NEW EXHIBIT:  Frozen: Stories of Ice & Snow
First-Floor Galleries | December 14, 2019 – Spring 2020

Now Open


First Floor Galleries
Included with Admission
Free for Members

Don’t miss our new exhibit, Frozen: Stories of Ice and Snow, featuring all things cold! This family-friendly, hands-on history exhibit is packed with chilly fun!

In a salute to Disney’s upcoming film, Frozen 2, our Winter 2019/20 exhibit will explore ice and snow in New England! Go inside our kid-sized ice house and pack it with blocks of ice – using real ice tongs! Glide along on our sock skating rink, sit in an authentic one-horse open sleigh, explore where in the world the ice from Wenham Lake went, follow the map of Geopolis using the original illustrations from Virginia Lee Burton’s Katy and the Big Snow, and enjoy the many dolls and artifacts that explore winter right here in your own back yard!  A special equestrian section explores how horses were used to harvest ice right here on Wenham Lake.


Now Open


Tiny Things!

Osgood Gallery
Included with Admission
Free for Members

This intriguing exhibit explores all things small! Featuring miniatures from the museum’s collection, as well those made by Abraham Megerdichian, a master machinist who grew up in Cambridge, MA. From the 1950s until his death in 1983 Abraham machined interpretations of everyday objects from blocks of metal. Displayed side by side with the museum’s collection, and with some full-size versions for comparison, this exhibit is sure to delight and fascinate – don’t worry, magnifying glasses will be provided!


Image caption: Curiouser and curiouser! These pins are less than a 1/2 inch high! Designed as a doll accessory, they came with a tiny pair of gloves for the White Rabbit! (accession # 2011.03.045d&e)


Closes on February 23


Beep! Beep! Beep!

Family Discovery Gallery
Included with Admission
Free for Members

Come visit our newest exhibit in the Family Discovery Gallery inspired by Alice Schertle’s book, Little Blue Truck. This exhibit offers hands-on interactive play exploring farm life and lending a kind and helping hand.

Play-based learning in the Family Discovery Gallery is rooted in the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Early Education. Through puppet theatre, selling and sorting vegetables at a farm stand, role playing the activities of farm animals and vehicles, enjoying matching games with farm sounds, writing barnyard poetry, and climbing on a little blue truck, our youngest learners will have fun while developing skills to support kindergarten readiness.

The Little Blue Truck’s actions also encourage random acts of kindness. We invite children to take a hand from our “Helping Hands” wall and spread some kindness to others.

With special thanks to Ken & Jean Jones of Wenham, Mass. for their generous support of the Family Discovery Gallery.


Opening February 29, 2020

Confidence + Courage + Character = SCOUTING!

Opening February 29, 2020
Family Discovery Gallery
Included with Admission
Free for Members

Come exploring in our latest exhibition in the Family Discovery Gallery!

Scouting has a long history in the US teaching us about being prepared, caring for others, caring for ourselves, and caring for our planet. Designed for kids 3 and under, this hands-on exhibit is filled with opportunities for play that help our youngest visitors learn scouting traditions while role-playing a camping trip: finding hidden caches in a cave, paddling a canoe, picnicking on the shore, toasting marshmallows, tying knots, and more! It’s fun and filled with activities that help with fine motor skills, coordination, and imagination.

With special thanks to Ken & Jean Jones of Wenham, Mass. for their generous support of the Family Discovery Gallery.


Equestrian Histories – Closed December 1, 2019

Equestrian Histories

June 11, 2019 – December 1, 2019
Main Galleries 
Included in Admission 
Free for Members

Equestrian Histories was an exhibition three years in the making for children, adults, riders, and non-riders alike!  This exhibit explored the history of the horse in sport on Boston’s North Shore, with a focus on the four major equestrian sports that Hamilton and Wenham are known for, which are:  fox hunting, polo, three-day eventing and coaching and combined driving.  The role that the equestrian community has played in preserving local open space was also included in this exhibit.

Equestrian Histories also featured never-before-seen content from the Patton Family Archives.  Gen. George S. Patton, Jr. and his wife, Beatrice Ayer Patton, were both accomplished equestrians. These traditions were passed to their children, and video footage of the Patton family (narrated by Gen. Patton’s son, Maj. Gen. George S. Patton, IV) is included within the Patton section of the exhibit.

Equestrian Histories is conceptualized an evolving exhibit, with annual offerings that delve deeper into particular sports and aspects of equestrian life.  Future plans also include an Equestrian Hall of Fame to celebrate those individuals–riders and non-riders alike–that have been integral to equestrian life on the North Shore.

Exhibition Support

Equestrian Histories and its related gallery improvements have been underwritten by over 100 generous donors who collectively contributed over $500,000 to the Wenham Museum.  Those providing leadership gifts are listed below:

The Perkin Fund, Winifred Perkin Gray, Chair

World Champion
up to $60,000
Mr. Neil R. Ayer, Jr.
Ms. Susanna Colloredo-Mansfeld
Mr. and Mrs. Charles R. Richey, Jr.

Grand Prix
up to $25,000
Mr. William S. Farish, III
Mr. and Mrs. Summerfield K. Johnston, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. Dave Page
Mr. and Mrs. Nathaniel Pulsifer

For a complete listing of supporters, please visit the Equestrian Histories campaign website by clicking here.

Now Open

Colonel Timothy Pickering:  A Practical and Scientific Farmer

Pickering Library

Col. Timothy Pickering (1745-1829) was a soldier, politician, and a scientist, but his greatest passion was for agriculture. He fulfilled a life-long dream when he purchased his Wenham, Massachusetts farm in 1806, which he farmed for more than 20 years. His legacy of promoting scientific methods in breeding animals, growing crops and promoting agriculture generally led him to found the Essex Agricultural Society, which today runs the Topsfield Fair. This is the first exhibit in the museum’s newly renovated Pickering Library, named for Col. Pickering himself.

Sponsored by:
Essex National Heritage Area
Society of Colonial Wars in Massachusetts
General Society of Colonial Wars