2018 Calendar  
Attributed to John Bradbury, Sr., c. 1735/1740.
Old York Historical Society Collection

Attributed to Cotton Bradbury, c. 1755/1770. Old York Historical Society, Anonymous Loan

April 24, 2018
The Reports of Our Cabinetmaking have been Greatly Overlooked: The Bradburys of York, Maine

Joel Lefever, Executive Director & Chief Curator, Old York Historical Society

This tongue-in-cheek lecture title hints at a profound deficit in the study of the historic furniture of Southern Maine. Joel Lefever presents documentation for the cabinetmaking shops of John Bradbury, Sr. and his son, Cotton Bradbury. The elder Bradbury was born in Essex County, Massachusetts, and settled in York by 1721. His son, Cotton, aside from working in John Sr.’s shop, made furniture and produced woodwork independently for York customers, including businessman Jonathan Sayward. The Bradburys’ contributions to the decorative arts of northern New England are now no longer overlooked, though not yet greatly exaggerated.

Joel Lefever holds an MA from Cooperstown Graduate Program in History Museum Studies. A version of his thesis on the early furniture of the Grand Rapids, Michigan furniture industry was published by the Public Museum of Grand Rapids. From 1994-2007, he served as Curator and then, President of the Holland Historical Trust, Michigan. In 2009 he established Lefèbvre Consulting with museum clients in Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania and in 2012, became the Executive Director of Old York.

Oedel Gaines
Workers at the Edwin Morrill Carriage Co., c. 1880 Amesbury Public Library Collection


Cadillac type 59 Convertible, c. 1920
Private Collection

May 15, 2018
Finding Amesbury- Discovering the History of an Industrial Community Using Maps, Photographs and Ephemera
John Mayer, Executive Director, Amesbury Carriage Museum

Amesbury, a small community located just south of the New Hampshire border in Massachusetts, was settled in the 1640s. The town has experienced many cycles of growth and decline, paralleling events similar to other communities in New England. Initially, the Powow River provided waterpower used by colonial millers and later, 19th century entrepreneurs to develop a thriving industrial economy. At different points in time, Amesbury workers were leaders in the production of sawn timber, nails, woolen textiles, and carriages. Market forces and changing demand compelled owners and workers to develop new manufacturing interests, creating whole new companies. It is a fascinating history- but not well recorded and mostly lost. Fortunately maps, photographs and other materials provide a vivid view into the past and support the discovery of this history. Using a small collection of visual material, John Mayer will share stories about Amesbury’s history and relate these stories to efforts to create a new community museum.

John Mayer has over 30 years experience in the museum field and has worked in a variety of positions in history museums of all types. He has served as Museum Curator of the Maine Historical Society, Curator at Strawbery Banke Museum, Portsmouth, and Director and Curator of the Manchester Historic Association in New Hampshire. He is a graduate of the Hagley Program at the University of Delaware, holds a Master’s degree in History, and a Certificate in Museum Studies.

Jackson House, Portsmouth

Shards found at the Jackson House

June 19, 2018
Recent Archaeological Discoveries at the Jackson House
Dr. Kathleen Wheeler, Independent Archaeological Consulting

Dr. Wheeler shares findings from a 2015 archaeological investigation at Historic New England’s c.1664 Jackson House in Portsmouth, the oldest standing wood frame house in New Hampshire. Dr. Wheeler’s work yielded more than 12,000 artifacts and her illustrated talk will highlight such finds as an early 18th century drainage feature, later filled with broken ceramics that include a range of pottery from brownware to delft to Chinese porcelain. Dr. Wheeler’s work at the Jackson House has been published by Historic New England and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Kathleen Wheeler has accumulated over twenty-five years of experience working in New England, specializing in Post-Contact period archaeology. She meets and exceeds the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Archaeologists and has completed all levels of archaeological investigation in New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts. Ms. Wheeler holds a BA in Anthropology from the University of New Hampshire and an MA and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Arizona.

Rollinsford Grade School
Designed by the firm Huddleston & Hersey

The Commons, renamed Huddleston Hall
University of New Hampshire Campus


September 18, 2018
Eric T. Huddleston, New Hampshire’s Architect
Peter Michaud, National Register & Preservation Tax Incentives Coordinator at the NH Division of Historical Resources, New Hampshire’s State Historic Preservation Office

Eric Huddleston arrived at the University of New Hampshire in 1918 at the age of twenty-six. He was the fledgling campus’s first architect and the first professor in its newly created Department of Architecture. Huddleston was influential in creating a master plan for the campus and is responsible for many of the iconic buildings on the campus today. He opened his own private practice in 1935 and continued to consult with other architectural firms until his retirement in the 1960s. From the time he established UNH’s department until it closed in 1944 as a result of World War II, 138 men and women studied under Huddleston and earned their degrees in architecture. Peter Michaud will explore Huddleston’s influence as an architect beyond his work at UNH by exploring the work of his private firm, as well as the work of the architects he trained.

A lifelong resident of the Piscataqua region and a graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Peter began his career with Historic New England, where he was the Portsmouth/Exeter site manager responsible for running four historic houses. He is a board member of the New England chapter of the Vernacular Architectural Forum among others, and serves on a number of committees, including Strawbery Banke Museum’s National Council, the Portsmouth Advocates and the Warner House building committee.


Trade Card for James Wheeley’s Paper Hanging Warehouse

Detail of Wallpaper Fragment
Found at the Moffat-Ladd House



October 16, 2018
‘A Neat Assortment of Paper Hangings’: 18th Century Wallpapers in the Piscataqua Region

Richard C. Nylander, Curator Emeritus, Historic New England

In their newspaper advertisements, Portsmouth merchants in the 18th century offered “neat,” “genteel,” and “very large and beautiful” assortments of paper hangings. These were enticing words for the prospective buyer, but offer no clues as to what the wallpapers actually looked like. Portsmouth is fortunate to have several houses where expensive English flock wallpapers from this period remain on the walls. Fragments of other flocked patterns have been found over the years, including two recently discovered in the Moffatt-Ladd House. This lecture will discuss these discoveries, as well as the other types of wallpaper patterns that were used to embellish Portsmouth’s handsome architecture and provide a backdrop for its stylish furniture.

Richard Nylander’s career at Historic New England spanned over 40 years and included major restorations of Hamilton House, the Harrison Gray Otis House and the Codman Estate, Lincoln, Massachusetts. A leading authority on historic wallpapers, he is the author of several books on the subject. Over the years, Richard has lent his expertise on interiors to many organizations, including the Committee for the Preservation of the White House, where he was involved with the redecoration of the Blue Room and the State Dining Room.

Lectures Are Free For Society Members And $10.00 Each For The General Public
All Lectures Take Place At Strawbery Banke Museum’s Tyco Visitor Center, Just Off Of Hancock Street in Portsmouth, NH.
Lectures Start At 5:30 PM With Wine & Cheese Served Before Each Lecture

For further information contact info@pdasociety.org