Sunday, October 10, 2010

Things To Do In New Hampshire When You're Dead: Strawbery Banke Edition

A definite must see in New Hampshire is this section of Portsmouth that was slated for demolition and urban renewal. Fortunately, this was fought, and instead has been turned into an historical recreation village, with houses dating from the 17th, 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries. Portsmouth is also the town in 1905 where President Roosevelt had the Japanese and Russians come to meet to stop the Russo-Japanese War. There are still several buildings in town that hosted this.

The great lawn of the museum.

OK, the only weird thing about the place was that, this particular weekend, they were hosting this Fairy House Festival, with certain areas made to look like Fairy Houses. There were all sorts of little girls made up like Fairies, wings and all. This guy also had wings on, but he looked more like a Balrog.

Here is Nail Making Machine. I don't think the lamps are historically accurate.

There has been ship-building in Portsmouth since 1800, and they are rightly proud of this.

Detail of a Model Ship.

Not all the houses are from the Portsmouth area. they come from all over New England, and are brought here in their original condition. Once in Strawbery Banke, they are slowly renovated to look as they once did. Here is a Staircase form the 19th century in the process of being renovated.

More renovation.

One of the houses in the village has been recreated and restored complete with kitchen. they have people who dress up in period clothing, and this lady was cooling fare from the 1800's. Everything she made was done with classic methods. Even though it was a bit hot in here, it sure smelled delicious. She had just baked some bread. She had ground all the spices herself. To get Nutmeg in the amount she wanted, it took about 3 hours.

This lady looks just like one of the home schooling Moms back in Monterey. We don't know what she was doing here. Obviously following us.

This area will be kept as it is. Pretty narrow. Doesn't look like it would hold me.
Another area is a small corner grocery store that has been recreated to 1943. Somehow, they have managed to find actual foods in their packaging from this time period. The kids thought it was neat that candy only cost 10 cents.
Had to tell then the minimum wage was 30 cents an hour, and people made about $2.500 per year.

Not Cheerios, but Cheeri-oats for 13 cents.

Original canned items.

This staircase has been rescued, and will eventually be used in a house that was used by Redcoats.

This gentleman was ostensibly doing a demonstration of Barrel-making. The bid attraction was that he was shaving planks of wood for barrels, and he was making curls of wood. Kids stood in line for these!

It looked pretty difficult to do this.

Cousin It!

A ceramic watering bucket. It has many holes in the bottom, and one on the top. You sank the bucket in water, stopped up the hole on the top to create a vacuum, and it would hold the water.

Chamber Pot in one of the houses.

A lounge chair from the 1800's.

Before the Wii, this is what you did in free time. It hoop and stick. You whack the hoop with the stick, and see how far you can make it go. It is surprisingly difficult. This should be made for the Wii. It is almost there anyways.

This man has guests from across the continent, and is having a great time!

The lady in the middle is Mrs. Goodwin, owner of one of the houses at Strawbery Banke. She was in period dress, and worked in the garden with traditional tools. She also answered questions about her era.
I don't know who the other two young ladies are.

A fountain in the garden. The gardens were very nice, but those pictures will be in an upcoming post.
If you get a chance to go to the Boston area, this is one we can recommend without reservation.

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