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New ‘growth’ at American Independence Museum

At the American Independence Museum, one of its primary objectives is to engage visitors of all ages with opportunities to explore Revolutionary history in unique ways, which is tangibly demonstrated in its new Colonial Cutting Garden.

Planted with heirloom plants from Plimoth Plantation, the garden was made possible with financial support from The Farm at Eastman’s Corner. Citing an appreciation for the rich history of the NH Seacoast and that of Exeter in particular, Eric Cimon, director of marketing and events at The Farm at Eastman’s Corner, said they are excited at the partnership.

“The American Independence Museum is a unique and treasured establishment full of the stories of Exeter’s history and is a wonderful resource for all ages to learn and be reminded of how and why we got here,” he noted. “We are proud to support the learning garden and commend them for their efforts and perseverance, making sure the history of our country’s independence is not lost with the passage of time.”

Cimon said the garden also reflects core value of The Farm at Eastman Corner.

“We are focused on educating individuals about the history of the region, how we got here and how we can protect and preserve it for future generations through efforts in conservation and sustainability,” he noted.

Noting the garden features nearly two-dozen plants and herbs, some of which include rosemary, lemon balm, red orach, sage and nasturtium, Williams said the Museum’s newest living history addition reveals an important facet of Colonial history.

“Colonial Cutting Gardens were a staple of every home,” she said. “The plants and herbs within them served an important function for the family—from alleviating ailments and injuries to providing flavor to food, warding off evil spirits, and deterring pests. They also gave fragrance to soaps and cosmetics as well as to the entire home.”

To learn more about the Colonial Cutting Garden, which visitors can tour with a self-guided pamphlet that explains their historical importance, visit the Museum Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm. The Museum is located at One Governor’s Lane, Exeter, NH.

The Museum is part of the NH Heritage Trail. Visit www.nhmuseumtrail.org for more information.

Education, Honoring Veterans and Active Military a big part of Festival

While it has become well known for all kinds of dramatic displays, including battle reenactments, cannon firings and more, the main objectives behind the annual American Independence Festival are education and honoring those who serve.

“It is important people take something tangible away with them when they leave the Festival,” said Abby Pietrantonio, education manager at the American Independence Museum, which presents the Festival each year. “What happened here in New Hampshire and across the 13 Colonies during that time has helped shape who we are as Americans today.”

It is this mission that has attracted Service Credit Union as one of the Museum’s major sponsors for 2016. Aimée Sundstrom, marketing manager at Service Credit Union, said she believes the Festival plays an important role in furthering its own mission.

“We are here to serve and honor those who serve,” she said. “The Museum—and the Festival in particular—helps highlight the role that the military played in providing us with the freedoms we enjoy today.”

Citing the support of nearly two dozen businesses and corporations already in 2016, Museum Executive Director Julie Williams said the crown jewel of the Festival is its collection, which will be evidenced by three rare documents.

“We will have a ‘Broadside’ copy of the Declaration of Independence on display and two working draft copies of the U.S. Constitution,” she said. “The public usually cannot see these items, because we must be very careful with how they are handled and displayed. The Festival is the only chance to see them in New Hampshire this year.”

In addition to Service Credit Union, major sponsors of the Festival and the Museum include Hoefle Phoenix Gormley & Roberts, P.A. Attorneys at Law, Two International Group, AutoFair, Geico, New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, and Ruffner Real Estate. Additional support is provided by Foy Insurance, Chinburg Properties, RiverWoods, Access Sports, and The Farm at Eastman’s Corner.

Featuring historic battle re-enactments, colonial demonstrations, children’s activities, cannons that fire throughout the day, crafts, music, food and more, the annual Independence Festival is the signature event of the American Independence Museum in Exeter.

To purchase tickets, click HERE.

American Independence Festival Highlights Cultural Renaissance in Exeter

Saturday’s 26th American Independence Festival not only highlights the role of Exeter in the founding of the nation, but the increasing cultural footprint created through several related initiatives in town in the past year.

“Exeter has some incredible cultural assets—the Festival helps to highlight that,” said Todd Deluca, president of the Exeter Area Chamber of Commerce. “History, the arts, local music—they all have a place here in Exeter.”

Scott Ruffner, executive director of nonprofit TEAM, which is “dedicated to the production, promotion and organization of original programming, projects and events in the Exeter area,” said he believes the Festival serves as a gateway to the town’s burgeoning arts scene.

