The Vermont Historical Society occasionally organizes bus trips for groups of interested history lovers to journey together and learn more about people, places, and events throughout history. Please sign up for our mailing list if you'd like to be notified of new opportunities, and peruse the most recent trip below to learn more.
August 2013: "Finding Wentworth," a trip to Portsmouth, NH
August 25 – 26, 2013
Between 1749 and 1764, Benning Wentworth, the First Royal Governor of New Hampshire, issued 129 township charters in present-day Vermont. Most were issued during the years 1761-1764, with over half of those issued during 1761. On July 20, 1764, King George III declared the Connecticut River as the boundary between the colonies of New York and New Hampshire, thus ending Wentworth's grants in Vermont, which led to disputes with New York over the validity of Wentworth's charters.
Residents in the "Grants" defended their ownership of these lands, sometimes violently, against the claims of New Yorkers. One such group, formed in the Bennington area, became known as the Green Mountain Boys, whose leadership included Ethan Allen.
For a list of towns with charters issued by Benning Wentworth, please visit The Semiquincentennial Toolkit. [PDF]
The Vermont Historical Society invites you to join us for a trip to explore the colonial history of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, see the historic homes of Benning Wentworth and his family, and visit one of New England's best-kept secrets, the history museum Strawbery Banke.
The rambling yellow Wentworth Coolidge Mansion was built by Royal Governor Benning Wentworth (1696-1770) in the mid-eighteenth century. His house, both awkward and elegant, was the political and social heart of late colonial New Hampshire.
Built in 1760, the Wentworth-Gardner House is one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in America. The house was built by the Wentworth family for their son Thomas (Benning's nephew) as a wedding gift. The house's beautiful details exemplify the influence and wealth of the Wentworth family in colonial New Hampshire.
Strawbery Banke is an outdoor history museum that tells the history of four centuries of American history in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, beginning in the mid-17th century and continuing to the mid-20th century. Across 10 acres of restored houses, shops, and gardens, costumed interpreters share stories from the "Puddle Dock" neighborhood.
Your trip fee includes:
- Admission to all historic sites and museums
- History of Portsmouth overview tour
- Luxury motorcoach travel from Vermont to Portsmouth, with pickup and dropoff in Burlington, Barre-Montpelier, and White River Junction
- Overnight stay in Portsmouth at the Best Western Wynwood Hotel & Suites
- Box lunches on Sunday on the grounds of the Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion and on Monday at Strawbery Banke
- Breakfast at the hotel on Monday morning
The fee does not include dinner on Sunday night or any shopping you may do on your own.