Plant enjoyed in the early-to-mid 1900s.” 

To purchase tickets, or learn more about the auction (and experiences) or museum, click here.

On Saturday, September 11, Strawbery Banke will host its largest fundraiser, Vintage & Vine, returning for the 33rd year. Taking place outdoors throughout the Museum’s 10-acre site, heirloom gardens, and historic landscapes, the event features an extensive selection of fine wines and imaginative cuisine prepared by Greater Seacoast-area top chefs and caterers. 

“Acknowledging that this year’s event falls on September 11 and the enormous challenges of the pandemic, we are offering First Responders who purchase tickets and attend this event a complimentary individual one-year membership,” said Robyn Aldo, Vintage & Vine Event Chair and Strawbery Banke Trustee. “Existing members will get a three month extension.”

Featuring a mini-wine auction and raffle, the event is also a kick-off for the Vintage & Vine Online Auction, which runs through October 10 and includes home goods, great escapes, beauty products, health and fitness packages, and more.

To purchase tickets, or to learn more, click here.

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 Region. Member institutions are located in Canterbury, Concord, Dover, Exeter, Laconia, Loudon, Manchester, Moultonborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Tamworth and Wolfeboro.

Listen to the ‘Sounds of Music’ on the New Hampshire Heritage Museum Trail

This summer on the New Hampshire Heritage Museum Trail, many museums feature live music.

At the Woodman Museum in Dover, their Summer Concert Series continues through the first week in August. On Sunday, July 25, Great Bay Sailor will perform an extensive repertoire of maritime, Irish/Scottish, British, and old-timey music. On Saturday, July 31, the series welcomes Reverend Todd Seely, whose musical talents draw from Americana, country, bluegrass, gospel, rock and roll, and punk rock. Comprised of key brass players from the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra, the Portsmouth Brass Quintet will perform on Saturday, August 7.

Reverend Todd Seely performs at the Woodman Museum

For tickets, or to learn more, click here.

Part of their Concerts in the Clouds series, Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough will host Classic Albums Live, who will perform The Eagles’ Hotel California, on Saturday, July 31. To learn more, click here.

Classic Albums Live to perform at Castle in the Clouds

Held from June 22 – September 14, Strawbery Banke’s Tuesdays on the Terrace will welcome the Chuck Walker Trio on Saturday, August 3. Blending a classic mix of jazz, blues, and soulful grooves, the Chuck Walker Trio celebrates the music of Django Reinhardt, Miles Davis, Antonio Carlos Jobim, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, and others. 

To learn more about the series or Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth, click here.

Formed in 2014, the NH Heritage Museum Trail features member institutions in Canterbury, Concord, Dover, Exeter, Laconia, Loudon, Manchester, Moultonborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Tamworth, and Wolfeboro.