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“American Independence Museum and Neighborhood Beer Co. team up again for Holiday celebration

On Friday, December 2, more than 100 visitors are expected at the American Independence Museum’s Holiday Celebration, which closes out the 2016 season and serves as a critical fundraiser.

At the celebration (admission is free), visitors will have the opportunity to participate in the Museum’s inaugural Fund-A-Need campaign. Areas of need include collection stewardship as well as educational programming and online exhibits.

“In 2017, we plan to roll out new exhibits and programs designed to inspire civic engagement by all people in our communities,” said Museum Executive Director Julie Williams. “We want to be relevant.”

As with many of its special themed events in 2016, Neighborhood Beer Co. will be present and pouring some of its popular beers in support of the Museum’s mission.

“We love collaborating with the Museum and doing whatever we can to support one of this town’s most historical organizations,” said Neighborhood Beer Co.’s Joe Berwanger. “This celebration is going to be a lot of fun.”

In addition to craft beer, the celebration will feature live holiday music from carolers at the Portsmouth Christian Academy and a silent auction featuring items from Exeter Inn, Laney & Lu Cafe and more.
“I’m very happy to be involved with the celebration,” said Jennifer Desrosiers, owner of Laney & Lu Cafe, a vibrant food community café in downtown Exeter. “In additional to the Independence Museum, Exeter is home to many wonderful shops, galleries, and of course, restaurants. This is a lovely time of year to stroll around our beautiful town.”

Expressing gratitude at the support the Museum received from the local business and corporate sector in 2016, Williams said she looks forward to building upon that in 2017.

“We want to work with as many individuals and businesses as possible to enhance not just what we offer as a museum, but the town of Exeter itself,” she said. “We want to help promote this town as a destination for visitors—this town has a lot of charm.”

Major sponsors of the Museum in 2016 include Hoefle Phoenix Gormley & Roberts, P.A. Attorneys at Law of Portsmouth, Service Credit Union, Two International Group, AutoFair and Ruffner Real Estate.

The Museum’s Holiday Celebration will take place at Folsom Tavern, 164 Water Street in Exeter, from 5pm to 8pm on Friday, December 2. Admission is free. For more information, visit

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“Currency Exhibit Highlights Closing Weekend at American Independence Museum”

Friday and Saturday, November 25 and 26, represent closing weekend for the American Independence Museum and its 2016 season. In addition to the last days of the Revolutionary Currency Exhibit, sponsored by Optima Bank & Trust, visitors will get a last glimpse at exhibits on George Washington and the Society of the Cincinnati.

As has been the case thanks to $2,500 investments each by Two International Group and AutoFair, admission is free for veterans, active military, and their families. Following closing weekend, the Museum will host a Holiday Celebration Fundraiser.

Held during the town of Exeter’s Ring in the Season Holiday Festival, the celebration will feature live music, beer from Exeter’s own Neighborhood Beer Co., cheese and crackers, and a silent auction. The evening will also serve as a formal launch to the Museum’s inaugural Fund-A-Need campaign, which seeks financial support in specific areas of its operations.

“It’s a chance to help us make one more final push to reach our fundraising goal for 2016 and position us for growth in 2017,” said Museum Executive Director Julie Williams. “We will be expanding our education programs for kids and taking steps to better care for our collection.”

Museum is open on Veteran’s Day

In honor of all those who have served and continue to serve, the American Independence Museum is open on Veteran’s Day on Friday, November 11. As has been the case the entire 2016 season, admission is free for active military, veterans and family members. Free admission is made possible as a result of Two International Group and AutoFair each gifting $2,500 to the Museum earlier this year.

“The Museum and its collection is steeped in military history,” said Museum Executive Director Julie Williams. “It is so important we remain open during this national holiday and provide free admission to those who have contributed to our freedom as a nation…We expect a busy day, too, with there being no school.”

Among thousands of items, the Museum’s collection includes an original copy of the Declaration of Independence and handwritten letters by George Washington. Comprised of the Ladd-Gilman House (c.1721) and Folsom Tavern (c.1775) on more than one acre of landscaped property, the Museum hosts public educational programs and lectures, colonial artisan demonstrations, guided tours, and special events.

“Two International Group and AutoFair are both incredible supporters of our active military and veterans,” Williams added. “We are so thankful for their support.”

On Veteran’s Day, special activities will be made available for kids. To learn more about the Museum, visit

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Last chance to see currency exhibit at American Independence Museum

In 2015, the American Independence Museum in Exeter received a $1,000 gift from Optima Bank & Trust to support an exhibit that featured rare Revolutionary-era currency. Entitled “The Currency of Colonial America: the Struggle for Economic Independence,” the two-year exhibit is set to close at the end of this season in late November.

“It’s the last chance see 15 Colonial bills that help tell our nation’s story,” said Museum Executive Director Julie Williams.

Through anecdotes offered by guides at 1 pm daily, Tuesday through Saturday, the exhibit explains the Colonies’ initial struggles for their own currency, their use during the American Revolution, and the in creating a single currency. The exhibit also explores the process that went into making the bills, monetary terms and symbols and the reasons behind the use of interchangeable terms like Dollars versus Pounds.

“Optima Bank & Trust made this exhibit possible—and we are so very grateful,” added Williams.

To learn more about the Museum or its Holiday Celebration on Friday, December 2, visit In celebration of the life of Jim Hayden, who served on the Board of Governors and recently passed away, the Museum will be closed on Saturday, November 12.