Museum hours: 10AM to 5PM. Open Wednesday-Sunday. (Closing: Dec. 16)

APP: A Peek at the Past

The Woodman Museum—a local Dover museum celebrating its 102nd year serving the Seacoast community—will be unveiling “APP: A Peek at the Past,” in April 2018. APP, the latest in a series of rotating exhibits featured in the Foster Room of the Woodman House, will explore the largely or fully replaced technologies in the areas of communication, entertainment and information-sharing. The exhibit will feature collections on loan from area photographer Thom Hindle of Images of the Past, silent movie-era artifacts from Woodman docent Paul Timmerman (grandson of Benny Turner, an early movie actor and projectionist), and antique telephone technology from private collector Ernie Bruneau of the Eliot Historical Society and the Kittery Historical and Naval Museum.

The exhibit, which also draws upon the museum’s own vast collection, will highlight the notion that the functions of bulky cameras, telegraphs, and newspapers and activities like shopping, socializing, letter-writing and information sharing have all been consolidated in a device that fits in our pocket: the smart phone and its many “apps.”  Visitors to the Foster Room Gallery will see examples of bygone technologies that were once considered miraculous and cutting-edge but now have analogues in the form of Internet-ready phone applications.

Also being unveiled this year is a smart-phone or tablet-driven scavenger hunt, a complement to the self-guided tour of the Woodman House. Visitors can access the 100 Treasures list on the Woodman Museum website ( to learn more about key artifacts and collections specially labelled throughout the exhibit spaces. The 100 Treasures scavenger hunt continues into the guided portion of the Woodman experience that includes a docent-led tour of the Damm Garrison, Hale House and Carriage Barn.

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Woodman House

Built in 1818 as the residence of Charles and Annie Woodman, The Woodman House today is a unique example of an authentic 20th-century museum. It now houses the Natural History and Veteran Memorial sections and contains extensive and well-preserved collections of local area interest.

The War Memorial Museum The top floor of the Woodman House houses an extensive collection of Civil War artifacts and memorabilia, as well as other collections from wars in which local citizens participated.

Among the many items of interest, one of the ten known “Napoleon” Civil War cannons, complete with its original caisson. Batteries of these guns stopped Pickett’s famous charge at Gettysburg.

Birds & Butterflies The Museum’s first curator, Melville J. Smith, created a series of wonderful dioramas to showcase the Museum’s excellent collection of birds. Shore and land birds in their natural settings and several specimens of Arctic Owls are displayed. An additional room is devoted to dioramas of tropical birds.

Several wall-mounted displays show off a beautiful assortment of jewel-toned moths, butterflies, and insects from nearby locales and the tropics.

Rocks and More Rocks An excellent mineral collection which includes nearly 1300 outstanding specimens. There are hundreds of fossils, collections of area rocks, and displays of dynamic geology.

Native American Artifacts A large display of Native American artifacts includes pieces from the Madbury Culture that lived in this area three to six thousand years ago, as well as the famous Red Paint Culture of nearby Maine. Interesting Incan items from South America are also on display.

Mammals & Marine Life  The museum’s first-floor gallery houses a large display of mammals and marine life with emphasis on the wildlife of New England. Included in the exhibit is a mounted specimen of the last cougar killed in New Hampshire — in nearby Lee in 1853, as well as a 10-foot polar bear killed by a Dover man near the Siberian coast in 1969. If sharks fascinate you, don’t miss the museum’s Marine Room where you can see a blue shark caught off the coast of Ogunquit Maine, or visually feast on a 27-pound lobster, a large green turtle, or a man-killing bivalve clam found off the Australian coast.

Snakes & Turtles A collection of snakes and turtles and a cabinet filled with botanical oddities are also housed in this section.

Childhood Gallery If you’re a doll lover, former or current Boy or Girl Scout, or if you simply want to show your children how kids used to entertain themselves, please visit our childhood room.

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Woodman Museum