The site of many American Independence Museum programs, Folsom Tavern (c. 1775) will undergo a transformation in 2020 with the creation of the Foy Family Children’s Library.
Featuring curated books, seating for children, activity table and more, the Foy Family Children’s Library is made possible by a gift from Jeff and Melissa Foy of East Kingston.
According to Jeff Foy, who has supported the museum for years as co-owner of Foy Insurance, the gift ensures “there will be a permanent place for kids at the museum.”
“My wife Melissa was an elementary school librarian before retiring and I have always loved history, so we saw a chance to combine both our passions and make a lasting impact here,” he said. “We are thrilled to be part of the museum and this project.”
In addition to a dedicated space for a children’s library, the gift will enable the museum to upgrade its entire Children’s Room, which will include high-quality games, clothes, toys and more.
“This library and space is part of a larger initiative to transform our campus into an inviting space for local community members and visitors to Exeter,” said Emma Stratton, museum Executive Director. “We are very thankful for this gift.”
Noting work will begin sometime in February or March, the Foy Family Children’s Library is expected to be complete and open for the start of the American Independence Museum’s 2020 season on May 1.
Home to a world-class collection of 3,000 historic artifacts, the museum welcomes more than 5,000 visitors annually and distinguishes itself with educational school programs and events that make history fun and relevant.
Exeter, NH—July 24, 2018—Recently, Foy Insurance made an investment of $1,500 to support the American Independence Museum, a financial contribution whose roots extend back nearly 400 years for Co-Owner Jeff Foy.
“I am a direct descendant of Anthony Colby, who was one of the first settlers of Amesbury, Massachusetts where his home, the Macy-Colby house built around 1650, still stands today,” he said. “For so many years growing up, I heard the stories from my grandparents and great-grandparents.”
This interest in history was also encouraged by his schooling.
“I had great history teachers growing up in all levels of school at Sanborn in Kingston, New Hampshire and at UNH,” he added.
For Emma Bray, executive director at the museum, Foy’s enthusiasm and support is important on many levels.
“It gets other people excited about and interested in history and what we are doing here,” she said.
Foy agrees and added, “The museum embodies so many of the things I care about–our national and local history, supporting local enterprises, being part of the fabric of Exeter, making sure young people learn about history…We feel that we succeed when Exeter and the Exeter area is prosperous so we do as much as we can to support it.”
Home to a world-class collection of 3,000 historic artifacts, the museum welcomes more than 5,000 visitors annually and offers a diverse array of programs and events for all ages.
For Foy, history is not just a subject that interests him on a personal level, though, as he noted it is also reflected in his professional narrative.
“Foy Insurance and its predecessors insurance agencies called Elwell Insurance and then Elwell-Collishaw Insurance have been operating in Exeter for 125 years,” he said. “My family is the third family to own it.”
In referencing Foy’s personal and professional story, Bray said it helps to illustrate one very important key concept.
“History is not just something from our deep past,” she said. “It is happening today.”
History can also be predictive of the future.
“I have always looked to the past to predict and prepare for the future,” said Foy.