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Manchester Historical Museum
2023 Annual Report

The past twelve months have been busy, with many events produced and many visitors to the Museum, and a successful effort to elevate public awareness of the Museum.

As we entered the key bicentennial year, your board of directors engaged in a strategic planning process aimed at a re-appraisal of the Museum’s value to the town, its members, its visitors, and the

larger public. The result is a re-imagined approach to programs and governance.

 

We are committed to telling the story of banker and store proprietor Abigail Hooper, who, 200 years ago, was the only unmarried, self-made woman in Massachusetts to have her own house built—the house that would become your Museum and that deserves special attention in this bicentennial. In so doing, we sponsored two lectures about her life and we completed the restoration of three rooms to interpret her domestic and retail activities in a room-by-room narrative for visitors.

 

In appealing to families and children, we are introducing two new permanent exhibits, a Talking Dollhouse and Downtown 1910 Diorama with Model Trains, and we have sponsored several family-friendly events as well as hosted field trips from elementary school pupils. We have renewed the Salt Cod Fishyard as a permanent outdoor exhibit, and we brought The Torrent fire engine and the Forster Flag into the street for the Fourth of July parade.

​In recognition of the importance of art to this town, we produced four Art Shows and acquired works by the Cheever family of photographers and by the master painter Charles S. Hopkinson, whose art is now on display in our newly transformed gallery space.

 

Thanks to you, we had a record-setting Annual Appeal. We held a Bicentennial Inaugural event at Sharksmouth and have begun a Capital Campaign in support of programs and of further restoration efforts, such as the re-creation of the handsome portico that graced the front of the house in the days of Abigail Hooper and her husband Capt. Richard Trask. We envision the restored portico serving as both a literal and symbolic portal welcoming visitors to new experiences.

We have benefited from the generosity of several donors of items and artifacts, including Sue Parker, Randolph Carr, Melanie Andrews, Kitty Weaver, Lotte Calnek, Sarah Dixwell Brown, Matthew Swindell, Donald Carleton and Robert Booth, Elizabeth Trask Camacho, Laura Denoncour, Matthew Genta, Mary Maynard, Cheryl Lee Lamphear, Marjorie Barnett, John Davis, and Pamela Nelson. We have also received loans from Malcolm Odell, Matthew Genta, and Jean-Marc de Wasseige.

Not least, we were the beneficiaries of the remarkable graphic talents of Melanie Andrews and of the expertise of attorney John Colucci, both of whom generously provided their services pro bono.

Thanks to all!

October 2022

  • New website produced
  • Fall Art Show
  • Lecture (R. Booth) "Nabby Hooper, A Girl Like No Other"
  • Re-installation of Manchester 1772 Exhibit
  • Participation in the "Wobblin' Goblins" Parade.
  • Pumpkin decorating with the Library.
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November 2022

  • Museum Redux revised plan produced
  • Annual Appeal begins
  • Lecture (R. Booth) "Manchester 1772"
  • Ongoing work on House Histories

December 2022

  • Garden Club Decoration of Museum & Grounds
  • Holiday Members' Reception
  • Christmas Party with Music
  • Christmas Tea with Music
  • Memorial Service for Esther "Slim" Proctor
  • Acquisition of 40+ Cheever Glass-Plate Negatives
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January
2023

  • Archival review by State Archivist Thomas Doyle
  • Cricket Sea Serpent Article and Podcast (R. Booth)
  • Annual Appeal continues
  • Restoration of Rooms planned

February
2023

  • Restoration of the Old Kitchen begins
  • Matthew Genta chosen as President Pro Tem
  • Plan made to remove Upper Yard overgrowth
  • Pop-Up Art Show
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March
2023

  • Participation in "Roaring Twenties" K–5 Event 
  • Completion of the Strategic Plan
  • Rus Brown becomes Treasurer Pro Tem
  • Lecture (R. Booth): Life & Times of Abigail Hooper Trask

April
2023

  • Lecture (R. Booth): John Lee & The Return of The Indigenous People
  • Town Meeting approves CPC funding of Masconomo Park sign
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May
2023

  • First Graders Visit: Diorama, Dollhouse, and Tidepool Art
  • R. Booth and Peter Crofton producing Town Video
  • Parlor being renovated
  • Portico Restoration planned
  • Grant from Sons of Colonial Wars for Fishyard Exhibit

June
2023

  • Inaugural Bicentennial Event at Sharksmouth
  • Capital Campaign begins: $200K for 200th Anniversary
  • Lecture (W. Cross): Winslow Homer in Manchester and Beyond
  • Salt Cod Fishery Exhibit Re-Opened
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July
2023

  • "Manchester 1772" Exhibit Re-Opened
  • The Torrent in the Fourth of July Parade
  • Curatorial Advisory Committee Inaugurated
  • Restorations continue

August
2023

  • Art Event for "Festival-by-the-Sea"
  • Restoration of Old Kitchen completed
  • Radio, newspaper, and social media coverage of Fishyard Exhibit
  • Renovation of Gallery
  • Ongoing visits from families and tourists
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September
2023

  • Restoration of Parlor completed and furnished
  • Family Fun Fest Event produced with Trails & Sails
  • Annual Meeting

Board Members

Matthew Genta — President Pro Tem

Susana Thompson — Secretary

Rus Brown — Treasurer Pro Tem

Rebecca Campbell

Martha Chapman

Philio Cushing

Constance Leahy

David Lumsden

Axel Magnuson

Mary Minott

John Round

Amy Snodgrass

Staff and Consultants

Robert Booth — Director & Curator

Matthew Swindell — Archivist

Nancy Klebart — Executive Assistant

Martha Chapman — Events Manager

Peter Crofton — Technology Consultant

Jessica November — Engagement Specialist

Matthew Blackman — Exhibit Consultant

Samuel Reissfelder — High School Intern

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