Civil War 150
New Hampshire

The Woodman Institute Museum and Hale House, Dover NH

The three-story brick residence that people have called the Woodman Institute Museum for nearly a century was built in 1818.  It was the home of Annie and Charles Woodman and, at one time, was shared with a famous lawyer, Daniel Christie.  When Annie E. Woodman died in January 1915, she left a $100,000 trust to create a Dover institution – a museum for the town.
 
On July 28, 1916, the founding three trustees opened the original complex of the Woodman Home, the adjacent Hale Home and the 1675 Damm Garrison House behind them on Central Avenue in downtown Dover.  Recently, the museum added the Keefe House to the campus.  Keefe House was built in 1825, behind the Woodman home.
 
Today the Woodman Institute Museum is dedicated to local area history, natural history and art, providing exhibits, lectures and research studies on those subjects. Helping to tell the history of the people who built New Hampshire, the museum holds one of the finest displays of natural history and geology in the area. An entire room is dedicated to Civil War weaponry, uniforms and memorabilia, maps and documents.  The pride of the collection is the saddle President Lincoln rode while reviewing the troops in April 1865, just before his assassination.

Hale House
The Hale House was built in 1813 by John Williams, founder of the Dover Cotton Factory.  It was purchased by New Hampshire U.S. Senator John Parker Hale in 1840 and now contains an exhibit of artifacts from his ambassadorial service, as well as family items including letters from Lucy Hale Chandler, his daughter, who was once the fiancée of John Wilkes Booth.

The eclectic collection includes navigational equipment and ship models by Clyde L. Whitehouse, a Japanese sword presented by the delegation in Portsmouth in 1905 to negotiate an end to the Russo-Japanese War, fire and police memorabilia, antique dolls and toys, a carousel horse, pewter, china and pottery, and an exhibit on the Cocheco Mill.

On the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's tour of New Hampshire, the Woodman Institute Museum recreated his visit to Dover NH, hosting Lincoln interpreter Steve Woods, an encampment (above) of the 5th NH  The Fifth Regiment N.H. Volunteers and the 12th N.H. Co A brass choir (below).  A medical officer  discussed surgical practices while

Dover’s famous Civil War nurse Sarah Low, talked about her experiences at the field hospitals.

Woodman Institute Museum

182 Central Avenue
Dover, NH  03820
603-742-1038

Admission Fees:
- $8 adults - $6 seniors 65+ and students - $3 children 6-15 years old - free to members and children 5 and under

Gift Shop:
Gift shop (also online) offers books and Dover historical memorabilia. The store is open when the museum is open.

Hours of Operation:
Open April through November, Wednesday-Sunday, 12:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Closed holidays and from Dec. 1 through March 31.

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