HANCOCK — The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire (BHTNH), a non-profit organization that shares the 300-year-old history of the Granite State’s African American people, is thrilled to announce its 2019 walking tour in Hancock. This is the second year that the BHTNH has held tours outside of the original area of Portsmouth and the Seacoast, where it offered guided walking and trolley tours along the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail.
Hancock, which can be described as a “quintessential New England village”, appears to be a place where time has stood still. At first glance, this little village seems to be slumbering away quite peacefully. However, buried just beneath the Colonial veneer of this seemingly all white town is a vibrant history of early Black settlers who worked, bought land, built homes, challenged the church and struggled for freedom. Today, all that is left are the abandoned artifacts of that early life: their roads, their walls, their cellar holes and their scant records.
The Hancock tour, scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Sun., September 8, will explore the forgotten stories of this quaint village. Tour guests will learn about the anti-slavery riot that occurred in Hancock and hear the tale of Jack Ware, a former enslaved man, and members of the Due family on this part walking part driving tour. As the tour explore the cellar holes of the homes these residents left behind, it is aptly titled “Asserting Freedom: A Tour of Cellar Holes & Sites in Hancock, NH”.
Tour guide and Sankofa Scholar Eric Aldrich works for The Nature Conservancy and is an avid explorer of the Hancock area. When not moving trail cameras around in the woods of Hancock, he is seeking cellar holes and researching the fascinating lives of the characters that lived there.
The Hancock tour, along with additional tours in Warner and Milford, NH, later in the fall, marks the expansion of the organization to having a truly state-wide presence.
JerriAnne Boggis, Executive Director of the BHTNH, said, “Our mission is to open hearts and minds for a deeper understanding of who we are as a community and to recognize that we share a uniquely American heritage. One way we bring awareness to the rich Black heritage of the state and tell the forgotten stories of the past is through our many guided tours. To extend our reach into new areas, like Hancock, Warner and Milford, and eventually throughout more communities, allows us to bring more understanding and awareness of Black history, which is really a part of New Hampshire’s history.”
The BHTNH walking tours were recognized by Yankee Magazine, receiving the Editor’s Choice Award in the Summer 2018 Travel Guide for Best Walking Tour in New Hampshire. With tours scheduled from May through October, the BHTNH offers numerous and varied opportunities to learn about Black history in New Hampshire.
The cost for the tour is $25.00 per person and registration is available through the BHTNH website: www.blackheritagetrailnh.org. The tour is limited to 25 people, so pre-registration is recommended.
Because of the location of the sites, this is a part driving and part walking tour. Guests are requested to wear sensible walking shoes for this tour., no heels or sandals, as there is 1/2 mile walk to see old cellar holes.
The tour will begin at the Town Office Building at 50 Main St, in Hancock. Parking is available behind the Town Office.
For more information about the tour, or for questions about registration, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Black Heritage Trail of NH
The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire works to open hearts and minds for a deeper understanding of who we are as a collective and to recognize that we share a uniquely American heritage. Building on the success of the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail that started more than two decades ago, the new statewide Black Heritage Trail connects the stories of New Hampshire’s African heritage by documenting and marking visible many of the historic sites that testify to this rich history.
Guided tours and public programs, along with educational materials and teacher workshops, will continue to be developed by the Black Heritage Trail to promote awareness of African-American culture and to honor all the people of African descent whose names may not have been included in previous town histories. The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire provides a variety of learning experiences for adults and children. Offerings include school programs, guided tours, traveling programs, lectures, and workshops.
The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire is an independent, nonprofit organization. The organization is a registered 501c 3 nonprofit; Taxpayer Identification Number 81-3921917.