“TEAM is looking to shine the light on community members bold enough to make their own art, brew their own beer, grown their own food, and write and perform their own music—the essence of celebrating independence,” he said. “We look forward to continue working with the Museum and bridging the gap between the arts and Exeter’s rich history, which began with cultural traditions established by people in the community and something I think we’ve lost along the way.”

Featuring historic battle re-enactments, colonial demonstrations, children’s activities, crafts, music, local food and more, the Independence Festival is annually presented by the American Independence Museum, which is quietly attracting a strong core of new supporters.

“The American Independence Museum continues to expand its relevant work, including the recent creation of a historic garden that features plants and flowers that would have been used in a household or Inn garden of the 18 century,” said Chinburg Properties’ Jen Chinburg. “We encourage everyone to check out this rich treasure in the town of Exeter.”

Access Sports’ Founder Dr. Josh Siegel added, “The Museum is an active, vital member of the community—and we are proud to support its mission. The Festival represents the very best of what Exeter has to offer.”

A member of the Exeter community for more than 120 years, Foy Insurance also supports the Museum. Foy Insurance’s Jeff Foy said he appreciates the fact that the Museum helps remind everyone of the rich history that surrounds the town and the entire region.

“The Museum consistently provides a great opportunity for young and old to experience and learn about the history in the greater Exeter area,” he said. “Check out the Festival in July and you will be glad you did.”

Longtime Museum supporters are also enthused about the Musem and Festival, including Florence Ruffner of Ruffner Real Estate.

“Our country’s rich history is something we are fortunate to have right in our town,” she noted. “It is vital to who we are as a nation and what our forefathers fought for.”

Other major sponsors of the Festival and the Museum include Hoefle Phoenix Gormley & Roberts, P.A. Attorneys at Law, Two International Group, AutoFair, Geico, Service Credit Union and New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. Additional support is provided by RiverWoods and The Farm at Eastman’s Corner.

To learn more about the American Independence Festival on July 16, 2016, or to purchase tickets, click HERE.

RiverWoods, Saint Vincent de Paul and others partner together

RiverWoods, Saint Vincent de Paul and others partner together

At Saturday’s American Independence Festival at which more than 3,000 attendees are expected, RiverWoods and Saint Vincent de Paul will present an exciting display that will engage visitors of all ages.

Housed next to the food vendors along Swasey Parkway, both organizations will have set up 3 tents within a 30’ by 20’ area. In the first tent, visitors will learn more about Saint Vincent de Paul’s mobile dental van and its role in the community as well as some unique historical tidbits.

“We have dental tools from the 1770’s and will hopefully have a representation of tooth powder used in Exeter in that period, which the Exeter Historical Society is still researching,” said Cleo Castonguay, executive director, Saint Vincent de Paul. “We will also have photos of George Washington’s last dentures along with photos of paintings taken of him never smiling.”

In another section, Castonguay said they will feature kids’ activities and hand out tri-corner hats for the kids. “We thank Foss Manufacturing in Hampton, which gave us a substantial supply of recycled non-woven fabrics for some of our activities,” he added.

Expressing excitement at their sponsorship of the American Independence Museum, which presents the Festival, RiverWoods Marketing Manager Ben French said everyone is excited about their participation in the popular annual event.

“We not only look forward to sharing the RiverWoods mission and that of our charitable partner Saint Vincent de Paul, but we’ll also be providing something that will bridge generations, allow children to experience history and have some fun at the same time,” he said.

In addition to RiverWoods, major sponsors of the Festival and the Museum include Hoefle Phoenix Gormley & Roberts, P.A. Attorneys at Law, Two International Group, AutoFair, Service Credit Union, Geico, New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, and Ruffner Real Estate. Additional support is provided by Foy Insurance, Chinburg Properties, Access Sports, and The Farm at Eastman’s Corner.

“We are so grateful for all the support we have received in support of the Festival and the Museum in 2016,” said Museum Operation Manager Rob Levey. “Exeter is a really cool place, but we could not promote this amazing town without wonderful partners and sponsors.”

Featuring historic battle re-enactments, colonial demonstrations, children’s activities, cannons that fire throughout the day, crafts, music, food and more, the annual Independence Festival continues to serve as the signature event of the American Independence Museum in Exeter.

Purchase your tickets here