AMERICAN LIVES: A Timeline of American History
June 29, 2019

July 3 & 4, 2019

“An American Celebration” is Strawbery Banke Museum’s annual salute to American Independence Day and the joys of summer. Multiple generations make this weekend full of events a Fourth of July tradition, given the opportunity to enjoy the living history museum at a time that American history takes a special spotlight.

At Strawbery Banke, the 17th Annual An American Celebration extends the festivities all weekend long.  Offering something for everyone, from extra re-enactors to a 1940s-style swing dance, each day’s events add something new to Independence Day traditions. Sponsors include: BAE Systems, Exeter Hospital and the Fuller Foundation, as well as annual sponsors R.M. Davis and Proulx Oil & Gas. Marshall Rental provides in-kind support.

SATURDAY, June 29, 10 am to 5 pm

American Lives: Timeline of American History

Start the celebration of American heritage meeting the widest range of historic interpretation presented anywhere by re-enactors and living history performers, gathered on the campus for interactions all day long:

Strange and Farre, early North American settlers in the year 1602

Crew of the Raven, maritime history & the lifestyle of sailors, 1620

Salem Trayned Band, 17th Century pike and shot weaponry, 1637

Bloody Historical, sailor merchants and privateers in the year 1723

42nd Regiment of Foot, French and Indian War soldiers, 1756

Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook-Abenaki People, Native American culture and arts in the year 1750

Portsmouth Train Band, military training day & cooking demo, 1775

His Majesty's Tenth Regiment of Foot, Infantry unit of the British Army during the Revolution, 1775

Piscataqua Rangers Fife and Drum Corp, is Portsmouth's local Fife and Drum Corp performing songs from 1778

Dr. Jackson, Portsmouth’s physician making 18th C. Medicine, 1786

The Federal Ladies, demonstrating women’s life in 1798

Harriet Jacobs, an African American writer in 1842

Oney Judge Staines, describing colonial slavery from the year 1845

Corbin’s Battery, early Civil War mountain howitzer battery, 1861

2nd Rhode Island Signal Corps, Civil war telegraphy in 1863

Yesterday's Gentlemen & Ladies, from the close of the Gilded Age, into the Progressive Era, 1902

NE Woman Suffrage Association: Puddle Dock Chapter, portraying Woman Suffrage, 1916

103rd Infantry Regiment, 26th “Yankee” Division, World War I display, 1914

Bessie Coleman, an African American aviator from the 1920’s

Mack Fire Truck Jack and Bella show off their 1930 pumper

Pine Tree Chapter Model As, Model A Ford autos from the 1930s

Vintage Express, women supporting the WWII war effort

Event included with regular daily admission.

Presented with assistance from the Fuller Foundation.

WEDNESDAY, July 3rd, 6-9 pm

1940’s Style Swing Dance

Jump, jive and swing to the music of the Beantown Swing Orchestra at a 1940s-style swing dance. Dance Lessons (free instruction with ticket to the dance) starts at 6 pm, and the band boogies from 7 pm to 9 pm.  Then watch the Portsmouth fireworks display from the vantage point of Strawbery Banke. Tickets are $20.

Presented with assistance from the Fuller Foundation.

THURSDAY, July 4th. All admission FREE thanks to:

Naturalization Ceremony, 11 am
Celebrate America by welcoming new citizens at the US Naturalization Ceremony. A Museum favorite, come feel reinvigorated by the joy and patriotism shared by those who make their own special day on their new nation’s birthday.

Old-Fashioned Field Day, 10 am - 2 pm

Learn games played throughout the centuries as part of Strawbery Banke’s Old Fashioned Field Day. Visitors are invited to play a round of croquet, test their skill at marbles, have fun with hula hoops, and collect ribbons at 10 different games all over the museum grounds.

Patriotic parade around the museum grounds at 2 pm. Kids are invited to decorate their bikes, wagons, or hats from 10 am until the parade starts. Bike parade presented with assistance from:


The Museum is open daily, 10 am to 5 pm. During a visit families enjoy:

  • Furnished houses representing 300+ years of history
  • Costumed role-players
  • Victorian Fairy Houses
  • Guided garden tours
  • Demonstrations of weaving, colonial hearth-cooking, basket weaving, and more.
  • Enjoy refreshments at Figtree Café at Strawbery Banke, and a delightful shopping experience for adults and kids at Pickwick’s at the Banke.

As a Blue Star Museum, Strawbery Banke admits active duty military and their families FREE. Strawbery Banke also admits veterans free.