Marine museum expansion breaks ground in New Hampshire

The Boatshop at Strawbery Banke broke ground this week in Portsmouth, N.H.
Nate Piper (third from right), director of The Boatshop at Strawbery Banke, and volunteers completed site work for the future facility.

Nate Piper (third from right), director of The Boatshop at Strawbery Banke, and volunteers completed site work for the future facility. PHOTO CREDIT: Caroline Piper

The Boatshop at Strawbery Banke, a partnership between Piper Boatworks and Strawbery Banke Museum, broke ground this week in Portsmouth, N.H.

The partners additionally announced a fundraising challenge match. An anonymous donor recently pledged $5,000 in matching funds as a challenge to other contributors.

Located on the grounds of the museum, The Boatshop at Strawbery Banke will provide expanded maritime history-related exhibits and demonstrations, as well as workshops and programs focused on maritime-related topics and skills.

Monitored by Alix Martin, the museum’s staff archaeologist, The Boatshop director Nate Piper worked with volunteers to prepare the ground for the future facility. Green Velvet Landscaping donated the site excavation work, and Ricci Lumber donated materials and equipment for the footings.

“We are encouraged by the response The Boatshop at Strawbery Banke is getting from the community so far,” Piper said in a statement. “With funds and materials provided by early donors, we were able to get the foundation in place before the snow and freeze sets in.”

The first phase of the project is focused on the expansion of an existing building to accommodate a new workshop and demonstration space.

The Boatshop is halfway to its fundraising goal of $20,000. Construction of the building will continue when the additional $10,000 from the challenge grant and the matching funds has been raised.

Anyone who would like to invest in the new facility can contact the museum’s development office at (603) 422-7551.

"Strawbery Banke is delighted to be bringing traditional boatbuilding and the history and practice of maritime crafts back to the museum’s regular interpretation of the site,” Strawbery Banke president and CEO Lawrence J. Yerdon said. “We look forward to the launch of on-site demonstrations at The Boatshop at Strawbery Banke during the 2016 season.”

The second phase of The Boatshop at Strawbery Banke will focus on developing a series of programs on modern and historical maritime topics and skills and the creation of an onsite exhibit.

Volunteers interested in assisting with maritime-related exhibit set-up, on-site demonstrations and construction of the new Boatshop building can contact Piper at


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