NEW EXHIBIT:  Equestrian Histories
First-Floor Galleries | June 11, 2019 – December 2019

Equestrian Histories – Now Open

Equestrian Histories

Opened June 11, 2019
Main Galleries 
Included in Admission 
Free for Members

Equestrian Histories is an exhibition three years in the making for children, adults, riders, and non-riders alike!  This exhibit explores 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 is also included in this exhibit.

Equestrian Histories also features 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.

For young visitors and the young at heart, there are many hands-on opportunities in the galleries to learn more about equestrian life, including:  a play table modeled after a map of Hamilton and Wenham with trains, farms, and horses; a horseshoeing activity; dress-up; and, a real saddle and side-saddle you can sit on.  Over the summer, a green screen that simulates a ride with the hunt will also open to the public.

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.

Learn More
Follow our “Things To Do” or the Wenham Museum on Facebook to find out about upcoming opportunities to learn more about the North Shore’s equestrian history, to meet real horses, and watch local equestrian sports.

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.

October 2019 Now Open

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.

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