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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.

Busy October at Castle in the Clouds on New Hampshire Heritage Museum Trail 

October is a busy month for Castle in the Clouds on the New Hampshire Heritage Museum Trail. Many events feature a fall or Halloween theme, including a Graveyard Tour, which takes place on Monday and Saturdays at varying times throughout October. On this tour, visitors walk approximately two miles throughout the property to view remnants of cemeteries from long ago.

On Friday, Oct. 13, Castle in the Clouds will host a Pumpkin Walk, a self-guided hike on an easy, family-friendly trail lined with lighted jack-o’-lanterns. Costumes are encouraged, and the walk is Halloween-themed and appropriate for all ages (not scary).

On Monday, Oct. 16, 5:00 p.m. – 6:15 p.m., Glenn Knoblock will provide insight into how cemeteries and gravestones reveal forgotten aspects of history in New Hampshire Cemeteries and Gravestones. Independent scholar and author of more than twenty books, Knoblock has served as the main military contributor to Harvard and Oxford University’s landmark African American Biography Project. He has also written for the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

“With his profound expertise in historic cemeteries and grave markers, Glenn will undoubtedly elevate this exploration of New Hampshire history, bringing invaluable insights to enrich the experience,” said Charles Clark, Executive Director of Castle in the Clouds.

For more information about Castle in the Clouds, click here.

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.

History “On Tap” on New Hampshire Heritage Museum Trail

On Thursday, September 28, Liars Bench will host Portsmouth on Tap in collaboration with Portsmouth Historical Society to celebrate Portsmouth’s 400th Anniversary. Taking place from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., the event will feature a limited-edition beer by Liars Bench inspired by the Portsmouth Peace Treaty and historical trivia and games hosted by the Historical Society.

“Portsmouth on Tap is a new way for the Portsmouth Historical Society to connect to our local community,” said Emma Stratton, Executive Director of Portsmouth Historical Society. “We hope people will join us for these exciting events that bring history to life through trivia, games, and delicious brews.”

To learn more about Portsmouth on Tap, which takes place throughout the fall, click here.

Tuesdays on the Terrace

In nearby Exeter, the American Independence Museum (AIM) will also host Beer for History in the fall. Presented by Donahue Tucker & Ciandella, the popular series takes place within and outside Folsom Tavern (c. 1775), which once welcomed George Washington.

“Beer for History events feature an incredible ambiance that feels very historic and authentic,” said AIM Executive Director Jennifer Carr. “Part of our We Are One initiative is to bring the community together, and this family-friendly series does just that.”

Beer for History kicks off with Stowe, VT’s von Trapp Brewing on Thursday October 5 with tickets $10 for adults (21+) and free for anyone under 21. Other brewers in the series include SawBelly Brewing, The Czar’s Brewery, and UNH Brewlab. Tickets may be purchased at independencemuseum.org.

In addition to AIM in Exeter and Portsmouth Historical Society in Portsmouth, 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, click here.

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.