This is the best living history museum in New Hampshire


Living history museums are a fascinating way to experience life in the past, and this New Hampshire museum is one of New England’s best.

Portsmouth, the charming coastal town of New Hampshire, annually welcomes over 9 million tourists who flock to the city to witness its wonderful attractions and participate in its unique activities. People love to visit Portsmouth’s iconic Market Square, its splendid Prescott Park, its magnificent Moffatt-Ladd House and Garden, and the astonishing Warner House. In addition, Portsmouth is home to the USS Albacore, the world’s fastest submarine. It also has a wonderful Black Heritage Trail.

Additionally, Portsmouth is home to historic mansions and homes, such as Wentworth Coolidge Mansion, Governor John Langdon House, John Paul Jones House, and Rundlet-May House. However, there is one unique attraction that visitors to Portsmouth first head to: the iconic Strawbery Banke Museum, which epitomizes four centuries of the city’s history.


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Here’s what to know about the Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth

The iconic Strawbery Banke Museum is located on Puddle Dock, Portsmouth’s original seaport. This living history museum depicts local life in Portsmouth from the 1600s to the 1950s. A group of residents in 1958 founded the museum. They wanted to preserve the history of their city, which is why they saved over 30 buildings from demolition in 1964. The founders of Strawbery Banke opened it as a museum in 1965. What is so special and unique About Strawbery Banke is that several pieces of furniture and storey houses are used as residences inside. However, some other houses are exclusively dedicated to exhibitions, education, historical demonstrations and activities for children.


In addition, the Heritage House program is working on the restoration of several other buildings and residences at Strawbery Banke. Architecture enthusiasts, crafts, furniture, gardening, textiles or food lovers will all have something to love and imagine at Strawbery Banke. While visiting the museum, people will head to the Tyco Visitor’s Center, where a guide will give them a map that details the day’s scheduled events. Then they will enter Goodwin Gardens, where they will go to the big c. 1811 Federal-style Goodwin Mansion. The latter is a furnished house in Strawbery Banke. The former owner of this mansion is Ichabod Goodwin, who served as governor of New Hampshire for two years during the Civil War.


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This house is a must see at the Strawbery Banke Museum

Outside the houses of the museum, there are hanging flags, each corresponding to the era of the corresponding place. While walking through the village, people will see the historic Georgian dream house of early 19th century merchant Stephen Chase. The house has beautiful doors and a unique mansard roof. In addition, people will enjoy contemplating the beauty of the impressive fireplace in the living room. Plus, the stair railing is something too fancy about this house, as well as its carved post post. The other so attractive rooms in Stephen Chase’s house in Strawbery Banke are the sunny bedrooms.


Another house to visit in the museum is Portsmouth’s first house, Aldrich House. It is also one of the first homes in the United States to undergo a restoration process at a specific time in its past. The house has scalloped trellises and beautiful gardens. It became part of the museum in 1979. Next is the Revolutionary War-era tavern established in 1766, the Pitt Tavern. The latter received the visit of many dignitaries, such as the Marquis de Lafayette, George Washington and John Hancock. Another place worth stopping by when visiting the Strawbery Banke Museum is the Marden-Abbott House and Store. The latter has a kitchen, a henhouse, a store and a victory garden. People can check out war photos, vintage cameras, and the radio in Bertha Abbott’s 1940s kitchen.


These houses at Strawbery Banke date back to the 1700s

it’s worth it visit the Shapley-Drisco house when visiting Strawbery Banke. The house dates from 1790. However, an additional front door was added later when the house was converted into apartments. People can see what Shapley-Driscoll House would have looked like in the 1790s and when it was occupied in the 1950s. While visiting the Strawbery Banke Museum, people will have the chance to see many business demonstrations, where there are buildings dedicated to spinning, cooperage, weaving and authentic cuisine.

Additionally, architecture enthusiasts can enjoy the ongoing restoration process at Strawbery Banke and the art of historic architecture. There’s one example of a house that illustrates that, and that’s Jackson House. The latter is preserved without restoration. As the Strawbery Banke Museum puts it, it does so to “teach the nature of the evidence of change in architecture and decoration, and the research process.” Another building to visit at the museum is the Sherburne House, dedicated to education. The latter is the only building remaining from the 1690s on the site of Puddle Dock.


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