Built in 1818 as the residence of Charles and Annie Woodman, The Woodman House today is a unique example of an authentic 19th century museum. It now houses the Natural History and War Memorial museums and contains extensive and well preserved collections of local area interest.
Rocks and More Rocks
An excellent mineral collection includes nearly 1300 outstanding specimens. There are hundreds of fossils collections of area rocks and displays of dynamic geology.
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 Inca items from South America are also on display.
Mammals & Marine Life The museum’s firs 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’ 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.
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.
Snakes & Turtles
A collection of snakes and turtles and a cabinet filled with botanical oddities are also housed in this section. Who can resist the two headed snake and the four legged chicken!
Hush-a-bye, Don’t You Cry
If you’re a doll lover, or if you simply want to show your children the Barbie you played with years ago, please visit our doll room. Tucked away in a separate gallery on the 2nd floor is a large collection of antique and modern dolls that every child, young or old, will love.
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 is 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. There is a saddle used by President Lincoln while reviewing the troops just prior to his assassination.