MTM: Touring New England and Eastern Canada
This is a list of living history tours to accompany the information found in the fall edition of Maine Tour Magazine.
The 19th century Shakers sang “Tis a gift to be simple,” and their gift to us is their simply and magnificently designed buildings, furniture, and artifacts of daily life.
Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, New Gloucester, Maine, is the only active remaining Shaker community, and its Sunday meeting worship service is open to the public. Group tours are available by reservation. Exhibits, Visitors’ Center and Shaker Store.
Hancock Shaker Village, Hancock, Massachusetts, winner of Michelin stars, Yankee Editor’s Pick, AAA Gem, is a Registered National Landmark in the Berkshires. Daily all-day programming, a look at restored Shaker rooms conveying a feel for how they lived, and the famous Round Barn. On-site café, free motorcoach parking, Village Store with unique gifts.
Canterbury Shaker Village, Canterbury, New Hampshire, a National Historic Landmark. Private tours can be scheduled for groups, continuing a Shaker tradition, group rate minimum, easy accessibility for coaches, pre-ordered lunches available or order on-site from Shaker Box Lunch & Farm Stand.
Enfield Shaker Museum, Enfield, New Hampshire, says “We Make You Freely Welcome” to this place on the National Register once called the “Chosen Vale.” Museum located in the Great Stone Dwelling House, the largest Shaker dwelling house ever built. Video, group rates, free parking, and guided tours for groups with reservations. Also video available to play on coach previous to visit.
Kings Landing Historical Settlement, near Fredericton, New Brunswick. Immersive tours—Survival, Footloose, and/or Taboo--of a 19th century village, for scheduled groups over 15, along with discounts, authentic lunches at the King’s Head Inn, some wagon transport.
Le Pays de la Sagouine, Bouctouche, New Brunswick. Theatrical island village celebrating beloved Acadian fictional character and the Acadian heritage. Group discounts for groups of 20 or more, free driver meal, restaurant and snack bar, lots of motorcoach parking. Less than half-an-hour north of Moncton.
Village Historique Acadien, Caraquet, New Brunswick. Living history museum showing almost two centuries of Acadian life. Cooking workshops, boutique and café-bisttro, carriages and rental scooters for mobility impaired.
L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site, Great Northern Peninsula, Newfoundland. Remains of Greenland Norse encampment with a variety of Viking programs. Gift shop, photo opp at replica faering boat.
Red Bay National Historic Site, Red Bay, Labrador, World Heritage Site, major Basque whaling port in 16th century. Tours and interpretation center.
Fortress of Louisbourg, Louisbourg, Cape Breton. Stunning re-creation of 18th century fortress on the edge of the Atlantic. Bilingual costumed characters explain their lives and times in places they live and work. Demonstrations including daily military drill. Variety of group discounts. A place to spend some time. Three restaurants, the King’s Bakery, and a 1744 Boutique.
Highland Village Museum, Cape Breton, overlooking Bras d’Or Lakes. Costumed staff brings Scots Gaelic culture alive. Groups are greeted in Gaelic, receive orientation. Traditional singing and craftspersons throughout village. Guided tours with tea and oatcakes available.
Sherbrooke Village, Sherbrook. Picturesque village along the St. Mary’s River. Costumed interpreters include craftspeople of the 19th century. Photo studio, horse-drawn carriage, 2-day
AND MORE . . .
Other notable living history museums that groups enjoy include the following:
Burnt Island Lighthouse Station, off Boothbay Harbor, Maine. On the National Register, the lighthouse offers a costumed depiction of the life of Keeper Joseph Muise and his family, called Burnt Island Living Lighthouse. Actual lighthouse only open to tour groups, or by appointment.
Historic Deerfield Village, Old Deerfield, Massachusetts.
Invites groups to “Spend a Day in Old New England--Take a walk back in time, to the heart of an 18th-century colonial village.” Tour coordinator will design itinerary, step-on guides available, over-20 group discount, great gift shop, dining at Deerfield Lunch
Plimoth Plantation and Grist Mill, Plymouth, Massachusetts. Outdoor living exhibits include a 17th century English Village and a Wampanoag Homesite. The Mayflower II returns in 2019. At the Craft Center, skilled craftspeople recreate a 17th century world. Groups can use vouchers in Café, have catered or box lunches, and customized special events. Welcoming groups since 1947. A Smithsonian Affiliate.
Salem 1630 Pioneer Village, Salem, Massachusetts.
America’s first living history museum. Three acres of colonial architecture just outside downtown Salem include dugouts, thatched cottages, wigwams, blacksmith shop, and culinary and medicinal gardens.
Newport Mansions of The Preservation Society of Newport, Newport, Rhode Island. Famed group of stunning mansions, some with guided tours. Discounts and comps for groups over twenty. One of New England’s top four most visited attractions.
Billings Farm & Museum, Woodstock, Vermont.
“Gateway To Vermont’s Rural Heritage” Rockefeller-founded outdoor history museum with an operating dairy farm, draft horses, and sheep. 1890 Farm House, cheddar sampling, hands-on activities. Groups can obtain pre-visit DVD for coach, groups of 10 or more are greeted by a museum staffer. Dairy bar with ice cream, snacks, farm picnic, picnic area. Customized programs for groups. Discounts and comps.
Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site, Plymouth Notch, Vermont. Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as the 30th President of the US by his father, here in his boyhood home in a village almost 100 years old, yet barely changed. Outstanding Visitor Center, with exhibits and gift shop. A working cheese factory, a restaurant, and picnic area. Group discounts.