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New Hampshire Heritage Museum Trail Brings History to Life Through Education

Field Trip at Millyard Museum

While not the official motto of the New Hampshire Heritage Museum Trail, “bringing history to life” is one of the most important objectives behind field trips and education programs offered by many member institutions.

“Field trips and on-site education programs provide highly entertaining, interactive educational experiences that enhance classroom learning,” said Jeff Barraclough, President of the New Hampshire Heritage Museum Trail and Executive Director of member Millyard Museum in Manchester. “The Trail’s educational programs are relevant for any subject—from science, literature, and language to social studies, mathematics, and art.”

Noting the Millyard Museum’s programs are adaptable for grades K-12, Barraclough said they explore a wide variety of topics, some of which include Native People, early European settlement, waterpower, and immigration. “Each museum on The Trail provides unique perspectives and insights on New Hampshire’s history,” he added.

New Hampshire Heritage Museum Trail Brings History to Life Through Education

Field Trip at Castle in the Clouds

In addition to their longstanding field trip options, Charles Clark, Executive Director of Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough, said they recently developed Castle in the Classroom in which staff will visit schools.

“Students can learn about bias and perspectives, leading to either a classroom debate or the creation of a newspaper-style article with one program,” he explained. “In another program, students engage in a STEM activity and learn about innovation and the design process.”

Kid learning at AIM

Child in a Homeschool Program at AIM

According to Jennifer Carr, Executive Director of the American Independence Museum (AIM) in Exeter, critical thinking is the primary takeaway for students who engage in their field trips and educational programs. She cited AIM’s 3-year We Are One organizational theme as a conceptual guidepost in their current educational offerings.

“Given the divisiveness of today’s political climate, we encourage kids of all ages to think critically and to hopefully recognize that what makes each of us different also makes us the same,” she said. “Diversity is a complicated subject—and the earlier we start, the better.”

In reflecting on the educational role of The Trail in New Hampshire, Barraclough said member institutions collectively interpret more than 300 years of New Hampshire history.

“We have hundreds of thousands of artifacts in our collections and welcome more than 200,000 visitors annually,” he said. “Whether people realize it or not, The Trail is largely responsible for not just preserving history in the state, but bringing it to life for young people of all ages.”

Totaling nearly 2-dozen, member institutions on the New Hampshire Heritage Museum Trail are located in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, Merrimack Valley, and Seacoast

New Hampshire Heritage Museum Trail To Welcome Legends, Symphony NH and More 

The New Hampshire Heritage Museum Trail will feature a busy month in New Hampshire’s Merrimack Valley Region in November and December, highlighted by Legends Day and a Symphony NH concert.

At Legends Day on Sunday, Nov. 12, New England Racing Museum in Loudon will welcome four national motor racing broadcasters with New England roots. These broadcasters include Dick Berggren (who also founded the museum), Jack Arute III, Ken Squier, and Mike Joy. Rhode Island native and sportscaster Allen Bestwick will serve as the event emcee.

“This is a lineup of New England auto racing legends that made it to the national stage,” noted museum Executive Director Thomas Netishen “This is a chance to meet these legends and hear them reflect in a panel discussion on their respective 50-plus years in the racing industry.”

VIP ticket holders will have early private access to the museum starting at 10:00 a.m. with a private tour starting at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12. All other ticket holders can enter at 11:00 a.m. to view the museum’s 30+ race cars, motorcycles and artifacts. Buffett lunch and social hour is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. -1:00 p.m. Honoree panel discussion is at 1:00 p.m. followed by a banner unveiling ceremony.

Legends Day tickets are $65 for museum members and $80 for non-members. To learn more about VIP tickets, call (603) 783-0183. Regular tickets may be purchased by clicking here.

In nearby Canterbury on Sunday, December 2 at 4;00 p.m., Canterbury Shaker Village will host Symphony NH String Quartet followed by a reception with farm to table hors d’oeuvres by Catered by Lacey Tokash Catering. “The concert takes place in the Chapel in the Dwelling House, which has marvelous acoustics,” remarked Leslie Nolan, executive director of the Village. “Seats are limited, so we encourage people to purchase tickets as soon as possible.”

The Village’s Concert + Cocktails event on Sunday, December 2 will be followed by Contra Dancing: Community Old Time New Hampshire Dance on Sunday, December 9. Contra Dancing will feature Dudley Laufman with Wind In The Timothy and Canterbury Orchestra singers. “Both events are part of our Merry Merry Celebration for the holidays,” added Nolan. “It’s a wonderful time to be at the Village.”

To purchase tickets to either event at the Village, click here.

In addition to the New England Racing Museum and Canterbury Shaker Village in New Hampshire’s Merrimack Valley, member institutions on the New Hampshire Heritage Museum Trail are located in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region and Seacoast. To learn more about The Trail or any member institution, click here.

New Hampshire Heritage Museum Trail To Feature ‘Muscle’ in August

On Saturday, August 19, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., New England Racing Museum will host the 5th Annual Hot Rods, Muscle and More all-vehicles car show, presented by Shea Concrete Products.

In addition to the car show, featuring an estimated 150+ vehicles, the event provides visitors with the opportunity to explore New Hampshire history through dozens of historical race car and motorcycle exhibits inside the museum. Visitors may also test their skills on the museum’s iRacing rig and four lane electric slot car track. 

“It’s a fun day where you can simply have a great time with your family,” said Thomas Netishen, executive director. “We also have a great gift shop where people can purchase gifts for others or mementoes to remember their time here.”

Tuesdays on the Terrace

Regarding the show itself, Netishen said they will award 20 trophies, including the third annual Parker-Coraine Best of Show Trophy, which honors “two incredibly important people associated with the museum.”

“Ted Parker and Gil Coraine have contributed extensively to the museum’s success,” he added. “We look forward to honoring them each year with this high quality and unique trophy.”

Other event highlights include a 50/50 raffle, food truck, and the ‘Coolest Sounding’ vehicle runoff competition, which takes place at 1:00 p.m. Event proceeds support the museum and its mission “to preserve and educate the public on the history of New England motor racing.”

“Museum events like this are a major revenue source that help keep us operating,” said Netishen. The cost to enter a vehicle into the 5th Annual Hot Rods, Muscle and More is $20, which includes two free tickets to the museum that day of the show. The cost for spectators is $5 per person with kids under 12 admitted free. To learn more, visit nermuseum.com.

In addition to the New England Racing Museum in Loudon, 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, click here.