Walk Through Centuries of History
It was named Strawbery Banke by the British settlers who came to the area in the early 1600’s because of the abundance of berries in the area. The name was later changed to Portsmouth.
The area was once slated for demolition, but the site was rescued in the 1950’s from an urban renewal project.
Strawbery Banke tells visitors the stories of those who settled in this Portsmouth, New Hampshire from the late l7th to the mid-20th century through a series of houses that have been restored. You can literally walk through time from one house to the next. It is on a 10 acre site that encompasses about 375 years of the history of the area that was once known as “Puddle Dock”. There are shops, and period gardens. You must stop and chat with Mrs. Shapiro, a role player who tells the story of her Jewish family living Portsmouth in the early 1900’s.
The Wheelwright House is named after Captain John Wheelwright is especially fun for the kids. It’s has hands on exhibit where they can try on clothing that would have been worn in 1785. They can touch the furniture, and see what dinner was like for the Wheelwright family. It’s an interactive place where both you and your child can experience a great time in the history of Portsmouth.
While the museum only is open from May through December, other activities are planned throughout the year. No matter what time of year you are visiting, Strawbery Banke has an activity for you and your family to enjoy.
If you can not visit the area, you can still help Strawbery Banke preserve the old houses by becoming a member. Membership contributions go to helping them preserve this fantastic museum for future generations to discover and enjoy. Monies also go to funding special events, and caring for their historic collections.
Trick Or Treat At Strawbery Banke
If you haven’t been Trick Or Treating at Strawbery Banke, then you haven’t been trick or treating.
Each October, Strawbery Banke Museum comes alive for the Halloween season with the Ghosts on the Banke. You can come meet sea captains that have been dead for centuries. You’ll see the pirates as they haunt the streets of their old neighborhood.
It is a wonderful place to trick or treat safely from house to house, with Jack o Lantern pumpkins lighting the way. We’ve been several times, and we have no kids.
While you are there, you must visit with the old witch. Be careful though..you never know what she has been brewing up. Be sure to visit the Haunted Hemlock Grove, and watch out for spooks along the way.
If it is a chilly night, adults and children alike can warm themselves by the fire. You and your children will be talking about this until next Halloween.
Christmas at Strawbery Banke
Discover what the holidays and other winter traditions were like as you stroll through 350 years of American history.
The historic homes are all decorated and decked out in period holiday fashion of the homes era. You can see how Christmas was celebrated during each era of all the houses from 1600 through the 1800’s.
Candles help light your way from one home to the next. It is a beautiful site indeed. Listen to the live music as you take a horse drawn carriage ride around the scenic area.