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American Independence Museum receives $5,000 grant to preserve rare artifacts

Featuring more than 2,000 items in its collection, the need to preserve them is critical, which makes the American Independence Museum’s recent $5,000 grant award so important. Granted by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR), the award will enable the Museum to restore, digitize and safely house 4 rare historical artifacts as well as purchase materials required for new archival storage methods for hundreds of other items in the collection.

Museum Executive Director Julie Williams referred to the grant award as “an important piece to a long-term preservation plan.”

“With an eye toward future sustainability both in terms of our collection and the Museum itself, we need to take steps to ensure our artifacts may be enjoyed for future generations,” she said. “This grant award helps protect 4 key items in our collection and lay the groundwork for future projects—I cannot thank the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution enough.”

Susan O’Leary, immediate past regent for the Exeter DAR Chapter and current ambassador at the Museum, said she was honored to sponsor the Special Grants Application.

“Chapter recognition of the importance of the Museum’s two anchor properties, the Folsom Tavern and the Ladd-Gilman House, dates back to 1901 when our young chapter presented slate tablets to both to honor their significance to local and state history,” she said. “This grant will help assure that the Museum will educate and serve the region into the future.”

The 4 items that will be preserved include: A letter handwritten and signed by George Washington in Mount Vernon to General Henry Knox in New York; handwritten letter from George Washington to General John Sullivan; “A Compendium of Military Duty, adapted for the Militia of the United States” by Jonathan Rawson, Esq., late aid de camp to General Sullivan; and an engraved book plate that belonged to George Washington.

“These items are among some of the most significant in our collection,” added Williams. “They are delicate and require expert handling by outside consultants—it will be very exciting to see these items in all their restored glory.”

Founded in 1991 with the strength and guidance of the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of New Hampshire, the Exeter Community and the State of New Hampshire, the American Independence Museum is a place where all can learn and celebrate what it took to create the freedoms that Americans enjoy hundreds of years later.

Learn more about the American Independence Museum at

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Service Credit Union renews partnership with American Independence Museum

Having previously supported as well as worked with the American Independence Museum on previous projects through the years, Service Credit Union has invested $2,500 to support the American Independence Museum.

According to Marketing Manager Aimée Sundstrom, the investment reflects something fundamental that is shared by both organizations.

“A member of the local community since 1957, Service Credit Union is a part of Seacoast history,” she said. “We support the American Independence Museum, because it brings the very beginning of this region’s history to life in a very unique way.”

Noting they also “greatly appreciate” the Museum’s concern for veterans/active military and their families by providing them with free admission, Sundstrom said Service Credit Union is particularly in support children’s education programs at the Museum.

“If we can help educate kids on the importance of American history right from its very beginnings, I believe we can make a profound difference on their understanding of civic engagement and social responsibility.”

She said it is this idea of social responsibility that drives Service Credit Union’s philosophy of community engagement.

“Our first commandment is to ‘serve those who serve,’” she said. “In recent years, we have expanded this notion to include a very systematic approach to corporate giving to area nonprofits to make a bigger impact.”

For Museum Executive Director Julie Williams, this impact has been felt across the agency.

“As a nonprofit, we have razor thin margins and rely on building partnerships with organizations whose charitable interests align with our mission,” she said. “Service Credit Union has been a terrific partner in the past, and so to join us at this level of investment is really profound and quite meaningful.”

Serving more than 1600 children from schools throughout New Hampshire, the American Independence Museum works directly with educators to offer specific programs that complement the classroom experience. “We bring in experienced colonial re-enactors as well as others who can demonstrate colonial trades—we want to create memorable experiences for all our visitors,” Williams added.

Founded in 1991, the American Independence Museum is a place where visitors can learn and celebrate what it took to create the freedoms Americans continue to enjoy today. The Museum is also part of the NH Heritage Trail. To learn more about The Trail, visit