The last visitors have made their way through the rooms at the American Independence Museum this year with last week’s Holiday Celebration serving as the capstone event for 2016. This year, more than two dozen corporate sponsors supported the operations at the Museum. Major sponsors included Two International Group, AutoFair, Geico Service Credit Union, Hoefle Phoenix Gormley & Roberts, P.A. Attorneys at Law and Ruffner Real Estate.

“These organizations and so many others have played a vital role in our continued efforts to sustainably care for our collection and develop innovative programs for kids through our school programs,” said Museum Executive Director Julie Williams.

Citing substantial costs associated with caring for its collection, Williams said 2017 represents a “watershed year” for its operations.

“To ensure our sustainability and value to the surrounding communities, we are looking to expand our community outreach and deliver outstanding educational programming,” she said.

“We are also working with grant funders and other partners to develop a sustainability plan whereby we can modify the internal environment within which our collection is housed,” she said. “We have a responsibility to make sure the items in our possession may be enjoyed for generations to come.”

She cited the Museum’s recent Holiday Celebration as anecdotal evidence that Exeter and the surrounding towns see value in its operations and role as a hub for the larger Seacoast community.

“We had more than 200 visitors, which pushed our attendance for the year to over 5,000 people,” said Williams, who said Neighborhood Beer Co.’s continued support made a difference, too.

“People love those guys and their beer, which makes it so much fun to collaborate,” she added. “In total, we raised nearly $3,000—it was a huge night for us.”

Comprising the Ladd-Gilman House (c.1721) and Folsom Tavern (c.1775) on more than one acre of landscaped property, the Museum hosts public and educational programs and lectures, colonial artisan demonstrations, guided tours, and special events. The Museum is also part of the “Experience New Hampshire Heritage: The Portsmouth to Plymouth Museum Trail.”

For more information about the Museum’s year-end Fund-A Need campaign, visit