Exploring Hidden Gems: The New Hampshire Telephone Museum and Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum

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Recently a group of Granite State Ambassador (GSA) welcome center volunteers explored the quaint village of Warner, NH to experience it as a traveling guest would. As always, it didn’t disappoint! With 5 museums in the village, it was hard selecting just 2 to visit. We are excited to share what we learned about the New Hampshire Telephone Museum and the Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum.

This marked my third visit to the New Hampshire Telephone Museum, and I must say that I was absolutely delighted to have the opportunity. It proved to be an eye-opening experience as I and our GSA volunteers discovered and observed so many things that had been missed during previous visits. The informative and fact-filled tour we embarked on was truly captivating. Our guide, Graham, had us hanging on to every word, and we all found ourselves absorbing knowledge like a sponge.

Warner, nestled in the heart of New England, is a true hidden gem that deserves to be explored by the countless visitors to our beautiful state. The village holds a wealth of treasures waiting to be uncovered, from its diverse range of museums to its cozy restaurants, artist outlets, and so much more. It’s a small New England town with big surprises.

The New Hampshire Telephone Museum is absolutely fascinating and Graham was absolutely right in pointing out that it’s not just a telephone museum but a communication museum. The depth of history we learned during our visit was nothing short of incredible. Graham’s enthusiastic and knowledgeable narrative breathed life into the exhibits, making the past feel like it was unfolding before our eyes.

One highlight that left a lasting impression on our volunteers was the story of Cher Ami, the passenger pigeon from World War I that saved 194 soldiers. It was a piece of history that added a unique layer of depth to our museum experience and showcased the importance of communication beyond the realm of telephony.

In summary, a visit to the New Hampshire Telephone Museum is not just a casual stop; it’s a must-visit destination for anyone seeking to explore a scenic New Hampshire town filled with hidden gems. It’s a place where history comes alive, thanks to the passionate and knowledgeable team that guides visitors through the fascinating world of communication.

After enjoying a delightful lunch at Reed’s North, we ventured a couple of miles up the road to the Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum (MKIM). This remarkable institution is often described as a haven of culture and nature, offering an enriching experience deeply rooted in the Native American way of life. Nestled on a picturesque 12.5-acre property, the museum stands as a treasure trove of history and environmental respect.

Upon entering MKIM, the Native American reverence for the Earth and all living beings becomes palpable. This profound respect serves as a central theme that permeates the entire museum, influencing its mission and offerings.

Walking through the museum’s doors is akin to stepping into a time machine, whisking you away across centuries and continents. The exhibits beautifully showcase the diverse cultures of Native Americans, spanning from prehistoric times to contemporary tribes across North America. The museum’s commitment to education is unwavering, featuring a rotating roster of exhibits, workshops, lectures, and special events designed to inform and captivate visitors.

The Contemporary Art Gallery at MKIM hosts captivating exhibitions shedding light on contemporary Native art. During our visit, ‘Nebizun: Water is Life’ emphasized the vital role of water in Native cultures.

For those looking to delve deeper into the exhibits and the stories they tell, MKIM offers guided tours at scheduled times daily. Alternatively, visitors seeking an independent experience can embark on self-guided tours using convenient QR codes.

The Main Gallery stands as a circle of wonder, presenting the art and craftsmanship of various North American tribes. The vision of founders Bud and Nancy Thompson remains intact, encouraging guests to appreciate the beauty in Native-made objects and understand the worldviews of their creators.

The Contemporary Art Gallery, established in 2012, serves as a platform for contemporary Native art and has hosted numerous thought-provoking exhibitions, such as ‘Shaping Traditions: Pueblo Pottery,’ which delved into the intricate world of Pueblo pottery.

Outdoors, visitors can soak in the natural beauty and sweeping views while connecting with the land on a walk along the Medicine Wood Trail, offering insights into how Natives historically used plants for sustenance and tools. The Betsy Janeway Arboretum, a testament to Charles “Bud” Thompson’s vision, serves as a living classroom, demonstrating the botanical heritage harnessed by Native Americans for generations.

Leaving MKIM, I carried with me a deeper appreciation for the wisdom of Native cultures and their lessons in a fast-paced world. This museum is a place where stories come alive, where history resonates, and where the Earth is revered. I encourage you to embark on your journey to MKIM and immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Native American cultures and their profound respect for our Earth.