Autumm in New England, including a tour of the Strawbery Banke Museum

leaves

My annual Fall leaf peeping trip was mid-October this year and I was concerned I would miss the best colors.   That concern was misplaced, and we saw lots of beautifully colored Autumn foliage on a sunny October day.

fall colors

Maine is my usual destination for fall colors, but this year we also made our way to Portsmouth, NH.  Of particular interest to me was the Strawbery Banke Museum, a collection of restored homes in the Portsmouth area.

A house in Kennebunk decorated for Halloween

A house in Kennebunk decorated for Halloween

We started our leaf tour in Portland, Maine and headed south.  We cruised through Kennebunk and York, then continued further south to Portsmouth. 

Old York Burying yard

Old York burying place headstones.

Old Burying Yard headstones in York, Maine.

headstones

Fall trees

On a previous trip here we had passed the Strawbery Banke museum, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and I decided then to come back and take the tour.

sign

The Strawbery Banke Museum visitor’s guide has the following description:

Strawbery Banke Museum is unique in preserving neighborhood buildings original to their sites, buildings from Portsmouth locations rescued from demolition, and a vast collection of objects from Portsmouth’s past.  32 buildings at Strawbery Banke are on their original sites.  Four were moved here to save them from demolition.  Research and archaeology provide an historical background for the restorations.  Additional research into the lives of former residents continues the story and provides the basis for interpretation.

Each house is restored to its original period, and decorated appropriately.  Some of the homes have actors in period costumes. 

Goodwin Mansion exterior, c. 1811.

Goodwin Mansion exterior, c. 1811.

We started in the Goodwin Mansion, the home of Civil War governor Ichabod Goodwin.  It was built in 1811.

Actor playing Sarah Parker Rice Goodwin.

Sarah Parker Rice Goodwin caring for her garden in 1870.

A room in the Goodwin Mansion.

A room in the Goodwin Mansion.

Goodwin Mansion

Goodwin Mansion

Goodwin Mansion bedroom.

Goodwin Mansion bedroom.

We walked the extensive neighborhood and toured the homes.  Chase House was built in 1762 and home to Stephen Chase, an early 19th century merchant. 

Chase House exterior, c. 1762

Chase House exterior, c. 1762

Chase House, c. 1762.

Chase House, c. 1762.

Chase House bedroom.  I loved the wallpaper.

Chase House bedroom. I loved the wallpaper.

Chase House kitchen

Chase House kitchen

The Aldrich House, named for Victorian novelist, poet, and editor Thomas Bailey Aldrich was built in 1797.

Aldrich House room, c. 1797.

Aldrich House room, c. 1797.

Aldrich House bedroom.

Aldrich House bedroom.

Aldrich house room with period costume.

Aldrich house room with period costume.

Another Aldrich House bedroom.

Another Aldrich House bedroom.

The Pitt Tavern, built in 1766, is a Revolutionary War-era tavern visited by many famous people, including George Washington.  It is also a Masonic Lodge, one of the oldest in the nation (1763).

Pitt Tavern.

Pitt Tavern.

Pitt Tavern kitchen

Pitt Tavern kitchen

The open air museum also included some homes not yet restored.  You could walk into these homes and see cut aways of the structure.  It made you realize the amount of work and resources it takes to restore an old home. 

Jackson House, pre-restoration

Jackson House, pre-restoration

pre-restoration

We walked through the 1943 general store, recognizing some brands.  The costumed shop keeper, Mrs. Abbott, kept to her script and discussed “current” prices for war era goods.

In the Wheelwright House we were treated to a cooking demonstration.   Baking was such an ordeal that it was usually only done once a week.  The volunteer had baked a pie in the 18th century kitchen with its open hearth.  It looked like a tremendous amount of work.

Wheelwright House exterior, c. 1780

Wheelwright House exterior, c. 1780

Exterior of the Dinsmoore shop where a barrel making demonstration was taking place.

Exterior of the Dinsmore shop where a coopering demonstration was taking place (the making of wooden casks, buckets and barrels).

Strawbery Banke is a work in progress with 32 buildings, restored and unrestored.

The unrestored Yeaton-Walsh House, c. 1795.

The unrestored Yeaton-Walsh House, c. 1795.

The unrestored Yeaton House, c. 1795, next to the Winn House, c. 1795.  The Winn House interior was a demonstration in architectural styles and building construction.

The unrestored Yeaton House, c. 1795, next to the Winn House, c. 1795. The Winn House interior was a demonstration in architectural styles and building construction.

After touring the open air museum, we walked the more modern part of the town.  All this walking and touring required a restorative meal and beverage at a local tavern.

Portsmouth, NH

Portsmouth, NH

A Portsmouth NH street corner.

A Portsmouth NH street corner.

tavern

As per custom, a walk on the beach in the crisp Autumn air before jetting home to Florida.  It is always a pleasure to visit New England in the Fall.

Trail to Old Orchard Beach

Trail to Old Orchard Beach

grass and flowers

colorful leaves

For more information on The Strawbery Banke Museum, please go to www.strawberybanke.org.

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This entry was posted in Maine, New Hampshire, Seasons & Holidays. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Autumm in New England, including a tour of the Strawbery Banke Museum

  1. Teresa says:

    Pics are wonderful And great history lesson too — nature Is so beautiful 🍁
    Well Done!!!!

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