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Historical Society of Cheshire County to Break Ground on Construction Project
May 15, 2018 @ 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
A year from now, the Historical Society of Cheshire County will open a Cultural Heritage Center on Keene’s Main Street. The Cultural Heritage Center will be a destination that people will want to come back to again and again. It will be family friendly and hands on. It will be participatory, not passive. It will be about art, music, dance, crafts, gardening, cooking, games, and yes, history. When visitors walk into the welcome center through a handicap-accessible entrance, they will immediately begin to be transported into the past. They will receive an orientation to make them feel welcome, to provide some context, and to let them know what’s going on that day. They might take a tour of the Wyman Tavern, or a class such as how to build a wattle fence, or attend an event such as a living history festival, or participate in an activity such as traditional hearth cooking.
The Cultural Heritage Center vision will reach a milestone on May 15 at 11:30 am; on that day, the community is invited to a groundbreaking ceremony at the Bruder House, a brick building built in 1839 that is located adjacent to the Historical Society’s Wyman Tavern Museum. The Historical Society purchased the Bruder House from Keene State College in February to be used as a welcome center and educational venue for a Cultural Heritage Center campus. The groundbreaking ceremony will mark the start of a renovation project at the Bruder House to include classroom and meeting space, storage space, a covered porch, and an outdoor function area. A brick walkway will connect the Bruder House to the Wyman Tavern as a campus for programs of the Historical Society. It is fitting that the Bruder House will be integrated with the Wyman Tavern, because the Bruder House lot was part of the Wyman Tavern property when Captain Isaac Wyman and his family operated the building as a tavern in the 1700s.
The renovation project at the Bruder House was made possible by a recently completed capital fund campaign — Investing in Our History, Enhancing Our Future. More than 215 individuals, couples, private companies, and foundations contributed to the campaign, as did the New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP). The capital campaign also raised funds for the historical rehabilitation of the Wyman Tavern in 2016, and improvements to the Society’s headquarters the Ball Mansion that are expected to be completed in 2019.
The project is the culmination of a process that began about five years ago when the Trustees of the Historical Society of Cheshire County decided that more space was needed to accommodate the Society’s expanded range of educational and cultural programs. The Historical Society envisions that the number of its visitors could double as a result of the expansions in facilities and programs.
The groundbreaking ceremony will take place at the Bruder House, 349 Main Street in Keene at 11:30 am on Tuesday, May 15. The community is welcome to attend. For more information, contact the Historical Society of Cheshire County at 603-352-1895 or hsccnh.org.