For members of the NH Heritage Museum Trail, the 2020 season will represent a welcome departure from day to day protocols forced upon staff due to COVID-19. “We are all looking forward to reopening soon,” said Jeff Barraclough, president of The Trail and director of operations at the Millyard Museum, one of its founding members. “It’s been a spring none of us will ever forget.”
With members in the Seacoast, Merrimack Valley and Lakes Region, The Trail features everything from historic villages, working farm and research submarine to museums that focus on World War II, aviation, American Revolution, boating and Industrial Revolution.
“COVID-19 has certainly delayed openings for us, but the season is still on,” added Barraclough, who said each member institution has enacted “rigorous protocols” to ensure visitor safety.
At the Millyard Museum in Manchester, he said extra precautions have included the implementation of a regular cleaning and disinfecting schedule and designating a one-way traffic flow throughout the museum. “We are also limiting the number of guests in the museum at any one time and temporarily removing some ‘hands-on’ features of our exhibits,” he said.
According to Mike Culver, executive director of the Wright Museum in Wolfeboro, member institutions have a responsibility to “help bring communities together again.” “However that is going to look in 2020 given social distancing restrictions, all of us on The Trail want the public to know that we are all in this together,” he said. “Our state’s heritage is still something to cherish and celebrate, especially 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.