STRAWBERY BANKE MUSEUM

Resilience – the foundation on which Strawbery Banke is built. 

          
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The goal of the 2020 Strawbery Banke Fund appeal is to make up for the forecast $200,000 seasonal loss due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can help bridge that gap and make sure the past remains in the memory of the present. 

The stories of those who lived and worked in the historic waterfront neighborhood of Puddle Dock are inspirational reminders to remain steadfast when challenged by the complicated issues and conflicts of 21st-century life. 

Those stories that underscore the mission of Strawbery Banke are the magic with which the museum bridges the past and the present. They enlighten and enliven each visitor, every Member, all of the generous donors, and the staff. And they are the core of what sustains us, what's worth preserving and cherishing for future generations.

Those who lived along Puddle Dock through the centuries faced trials and disasters and emerged renewed after their struggles:

As the 1918-19 influenza epidemic ravaged the country, New Hampshire and Portsmouth, many of the residents of Puddle Dock, including the Shapiro Family who had only recently escaped the pogroms of their native Ukraine, with 10-year old Mollie (pictured on the left), survived by practicing physical-distancing and wearing masks – activities all too familiar today.

Along with the personal and cultural upheavals of the great wave of immigration between 1870 and 1920, the residents of Puddle Dock, half of whom were born overseas, formed a tight-knit and resilient community and supported each other socially and economically.

Mary Rider, Mary Wheelwright, and Mary Sherburne all were left widowed to face the world alone, answering the challenges of economic insecurity, raising relatives' children, and managing businesses as well as households, each in her own way.

Every visitor brings a new story to Strawbery Banke, enriching the diverse 'neighborhood of newcomers' that is Puddle Dock and deepening the treasury of stories to be shared. Each person who forms a bond with the museum adds to the memories that make the museum so much more than its historic houses and collections.

These stories of real people who made their homes in the houses that are now Strawbery Banke are the lifeblood that allows the museum to “Bridge the past and the present.” Blending those stories with the familiar framework of history is central to the mission of Strawbery Banke Museum. At the core, Strawbery Banke is a treasury of people and their stories. Over 100,000 visitors every year come to see the past through the eyes of the present – to experience how people lived and worked in the houses, hear the stories, and explore the gardens and landscapes of the past. Visitors return home better able to see the present through the lens of the past, inspired to face the challenges of today the way the residents of Puddle Dock – and their own ancestors – faced theirs.

To continue bridging the present with the past, Strawbery Banke needs your help. If you believe in the mission, please consider making a tax-deductible gift to help bridge the gap in these uncertain times.

Click here to make a gift right now on this secure website. 

And share the stories of your own Puddle Dock experiences over the years.  Email anecdotes and images to japril 'AT' sbmuseum.org where they will be added to the archive of those whose lives were touched by -- and continue to touch -- Strawbery Banke.