Woodman Institute Museum, Dover

#2 of 8 in Things to do in Dover
The Woodman Museum was founded in 1916 from a trust established by Annie E. Woodman to: “Engage minds. Ignite curiosity. Provoke thought., “Educate, excite, and inspire current and future generations about . . . a changing nation by preserving and exhibiting objects of historic significance, decorative and fine art, and natural science that connect Dover and its citizens to . . . the world.” A visit to the Woodman offers an intimate and personal opportunity for visitors to explore and experience history, natural sciences, and the arts.

On the grounds of the Woodman Museum you will find the oldest Sycamore Tree in Strafford County, a Medicinal & Industrial Garden designed and installed by Strafford County Master Gardeners and a functioning Rain Garden installed several years ago in cooperation with Soak NH, the EPA, NHDES, Strafford County Master Gardeners and other local volunteers.

The four historic houses that make up the campus include:

The Woodman House (1818) holds the Museum’s collection of rocks, minerals, fossils, and taxidermy specimens (animals, aquatic life, birds, and butterflies).

The Damm Garrison House (1675), the oldest house in Dover, contains 800 artifacts from the colonial era.

The John Parker Hale House (1813), aside from telling the story of one of America’s foremost Abolitionists and ally of Abraham Lincoln (and whose daughter, Lucy was engaged to John Wilkes Booth), informs visitors of the socioeconomic history of Dover, primarily from the 19th century mills and textile designs that traveled the world. The Hale House also includes, on its second floor, some primary examples of Portsmouth furniture and related art and artifacts.

The Keefe House (1825) contains our library, where we store our collection of the city records of Dover, as well as the Thom Hindle Art Gallery and our offices.

The Woodman Museum is a tax exempt organization. The total amount of your contribution is tax-deductible except for the fair market value of offered benefits. Our tax ID # is 02-0223356.
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Woodman Institute Museum Reviews
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98 reviews
  • This is a hidden gem that I wish I had discovered years ago! So many things to discover about Dover's history and nicely displaced. I look forward to going back in the spring!  more »
  • What a treasure of historical things from our past. Even the buildings are part of the collection, with the Garrison house, the original Woodman house, and the Hale mansion you have all kinds of trivi...  more »
  • I've been here many times over the years, my latest excursion was for the middle school art show. My daughter had some pieces in it. This is a great spot to see the oldest house in New Hampshire, some unique ephemera and pieces from the area, as well as learning about the great local history. If you are at all interested in history this should be a stop for you. If you have absolutely no interest in history it's still worth stopping in just for the experience.
  • Theres a lot of stuff there. Staff is super nice. They tell really cool and interesting stories. My family deemed it the weirdest thing in New Hampshire on our quest to find the weirdest thing in every state.

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