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Highlights of 2022

Scroll on to look back on a year of programs and events at the Manchester Historical Museum (M. H. M.).

Wednesday, February 16:
"Pleasure Gardens in the 19th Century: Discovering the Art of Horticulture"

The M. H. M. held the lecture "Pleasure Gardens in the 19th Century: Discovering the Art of Horticulture," by Lucinda "Cindy" Brockway, Director of Cultural Resources for the Trustees of Reservations.

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Sunday, March 6:
Opening of the
Spring Art Show


The museum's spring art show returned with a variety of pieces from a host of local artists. The M. H. M. was happy to receive news coverage of the event from the Cape Ann Cosmos, a newsletter promoting cultural events around Cape Ann. The spring art show ran until April 9.

Wednesday, March 16:
"The House that Booth Built"


The M. H. M. hosted Kory Curcuru, producer of 1623 Studios' Timeline: Cape Ann docuseries, for a lecture on the theatrical Booth family and their connection to Manchester.


Wednesday, April 20:
"Indigenous Presence in Manchester"

The museum hosted Mary Ellen Lepionka for the lecture "Indigenous Presence in Manchester" as a prelude to the opening of the museum's Indigenous artifacts exhibit.

Tuesday, April 26:
Booth Named as New
M. H. M. Director


The Manchester Cricket published an article announcing Robert Booth as the new director of the M. H. M.


Saturday, April 30:
Opening of the
Indigenous Artifacts Exhibit


The M. H. M. opened its Indigenous artifacts exhibit with a reception focused on visitor engagement. The museum encouraged guests to bring their own Indigenous artifacts to be reviewed by two archaeologists from the Massachusetts Archeology Society. The Indigenous Artifacts exhibit ran until June 10.

Wednesday, May 18:
"Wandering Houses of Manchester"

The museum's director, Robert Booth, lectured on the "Wandering Houses of Manchester," exploring the history of Manchester buildings that had been moved to different locations. 

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Friday, June 3:
School Field Trip


A group of first graders from Manchester Memorial Elementary School took a field trip to the M. H. M. where they were invited to participate in a paper schooner making activity. The museum followed up, on the following two Fridays, with an art-focused field trip for second graders and a scavenger hunt at the 1661 Cemetery for third graders.


Saturday, July 23:
Grand Opening of the "Manchester 1772" Exhibit

After it was featured in a members' reception and a full-page Cricket article, the M. H. M. had a grand public opening for its summer exhibit, "Manchester 1772," the brainchild of the museum's director, Robert Booth. Visitors were treated to a taste of salted cod bacalhau and the sounds of a jazz band as they learned the story of Manchester's past life as a farming and fishing town in the eighteenth century. The museum used authentic artifacts to interpret a fish yard from 1772. The exhibit ran until September 9.

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Thursday, July 28:
"Business After Hours" and "Manchester 1772" Ribbon Cutting

The M. H. M. hosted Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce's "Business After Hours" event, featuring a ceremonial ribbon cutting (with giant scissors and all) for the museum's new "Manchester 1772" summer exhibit.

Saturday, August 6:
"Festival by the Sea" 

During "Festival by the Sea," the M. H. M. hosted eighteenth-century reenactors in complement to the museum's "Manchester 1772" summer exhibit.

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Sunday, September 11:
Opening of the
Fall Art Show


The M. H. M. welcomed the return of its fall art show. As visitors were treated to the works of many artists, they had a chance to be artists themselves with a Japanese fish printing activity. During the art show's run, which went until October 8, the museum hosted additional art activities, including a mini watercolor painting session, more fish printing, and leaf printing.

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Wednesday, September 19:
"See You in Hell" at the Annual Meeting

The museum held its annual meeting with a light dinner and a lecture by the museum's director, Robert Booth, titled "See You In Hell" and covering the history of pirates, their depiction in popular culture, and their historical presence in New England.


Wednesday, October 19:
"Nabby Hooper: A Girl Like No Other"


The M. H. M. hosted a lecture by director Robert Booth (with help from assistant Matthew Swindell) titled "Nabby Hooper: A Girl Like No Other" about the early life of Abigail Hooper, later to become Abigail Hooper Trask. As Miss "Nabby" Hooper, she was a notably independent Manchester woman and successful store owner who had a house built for herself in 1823 that later became the core of the

M. H. M. The lecture kicked off the start of programming to celebrate the house's bicentennial year in 2023.

Saturday, October 22:
"Wobblin' Goblins"


As Halloween approached, the M. H. M. participated in the year's "Wobblin' Goblins Parade" community trick-or-treat, with the town's young ghosts and ghouls depleting the entire stock of candy provided by the museum.

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Tuesday, October 25:
October Crafts with the Library


The M. H. M. partnered with the Manchester Public Library for a children's October crafts activity, where participants decorated some "not-so-spooky" pumpkins.

Not-so-Spooky Pumpkins.jpg

Tuesday, November 8:
"Manchester 1772" Lecture


Director Robert Booth lectured on "Manchester 1772" to mark the return of the exhibit after the close of the fall art show.

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Saturday, November 12:
Slim Proctor
Celebration of Life


The museum hosted a "celebration of life" event for the Proctor family in honor of longtime museum volunteer Esther "Slim" Proctor, who passed away in September at the age of 98.

Wednesday, November 16:
Garden Club Pumpkin Embellishing

Members of the Manchester Garden Club filled the M. H. M.'s assembly hall to embellish pumpkins for Thanksgiving centerpieces.

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Thursday, December 1:
Christmas Comes to the
M. H. M.


At the beginning of December, the Manchester Garden Club provided their expertise in decking the halls of the Trask House with Christmas greenery and decorations as events of the season approached. The museum also enjoyed a new train table designed by enthusiast Matthew Blackman, intended to be an attraction for all seasons.

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Matt B. Train set-up.JPG

Friday, December 2:
"Christmas by the Sea"


The M. H. M. received many visitors for the holiday stroll kicking off "Christmas by the Sea," and the museum offered plenty of hot apple cider, candy canes, and Christmas cheer. The museum then partnered on the upcoming Sunday with Leslie Beatty, of the Manchester Welcome Committee, to offer new residents a tour of the Trask House.

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Tuesday, December 6:
The Christmas Party


The M. H. M. invited its membership to partake in the museum's Christmas Party, held for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with live music, delightful treats, and enough eggnog and punch to go around.

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Wednesday, December 7:
The Christmas Tea


The M. H. M.'s Christmas Tea returned for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began as guests were treated to a splendid service of tea fare in the museum's assembly hall.

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Tuesday, December 13, and Wednesday, Dec. 21:
Holiday Snowflake Drop-In Ornament Making


With tea, coffee, and lemonade, the museum invited visitors to drop-in to craft some handmade ornaments as Christmas approached.

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The Year's End

As 2022 turned to 2023, the Manchester Historical Museum looked forward to celebrating the bicentennial year of the Trask House and reinterpreting its exhibits as the history center of Manchester-by-the-Sea.

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