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Museums of the
Lake Sunapee Region

by Audrey Lentz

The Little Nature Museum

The Little Nature Museum

Sandra Waddell originally started the Little Nature Museum in 1954 when she was thirteen; it was in her bedroom. Her life-long passion for teaching and nature lead her to become a school teacher, naturalist, and to keep the Museum opened almost continually. Today, it has found a home next to the Kearsarge Indian Museum in Warner.

Its exhibits and activities on fossils, animals, minerals, plants, ocean life, and many other parts of nature are geared towards giving children a hands on learning experience they are sure to remember. There is also a guided trail shared with the Indian Museum that showcases medicinal plants and another trail is in the making. The Little Nature Museum is always growing bigger!

Winter Hours: November thru April the museum is closed to the public because there is no heat in the building.

The Little Nature Museum
18 Highlawn Rd, Warner, NH 03278
Phone (603) 746-6121


 

Muster Field Farm Museum

Muster Field Farm Museum, Sutton, NH

Muster Field Farm is an 18th century historic homestead with restored farm buildings and a bicentennial working farm. It was built to encourage the education of agricultural history and early architecture. Events are often held at the farm, such as Farm Days in August, Harvest Day in October, and Ice Day in January, as well as other special events throughout the year.

Of course the museum is also open to the public for touring daily. Visitors will be able to view the Matthew Harvey Homestead, the 18th century farmhouse erected in 1787 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992, and farm buildings, such as huge barns and small corn cribs. They will also be able to tour, take pictures, and even pick fruit and vegetables from the farm and garden and, in the winter, ski or snowshoe through the woods and fields.

Muster Field Farm Museum
Harvey Road, North Sutton, NH
Phone: 603-927-4276


Hood Museum of Art

Hood Museum of Art

The Hood Museum of Art is the art museum of Dartmouth College and is primarily a teaching museum. With more than 65,000 works of art collected since 1772, they claim to have one of the oldest and largest collections of any museum in the country.

While the museum offers over one hundred lectures, gallery talks, and workshops for students, for the public they offer over ten special exhibitions, tours, and family programs regularly throughout the year.

Every wall of the Hood is installed as a classroom, and every visitor will learn to develop visual literacy skills as he or she tours the museum. Works of art range from a variety of cultures and time periods, such as Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas, and contemporary works. Special exhibitions are featured throughout the year focusing on specific time periods, cultures, or themes.

Hood Museum of Art
Dartmouth College Wheelock Street, Hanover, NH
Phone: 603-646-2808


The Fells Historic Estate and Gardens

The Fells Historic Estate and Gardens, Newbury, NH

The Fells is a perfect example of a New England early 20th century summer estate. Its founder was John Milton Hay, a diplomat and statesmen. Enjoy a guided tour of his 22 room Colonial Revival home and explore the 83.5 acres of land surrounding it, featuring renowned gardens and woodland trails.

The house was built in 1892 in a cottage style and expanded upon in 1915 into the 22 room home. It is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The nature trails were donated to the Society for Protection of NH Forests in 1960 by the Hay family and, later, more acres were donated to the US Fish and Wildlife Services. Now all can be toured by the public which can enjoy the history and beauty of The Fells.

The Fells Historic Estate and Gardens
456 Rt. 103A, Newbury, NH
Phone: 603-763-4789


Aidron Duckworth Art Museum

Aidron Duckworth Art Museum

The Aidron Duckworth Art Museum building used to be an art school for adults, run by and lived in by Aidron Duckworth himself. In 2001, at the time of his death, in accordance with a Trust made by the artist in 1997, the building was transformed into a museum to showcase his artwork. In addition to the featured artwork, visitors can also tour the west side of the building, which was his studio, to get an idea of how the artist lived and worked.

There are four changing exhibitions each year, one of which is Sculpture on the Grounds, which utilizes Duckworth's former gardens, and can be seen from June through October. In addition to preserving and exhibiting Duckworth's work, the museum seeks to promote the appreciation, practice, and teaching of art.

Aidron Duckworth Art Museum
21 Bean Rd., Meriden, NH 03770
Phone: 603-469-3444


New Hampshire Telephone Museum

New Hampshire Telephone Museum, Warner, NH

Few gadgets today have the exciting history that the telephone has. The New Hampshire Telephone Museum features the history of telecommunications and includes over 1000 artifacts related to important moments in telephone history, such as the struggle and race to get patents and the invention of the dial system.

A few highlights include the collections of the Violette and Bartlett families, who worked in the industry for over 85 years, and the collection of Garry Mitchell, who was a well known telephone operator. In addition to being a great education resource, the museum inspires curiosity in its visitors and is considered a "must see" attraction.

New Hampshire Telephone Museum
One Depot Street, Warner, NH
Phone: 603-456-2234


Webster Cottage Museum

Webster Cottage Museum, Hanover, NH

The Webster Cottage was a small farmhouse built in 1780 and lived in by the daughter and son-in-law of Eleazar Wheelock, who was the founder of Dartmouth College. However, they were the first of many inhabitants, and the cottage is named after its most famous dweller, Daniel Webster, who was a student at Dartmouth College during the time of his residency.

The museum is generally open to visitors in the spring, around Memorial Day, and stays open until mid October. Visitors can view the antiques from the 18th and 19th century that furnish the cottage, including Daniel Webster's desk among other artifacts from Hanover's history and residents.

Webster Cottage Museum
32 N. Main St., Hanover, NH
Phone: 603-643-6529


Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum

 Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH

The Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum is an education and cultural center. It preserves 20,000 years of on-going Native American cultural expression. The museum was built by Bud and Nancy Thompson, who had been inspired by a talk given by Grand Chief Sachem Silverstar in 1929 in their second grade classroom. The Chief's message was that of preservation and appreciation of the environment around them.

They decided to create a "Museum with a Voice" to inspire others as they had been inspired, and filled it with Native American artifacts to remind others how Native Americans lived in peace and harmony with the land. It is an educational, historical, and teaching center, as well as a place of tranquility in the grounds and gardens to find respite from modern life.

Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum
18 Highlawn Rd., Warner, NH
Phone: 603-456-2600


Enfield Shaker Museum

Enfield Shaker Museum, Enfield, NH

Called the "Chosen Vale" by Shakers, the Enfield Shaker Museum is a cultural, community, and educational center. In the mid 19th century, the community was home to three families of Shakers. The museum features the Great Stone Dwelling, which is the largest Shaker house ever constructed.

Inside is a collection of Shaker furniture, clothing, tools, photographs, and agricultural implements. Surrounding are the herb and flower gardens, as well as fields and hills. The museum features guided tours, craft demonstration, exhibits, and occasional special programs. In addition to preserving the cultural heritage and legacy of the Shakers, the museum also seeks to teach and share the Shaker way of life to curious visitors.

Enfield Shaker Museum
447 NH Route 4A, Enfield, NH 03748
Phone: 603-632-4346


The Fort at No. 4

The Fort at No. 4, Charlestown, NH

The land at the Fort at No. 4 was settled by English colonialists in the 1740's as they expanded their New England colonies westward. The Fort was constructed as a result of Indian attacks as a way to protect themselves.

The Fort proved useful for years afterward against the French and, later, the British during the Revolution and was occupied by several key people including Captain John Spafford. The museum is rich in the history of the colonialists and their struggles during the time of settlement, expansion, and revolution. Guided tours are available so visitors can learn the history as they experience it in the living history museum.

Fort at No. 4, Living History Museum
267 Springfield Rd., Route 11, Charlestown, NH
Phone: 603-826-5700

 

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