Every season the New Hampshire Boat Museum has one or more exciting and unusual exhibits that will pique your interest.
Since New Hampshire was first settled, boat building has played an essential role both on the sea coast and on inland lakes and rivers.
From the first settlement of the state until approximately 1900 boat building was focused on essentials of transportation, commerce and, to a limited degree, defense. Generally power was muscle, sail or steam. After World War I and the rise of the gasoline vapor engine boat building became increasingly focused around recreation, both luxury and more modest means.
Today, almost all boating is centered around recreation and support of that through services such as sales, dockage, maintenance and restoration. The exception is Eastern Boats, Inc of Milton – one of the last few remaining boat productions company in the state – which produces a combination of work and pleasure boats.
This year’s exhibit will feature boats and motors made in New Hampshire, telling the stories of those companies and how their impacts on New Hampshire’s local economy. The Regina will be on display for the first time since she was given to the Museum in 2018 by Howard Newton.
New Hampshire has had an interesting relationship with competitive and recreational rowing. This is where competitive collegiate rowing began! In 1852 at Center Harbor the first Yale-Harvard regatta started the first intercollegiate competition of any kind and the oldest rivalry as well.
Competitive rowing is often perceived as white, male and elitist. Yet there have been and are others in the boat.
In this exhibit we look at the role New Hampshire women have played in crew: from the “mother of rowing”, Stratham’s Ernestine Bayer to Wolfeboro’s Hilary Gehman who is training and coaching women athletes for the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo.
Often “not seen,” we look at the participation of people of color in competitive rowing. Were you aware that there are black Olympic crew members?
The 2020/21 exhibit is presented by Goodhue Boat Company and Eastern Propane & Oil, and the following generous sponsors.