With the summer season just around the corner, many museums along the New Hampshire Heritage Museum Trail are opening soon for the 2021 season, including the USS Albacore (AGSS 569) Museum and Park in Portsmouth.
“We are opening our site for weekends starting May 8 and then resuming our 7-day a week schedule from 9:30 to 5:00 in June,” said Patricia Violette, Executive Director and Curator of Albacore Park. Tours will run on weekends from 9:30 am to 4 pm, and social distancing and mask use are required within the park. Before the museum opens for in-person tours, Albacore Park will feature remote Zoom lectures throughout the month of April. All lectures are free and can be RSVPed through email for a Zoom code.
“Albacore Park is one of Portsmouth’s historic gems and all are welcome,” said Violette. “We’re excited to finally open our doors for community engagement and to welcome our eager visitors back to our site.” Albacore Park is the formal site for the USS Albacore Submarine, a research submarine designed by the U.S. Navy that has been preserved as a museum. For more information about the museum and in-person tours, visit ussalbacore.org.
In Wolfeboro, the Wright Museum of World War II will reopen May 1 with the first part of its season to feature special exhibits that focus on women. In WASP, the Untold Story, created by the National WASP WWII Museum in Sweetwater, Texas and presented by Service Credit Union with additional support from Pratt & Whitney, visitors will learn about Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) during World War II. “It’s so important for people to understand the efforts of women throughout the war,” said Mike Culver, Executive Director. “We are pleased to present this exhibit in partnership with our sponsors.”
The Wright Museum of World War II reopens for the season on May 1 and is open daily 10 am to 4 pm from Monday to Saturday and 12 noon to 4 pm on Sundays. For more details, visit wrightmuseum.org.
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 Regions. Member institutions are located in Canterbury, Concord, Dover, Exeter, Laconia, Manchester, Moultonborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Tamworth and Wolfeboro.
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.
There are many ways to experience Wolfeboro, but perhaps none more unique than The Museum Loop, highlighted by a boat or trolley ride.
On the tour, featuring three museums on the NH Heritage Museum Trail, visitors ride to or from The Libby Museum in New Hampshire Boat Museum’s antique “Millie B.” Visitors then ride back in a trolley in the opposite direction.
A day loop pass is valid for 1 day in August and includes a boat ride, return trolley ride and entry to New Hampshire Boat Museum (NHBM) and The Libby Museum. A summer loop pass includes the aforementioned plus admission to Wright Museum of World War II and non-Trail member The Clarke House Museum.
“As summer comes to an end, individuals are anxious to pack in as many activities as possible,” said Wright Museum Executive Director Mike Culver when discussing the popularity of The Museum Loop. “This is a fun way to do that.”
NHBM Executive Director Martha Cummings agreed and added, “This is a unique way to experience Wolfeboro and multiple types of history in one day.”
The tour takes place every Thursday and Friday (weather permitting) at 9:30 a.m. through the end of August. For more information, visit nhbm.org, or call (603) 998-3286.
The NH Heritage Museum Trail is made up of 17 museums with stops in Canterbury, Concord, Dover, Exeter, Laconia, Manchester, Moultonborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Tamworth and Wolfeboro.