Did you know you’re walking on some of the most revolutionary ground in the country? It’s true, and the American Independence Museum can show you just how vital a role Exeter—and all of New Hampshire—played in the founding of our nation. That’s why we’ve made it our Community Spotlight this month!
Keep reading or visit their Facebook page to learn more about the museum and its offerings. Then, visit the American Independence Museum to take a step back in time.
Preserving New Hampshire History at the American Independence Museum
Founded in 1991, the American Independence Museum strives to preserve the memory of all who fought for American freedom during the Revolutionary War—with a tip of the hat to those Americans who keep fighting centuries later.
Their mission is to engage, educate, and excite people of all ages and help them to understand and celebrate the American fight for independence, freedom, and self-governance. They also preserve vital pieces of architecture that are true symbols of their time.
The Historic Sites
When you visit the American Independence Museum, you’ll walk up the front steps of the Ladd-Gilman House overlooking the Squamscott River. This National Historic Landmark is over 300 years old!
Built in 1714 by Peter Coffin, Sr.—and later partly sold to Colonel Daniel Gilman and Josiah Ladd—this house has been a home to state treasurers, governors, and fraternal orders like The Society of the Cincinnati.
If you’re feeling a little thirsty, why not stop by Folsom Tavern? Originally built by Colonel Samuel Folsom in 1775 to be a centerpiece of the town, it today sits facing Water Street in Exeter. While it’s no longer a working tavern, it was refurbished in 2007 to mimic how it is likely to have looked when George Washington visited during his tour of the northern states in 1789.
*Note that these sites may be closed due to current events. Check the museum’s website before visiting.
If you’re excited to take in this slice of history, there are many ways to get involved. This summer, virtual summer camps are in full swing. Here’s the remaining current lineup of events:
- August 11-14: A War Fought for Freedom, But for Who?
- August 18-21: Not a Soldier?
These summer camps treat kids to nuanced, complex conversations about history they may not have elsewhere. They cover topics like what it was like to be a loyalist or neutral during the Revolutionary War and whether everyone was freed by the American fight for freedom.
Be sure to stop back in the fall for the Ghosts of Folsom Tavern and Winter Street Cemetery tour. You’ll join Colonel and Mrs. Folsom for a tour of their tavern before taking a walk to Winter Street Cemetery to hear more about the important figures who found their final resting place there.
Visit the American Independence Museum
Are you ready to experience a little slice of American history? If so, then it’s time to check out the American Independence Museum! Visit their Facebook page to learn more about what they have going on now, then dive in and start learning!