American Independence Museum to Host Tavern Tours

The new Folsom Tavern Tour includes hands-on interactives and audio components to help better experience colonial life.

EXETER — Providing visitors with memorable insights into Exeter and its role leading up to and after the Revolutionary war, the American Independence Museum will host Folsom Tavern Tours beginning May 15.

Built in 1775 by Samuel Folsom and visited by George Washington in 1789, Folsom Tavern was site to the founding of the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of New Hampshire in 1783. The nation's oldest patriotic organization, the Society was founded by officers of the Continental Army and their French counterparts who served together in the American Revolution.

“We'll talk about all of this as well as provide visitors with some history about how colonial taverns, in general, were used and experienced,” said Curator Jennifer Carr.

Citing an emphasis on inclusivity and diversity in this year’s programs and exhibits, Carr said tour guides will also look at the tavern experience from different perspectives.

“For example, a tavern would have been experienced differently by an enslaved person visiting with his enslaver than for a white merchant,” she explained. “It would have been different for a craftsman than a gentleman or a woman...We are going to tell those sorts of stories."

Folsom Tavern Tours may also feature audio recordings that replicate sounds that may have been heard in 18th century taverns. Emma Stratton, executive director at the museum, said such enhancements reflect an emphasis on “meaningfully integrating technology” into its various programs.

“Immersion, inclusivity, digital engagement -- these are concepts that will guide us as we continue to reinterpret our past and reimagine our future as American citizens,” she said.

After the guided tours, which will last approximately 45-minutes, visitors will be encouraged to remain on-site and enjoy 1-acre landscaped property.

“There is plenty of space here for families and people of all ages,” added Stratton.

Home to a world-class collection of 3,000 historic artifacts, the museum is currently developing a variety of public and education programs in virtual and online formats to encourage digital inclusion for all ages.

Following state guidelines, all tours are limited and pre-registration is required. Tours will be held every hour on the hour on Thursdays 10-12 and Fridays/Saturdays 10-3, beginning May 15. Capacity is limited and masks are required

To register for Folsom Tavern tours, visit

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